Commonwealth Local Government Forum

Local and regional governments networks welcome UN Brief on COVID-19

29 July 2020


Local and regional governments and their networks have reacted to a UN policy brief on COVID-19 by arguing for the importance of basic service delivery to support communities. 


Read the policy brief in full.


With an estimated 90 percent of all reported cases taking place in cities, urban areas are the epicenter of the pandemic. The UN Secretary General Policy Brief: COVID-19 in an Urban World stresses that there is an urgent need to rethink and transform cities to respond to the reality of COVID-19 and potential future pandemics, and to recover better, by building more resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities.


In a recent media session that gathered mayors and representative from the Networks of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, participants highlighted the importance of the document for a recovery that leaves no-one and no place behind.


Local government networks supporting UN policy 

Greg Munro, Secretary-General of CLGF and Emilia Saiz, Secretary-General of UCLG confirmed the support of the networks of local and regional governments to the policy brief and stressed the sense of urgency which led them to offer the partnership of the constituency to work hand-in-hand with the whole of the UN System and, in particular, with the UN Secretary-General as well as UNDP and UN Habitat to leave no one and no place behind. 


CLGF Chairperson, Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo, argued that it is critical to mainstream resilience in urban planning, and how the crisis proves that a multilateral response is critical to build a more sustainable world from the bottom-up through a strong and well-resourced decentralisation. He described how, through a series of regional webinars with CLGF's members across the Commonwealth, it has emerged that where there has a been a strong local government presence in tackling the pandemic, communities and countries have fared better; and this is likely to be the case with the recovery. 


Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn, President of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability argued that that the pandemic is showing us that the solution lies in sustainability and called for a green deal to lead the path. He also commended the Brief’s focus on coordination among spheres of governments to recover from the outbreak.


Thembisile Nkadimeng, Mayor of Polokwane, President of SALGA, UCLG Co-President stressed the importance of tackling inequalities, and argued that the continued provision of basic service by local and regional governments is key to improving inclusiveness and ensuring vulnerable populations are considered. This will imply rethinking finance, the protection of vulnerable groups and, in particular women empowerment and representation.


About the Global Taskforce

CLGF is one of the founding members of The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which is a coordination and consultation mechanism that brings together the major international networks of local governments to undertake joint advocacy work relating to global policy processes. It was set up in 2013 to bring the perspectives of local and regional governments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change agenda and New Urban Agenda in particular.The Global Taskforce convenes elected local and regional leaders from around the world in the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments




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