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#EDD19: Towns and regions reduce inequalities and leave no one and no place behind

26 junio 2019

PLATFORMA, together with the 5 major local and regional government organisations – AIMF, CEMR, CLGF, UCLG and UCLG Africa – was actively participating at the 13th edition of the European Development Days (EDD), Europe’s leading forum on international development cooperation, which was held in Brussels on 18-19 June 2019.

This edition of the forum addressed current successes and failures in addressing inequalities in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Development Agendas. For the third consecutive year, the Global Village City Hall stand attracted many visitors who had the opportunity to take pictures on the Photobooth with colorful 3D hashtags.

The place to be: the ‘Global Village City Hall’ stand

This joint stand has proven to be once again a vibrant space to develop joint work among partner organisations. Work meetings and exchanges between members of the partner organisations and the visitors of the stand have allowed the co-creation of ideas and provided opportunities to further the notion of the localisation of the SDGs and the role that local and regional governments can play in achieving the global development agendas.

We welcomed at our stand a meeting of the Policy Forum on Development which gathered the European Commission (DG DEVCO), associations of local and regional governments and civil society organisations, including cooperatives, trade unions and NGOs.

The objective was to exchange on the next Regional PFD that will take place in Asia in October under topics related to SDGs, such as climate action plans, local economic development, gender equality, etc.

It was also a good occasion to identify common concerns from the PFD members: the programming work with EU delegations; more work needs to be jointly conducted.

The local and regional dimension of the SDGs, essential to leave no-one behind

In the various sessions, representatives from local and regional governments showcased how local and regional governments were already working to reduce inequalities through decentralised cooperation, through climate action, and through improving access to basic services and goods. The achievement of SDG 10 can only be done from the bottom-up, by tackling inequalities in urban planning.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promotes decentralised cooperation to harmonise and strengthen progress towards more equitable territorial development. In a dialogue with representatives of national governments, cooperation agencies, and leaders of local government networks, Marlène Siméon, director of PLATFORMA, explained how decentralised cooperation should be addressed through the local sphere, and involve citizens in order to co-create the societies of the future. Participants from the Spanish Government and the Andalusian Agency for Development Cooperation reinstated the messages of the #SevilleCommitment, and the importance of an integrated territorial approach to achieve the SDGs.

In another session, Marta Marin Sanchez, representative from the Basque Regional Government, Christopher Chishimba Kang’ombe, Mayor of Kitwe (Zambia), and Béchir Odeimi, President of Cités Unies Liban, also presented their innovative strategies to tackle territorial challenges, assessing the state of decentralization in their countries and the challenges and opportunities that local and regional governments are facing to achieve the SDGs. For his part Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General of CEMR, highlighted the essential need of multi-level territorial collaboration to truly ensure sustainable development.

(Picture by UCLG)