Global Development Agendas and their implications for local governments were addressed during the meeting of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA), which took place on April 24 in Istanbul.
Established in 1999, and emanating from the Istanbul Declaration, UNACLA is an advisory body supported by UCLG and UN Habitat, created to strengthen the dialogue of the UN System with local authorities from all over the world, with the aim of approach the global agendas to local governments.
Chaired by Kadir Topbas, president of UNACLA and Mayor of Istanbul, and Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, the meeting gathered representatives from local and regional government networks, and aimed to address the progress made on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs, as well as the role that local governments should undertake in such a crucial endeavour. Joan Clos highlighted the paradigm-shift lived during the Habitat III conference, which put urbanization at the heart of development issues, and Kadir Topbas made emphasis on the need for knowledge sharing and giving tools to local governments for the localization of the SDGs. On the other hand, the general secretary of UCLG, Josep Roig, pointed out the need of going beyond sectorial approaches and promoting local democracy, strengthening capacities of local governments and improving financial system to face the challenges of urbanization.
Mayors and local elected representatives from the Philippines, Benin and Botswana also attended the event and shared their experiences, along with general secretaries and representatives from the UCLG sections of Africa, Asia Pacific, Eurasia, CEMR, MEWA, Metropolis and the Forum of Regions. The session also addressed the preparation of the 26th Governing Council of UN-Habitat, which is taking place in Nairobi on 8-12 May this year.