Commonwealth Local Government Forum

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development -adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at  the UN Summit - officially came into force on 1 January 2016.  These new goals universally apply to all, countries and aim to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments

Following the Rio+20 conference in 2012, which highlighted the role of local authorities, CLGF has actively advocated on behalf of its membership for the role of local government in how the Sustainable Development Goals should be framed, implemented and monitored. CLGF is a founding member of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 Agenda towards Habitat III (GTF) which was established in March 2013 at a meeting in Istanbul to provide a global voice for local government into the Post-2015 development agenda by supporting the work of the Local Authorities Major Group at the UN

The Task Force is made up of international local government organisations including CLGF and Unitied Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) partnered by a number of UN agencies and development partners. It has been campaigning to localise the SDGs in both the development of the targets and the implementation..

CLGF's input into the 2030 Agenda

CLGF has worked closely with, in particular, UCLG, to present the views of local government at meetings of the UN,  UN-Habitat events, and at meetings with the European Commissions and ACP in Brussels. As part of the Global Taskforce, the CLGF Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, board members and Secretary-General

  • have spoken of behalf on the Taskforce and the Local Authorities Major Group at the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and related meetings; 
  • met with the co-acilitators of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, the permanent representatives to the UN from Kenya and Ireland aand representatives of the missions of numerous other Commonwealth countries, including the Commonwealth Small Island States office  in New York;
  • met with key officials as part of the post-2015 process including,  with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. 

As a key partner with UNDP CLGF assisted in a number of consultations with local government on the post-2015 agenda and localising the SDGs, including a consultation with CLGF Board members at the CLGF Board meeting in Abuja, Nigeria in June 2014.   Important events where CLGF played a key role are: 

  • the High-level Global dialogue on the Localization of the Post‐2015 Agenda held in Turin in October 2014 which was co-chaired by CLGF Secretary General Carl Wright whose communique highlighted how ‘the implementation of the Post-2015 agenda will greatly depend on local action and leadership, in coordination with all other levels of governance’.;
  • the Strengthening Capacities and Building Effective Institutions for the Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda event in Chisinau in February 2014, co-chaired by the CLGF Secretary General.  The Chisinau outcome statement made a commitment to support direct financing of local authorities and their associations:: 
    "viii. Local authorities and their associations must be empowered through capacity strengthening and enhanced institutional effectiveness to own and achieve development goals, stimulating community involvement and participation in local development strategies, as well as implementing modern management and planning technologies;"
  • the third International Conference on Financing for Development was held in Addis Ababa in June 2015; CLGF was part of both the Commonwealth delegation and the Global Taskforce representation. Paragraph 34 of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda acknowledges the need for scaling up the financing to strengthen capacities of municipalities and otehr local authorities in line with CLGF and the GTF's recommendation to localise resources for the implementation of teh SDGs.

Local government and the SDGs

The final 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lists local authorities as key development actors to partner with national governemnt to take the agenda forward, and when refering to government the goals talk of government 'at all levels'. 

The SDGs also include a specific goal (goal 11) on "making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" and many of the other goals have clear actions for lcoal governments.

The details of the role envisaged for local governments in the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has yet to be fully defined. CLGF and it’s partners will continue to advocate for the necessary recognition, resources and mandate to enable local government to fulfil it vital roll in enabling the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • CLGF and it’s members will be taking forward the implementation of the SDGs as part of our technical support programme through its strategic partnership programme with the EU and CLGF is looking at ways for local governemnt to be involved in the monitoring of the SDGs.
  • The CLGF Sustainable CIties Network is addresing capacity and issues of sustainable development around the growth of cities and urbanisation
  • The 2017 Commonwealth Local Government Conference Fit for the future: resources and capacity for effective local government will also look at strategies for strengthening the resource base and capacity of local government to improve performance and delivery and to enable it to play an integral role in responding to national, regional and global priorities including implementing the SDGs.

 

"The Commonwealth Local Government Forum has been a strong advocate for taking the MDGs to local level and will be a key partner in ensuring that the new SDGs are localised. And the Commonwealth commitment to democratic governance is a constant reminder of the importance of that as a driver of the sustainable development goals." 

 

Rt Hon Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, giving the Commonwealth lecture, April 2015

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