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Localising SDGs: making the world a better place to live

15 October 2018

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are on everyone’s lips. But beyond the UN’s 17-point framework for development on issues such as poverty, gender equality or the environment, what do SDGs mean in practice, on the ground, for towns and regions and their citizens?

That’s what local and regional leaders and experts explored during a discussion on localising SDGs on 9 October in Brussels, during the European Week of Regions and Cities.

We all live in one world. The SDGs guide those who want to make this world a better place to live,” stated the Council of European Municipalities and Regions’ Executive Director for European Affairs, Angelika Poth-Mögele.

Some organisations help spread the word about the SDGs, and provide workshops and training to municipalities on the issue. That’s the case of VVSG, our Flemish association: “the UN indicators are too macro, so we reflect upon how to translate that for the local level,” pointed out their European and International affairs coordinator, Bert Janssen.

Ms Poth-Mögele also stressed the importance of advancing hand in hand with two other vital changemakers: “How can we mobilise central government? How can we mobilise citizens? It’s important to get them behind the idea too and to collaborate with them.”

The SDGs call for universal positive change on many fronts: economic, social, gender and environmental issues, among others. These are all fields with a direct impact on towns and regions.

So, what’s the logical conclusion? That for sustainable development, the strong, active involvement of towns and regions is fundamental. And as the SDGs are universal, it is just as necessary to govern in partnership with national governments and the EU.

Discover our new publication on the SDGs: How Europe’s towns and regions are taking the lead. Published by CEMR and PLATFORMA.

This event was organised by the European Committee of the Regions in partnership with CEMR and EUROCITIES.

(Picture © BR&U/ Bernal Revert for PLATFORMA)