Oss and Utrecht are Netherlands’ “Most inspiring Global Goals municipalities”
The award ceremony for the “Most inspiring Global Goals municipality” has been a tradition for many years at VNG International’s New Year’s reception. This year, the first prize was exceptionally awarded to both Oss and Utrecht (tied)!
This year jury, consisting of Hugo von Meijenfeldt, national coordinator for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Edith van Ewijk, senior researcher at Kaleidos Research, found that the level of the finalists was very high, making a decision between these dedicated cities particularly challenging. As a result, after assessing the best two finalists, the jury has exceptionally decided to award the first prize to two cities.
According to the jury, both municipalities are highly committed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or Global Goals). Their approaches already serve as good practices to other municipalities and will most likely continue to inspire many more.
The city of Utrecht stands out because thorough and complete plan of action. It has managed to achieve impressive results already. Also, the municipality is well on its way to successfully integrate the Global Goals in the processes of municipal policy-making and is able to actively involve many different local stakeholders, including the private sector. The jury also appreciated the way in which Utrecht makes its work available to other municipalities as well.
The city of Oss demonstrates high ambitions and a very original approach. In similar ways as in Utrecht, various local actors are involved. Furthermore, the mayor has played a unique and important role as ambassador of the Global Goals within the Netherlands and beyond.
The city of Tilburg was the third nominee. The international orientation of the city has a long history already. Tilburg now makes the transition to a Global Goals municipality and in doing so there is a focus on sustainability issues as well as a focus on issues in the social domain like human rights and accommodating refugees, for instance through “Shelter City”, a national initiative of Justice and Peace in collaboration with Dutch cities, focusing specifically on the protection of Human Rights Defenders.