Local Governments Highlight Cities’ Critical Role in Post-2015 Agenda

7 December 2012: Participants at the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Council emphasized the development impacts of local and regional government's work, calling for their role to be reflected in post-2015 development goals, and in the 2016 Habitat III conference. The statements were made at the conference of the Council held in Dakar, Senegal, from 4-6 December 2012.

The UCLG World Council convened over 300 members, including mayors and other local authorities from over 40 countries.

Sering Falu, UN Millennium Campaign, delivered the keynote speech, recognizing the role of local authorities in transforming the global development agenda into social services at the local level. He said their voices will be critical in defining the post-2015 agenda, and highlighted the need for local authorities to facilitate citizens' participation in this process.

Kadir Topbas, UCLG President and Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey, called for regional and local voices to be heard in international discussions on the post-2015 agenda, in particular through the UN High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP), of which he is a member. He emphasized the value of an open and participatory process. Topbas also said Habitat III would be "a decisive moment that should recognize the maturity of our movement at global level."

Wolfgang Schüster, Mayor of Stuttgart, Germany, urged UCLG members to give input to post-2015 discussions regarding local and regional authorities. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN Agency for Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT), called for attention to medium-sized cities in middle-income countries, noting that they face many urban challenges.

The conference particularly emphasized gender equality and the role of women as “motors of development.”

The World Council is the highest policy-making body of the UCLG. The event took place during the Sixth Africities Summit, on the theme of “Building Africa starting from its territories.” [UCLG Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Conference Website]