Local, Regional Leaders Commit to New Urban Agenda
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During the third and final session of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, over 385 local and regional leaders committed to the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the outcome document of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

The leaders expressed their commitment to lead action for global sustainability by localizing international policy agendas.

They called for harnessing the NUA to address the urban and territorial dimensions of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).

16 October 2016: During the third and final session of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, over 385 local and regional leaders committed to the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the outcome document of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). The leaders represent global networks of local and regional governments. The third session of the Second World Assembly is also known as the World Mayors Assembly.

The World Assembly was the mechanism through which the local and regional government constituency provided formal input to the NUA. The Assembly was convened by the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), a coordination mechanism set up in 2013 at the initiative of the former United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) President and Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbaş.

The Second World Assembly took place in three parts. Its first session convened in New York, US, prior to the Habitat III Informal Hearings with Local Authorities Associations, on 15 May 2016. The second session took place during the Fifth UCLG World Congress and the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bogotá, Colombia, on 14 October, where leaders adopted their NUA statement. This third and final session convened in Quito, Ecuador, on 16 October, just prior to Habitat III.

The statement of local and regional leaders celebrates the NUA’s inclusion of a reference to the Right to the City as part of a shared vision of “cities for all.”

The statement of local and regional leaders celebrates the NUA’s inclusion of a reference to the Right to the City as part of a shared vision of “cities for all.” They also welcome UN Member States’ commitment to: ensure appropriate fiscal, political and administrative decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity; promote participatory policy and planning approaches; and take measures to promote women’s full and effective participation at all levels of decision making, including in local governments. They express their commitment to lead local action for global sustainability by localizing international policy agendas, and called for harnessing the NUA to address the urban and territorial dimensions of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable).

At the Assembly, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged mayors’ challenges of managing budgets and meeting immediate demands for housing, transport and other basic services. He called on them to take strong ownership of the urban agenda, noting the crucial part played by cities in curbing carbon emissions, and acknowledging that, “your role is growing by the year.” UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Peter Thompson told mayors that cities “must be in the vanguard of the SDG revolution,” and appealed to those who have not already done so to integrate the SDGs into their city plans, policies and strategies, and to support sustainable, low-carbon and climate-smart investment.

The NUA was adopted by UN Member States on 20 October, at the close of Habitat III. The Agenda includes recommendations to guide urban development policy across the world for the next 20 years. [Statement of the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments to Habitat III] [IISD RS Coverage of Third Session of Second World Assembly] [UN Secretary-General Remarks at Third Session] [GTF Press Release] [World Mayors Assembly Webpage] [IISD RS Story on Habitat III] [IISD RS Story on Second Session of the Second World Assembly] [IISD RS Commentary on First Session of Second World Assembly] [UN Press Release on World Mayors Assembly] [UNGA President Statement at World Mayors Assembly]


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