Member Networks of the Global Taskforce gather to assess the impact of COVID-19 in the agenda of our constituency


The gathering of the Global Taskforce aimed to provide a safe space for member networks to discuss how each organization was dealing with the pandemic and how, as organizations, the work of the constituency of local and regional governments will be affected for the rest of the year and beyond.

Representatives of UCLG, AER, C40, CLGF, the Global Parliament of Mayors, the Global Resilient Cities Network, the Secretary General of Metropolis, ICLEI, Cités Unies France, GCoM, ORU-FOGAR, Regions4, AL-LAS, FMDV, Platforma, FCM, CEMR and UCLG Eurasia, took part in the session, which was structured around two parts: a tour-de-table in which the networks highlighted how their work had transformed, and what initiatives they were undertaking in the crisis; and an interactive segment aimed at identifying synergies and the impact of the COVID-19 in our agenda.

Many of the participants highlighted the importance of starting to think about the post-COVID era, the shifts in global governance that are expected, the importance in using a common language in our collective responses, and the way in which the multilateral system will be shaped. Participants highlighted from C40 and CUF argued for the need to make use of common language when addressing the post-COVID era, in a way that is consistent with the SDGs, and that will allow for a starting point in the aftermath.

They further shared initiatives such as webinars, sharing of good practices, and peer-to-peer learning among the members of the Networks. The Cities for Global Health platform shared by Metropolis, the Live Learning Experiences convened by UCLG, Metropolis, and UNHabitat, were considered during the session.

AER shared how they were delivering briefings on the work of the European Commission during the pandemic, including public procurement rules, solidarity funds and news on funding opportunities for Regions. C40 highlighted the creation of a Mayoral Taskforce, aiming to produce a report on Post-COVID recovery, and the peer-to-peer exchanges on the pandemic chaired by Mayor Garcetti. The GPM shared the creation of the Mayors Act Now campaign, that aimed to exchange information and best practices, innovative ideas, and example of city leadership. Regions4 highlighted their work on an internal consultation for members on their priorities during the pandemic, in order to be of use for them, and a similar initiative was shared by ORU-FOGAR, CEMR, and Platforma.

Looking towards the future, CLGF argued that it will be important to look at local finance and to work, as Networks, in supporting local economies and going back to basics as the risk of SDGs being forgotten is high. ICLEI shared their response to COVID19, but also shared plans for the immediate future, with Daring Cities taking place in October during the Climate Talks. GCoM highlighted their work on the coalition for urban transitions on a year end COP26 report, as well as a joint roundtable with UCLG and UNDP between mayors and ministers on NDCs and the climate response.

Regions4 proposed to create a joint statement or platform to be useful for all levels in the medium term of the crisis, an initiative agreed upon by FMDV, FCM, and ultimately adopted by all networks at the end of the session.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to an uncertain international agenda. ICLEI shared an update on the state of COP26 on Climate Change and COP15 on Biodiversity being postponed until 2021, and the 2020 HLPF suffering heavy modifications. Updates on the state of the 3rd Local and Regional Governments’ Forum were presented, with the constituency agreeing on placing the focus in this year’s iteration of the HLPF on the framework of the SDGs and its transformative potential in reconstructing the world after the pandemic.

The current outbreak has shed a light on some of the deficiencies of our current multilateral model. UN75, the consultation on the state of multilateralism, was seen by all the networks as a strategic element of advocacy for our constituency in 2020 since our movement is convinced on the power of bringing local voices to the global conversation, and of shaping the world through a more inclusive, diverse system of governance based on multilateral cooperation and multilevel governance.

Our constituency is set to produce a draft report on how the state of multilateralism will be in 2045, and how to bring about the future that local and regional governments imagine through a multilateral model that responds to the dreams and expectations of our communities, and only if all stakeholders take collective responsibility to make this happen.

UCLG shared the idea to hold a UN75 consultation amongst the Networks of the Global Taskforce. Participants from ICLEI and the Global Parliament on Mayors agreed that a clear response from our end on the steps to take towards multilateralism would contribute to solidify our position towards the UN, and that a new multilateralism is needed now.