Local Governments call for stronger political agenda at UN Habitat Council


The United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA)  met on Sunday 14 April on the occasion of the 24th Session of the UN Habitat Governing Council.

The UCLG leadership was represented by Co-President Masunda, Mayor of Harare, President of CEMR, Dr. Schuster, and President of the Kenyan Association, Mayor Kores, along with the President of the African Women´s Network, Mayor Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick. Also in attendance were the Mayor of Kigali, the Deputy Mayor of Mogadishu, and Mayor Hugua from Wakatobi, Indonesia. The cities of Medellín, Brasilia and Lusaka were represented together with the local government organizations, Metropolis, UCLG-EuroAsia, FMDV and ICLEI.

The meeting participants praised the Istanbul statement of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments on Post 2015 and towards Habitat III. They commended this effort and requested that UNACLA´s work become a complementary element.

Executive Director of Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos, and Deputy Director, Ms. Kirabo, acknowledged the need for the voice of local authorities to be further heard in the new development agenda and committed to working with UCLG and UNACLA to this end.

A stronger political agenda

Mayors and Local Government representatives requested that UNACLA have a greater role in the political Agenda of UN Habitat and called upon the Secretariat to find ways to ensure this.

Mobility: A social issue 

The report on Urban Mobility was presented and highlighted cases of different cities around the world. The representatives stressed the need to consider mobility from a social perspective and not as a technical solution.

Employment and Local Economic Development

The thematic work of UNACLA will focus on Job Creation until 2014 emphasizing the role of the public sector in creating decent employment for all, particularly for the youth. Mayors highlighted the need to regain some of the lost competences at local level and of localizing the economy through partnership with small and medium size businesses who share local interests.

The group also discussed resilience against flooding which will be the next thematic focus after job creation.

The New Development Agenda

A High Level panel was organized on the urban aspect of the Post 2015 Agenda. Dr. Clos, Dr. Schuster and several national representatives joined Amina Mohamed, the Assistant Secretary General and Special Advisor to the UN on this panel.

Dr. Schuster emphasized the need to consider a goal for sustainable cities in the new development agenda and highlighted the interest of building one single agenda incorporating the MDGs and SDGs. He further called for a new international governance architecture that follows the multi-partnership principle and includes local and regional governments in the decision-making table.

The deliberations at UN Habitat will continue for a full week. UCLG is the key representative of local and regional authorities in the Council and will follow the drafting process of resolutions. Around 15 resolutions will be negotiated by the 58 Council members and partners.

More information on UN Habitat website.