United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Local Authorities

“Needs of countries in special situations, African countries, LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDs as well as specific challenges facing the middle-income countries”.
Intervention of Local Authorities Major Group
Delivered by Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, ICLEI, LAMG OP
Mr. Co-Chair,
Global warming and rapid increase in urban population will be the two most important, and to a great extent interrelated challenges that countries and people in Africa, SIDS and LDCs will face to ensure growth and prosperity in the post2015 era.
Hence, we would like to encourage delegates to consider sustainable urbanization as one of the priority targets among the sustainable development goals in particular for these countries.
If properly managed and implemented, inclusive, productive, adaptive and resilient cities can become the locomotives for reduction of poverty, minimization of social inequalities, preserve the severely endangered ecosystems and guarantee a decent living for all.
Local authorities major group encourages countries in Africa, SIDS and LDCs to consider a sustainable urbanization as a particular goal, considering the obvious facts that despite its high rate, the current practices of growth are far from bringing prosperity to the people, climate change will exacerbate existing problems for urban and rural people, and the urban population will be at least doubled in the next 20 years with the highest rate in the world.
A specific goal for sustainable urbanization will open vast opportunities of partnerships and capacity building for cities Africa, SIDS and LDCs , majority of which are located in ecologically fragile areas and challenged by a lack of resources, skills and infrastructure.
At this point, we are happy to inform you that local and subnational governments are also preparing themselves for this challenge through their city-to-city networking and collaboration. Durban Adaptation Charter, signed by hundreds of local governments under the leadership eThekwini Municipality in the City of Durban, S. Africa is a particular good practice in this regard. Durban Adaptation Charter guides signatories through 10-action points that promote community and ecosystem based adaptation as progressive policy and programmes that yields both adaptation and mitigation benefits.
On behalf of local authorities major group, we would like to express our readiness to collaborate with Parties and partners to support and scale-up initiatives and programmes like Durban Adaptation Charter to empower inclusive, productive, adaptive and resilient cities as a stand-alone goal within the SDGs for all in the post-2015 development agenda.
In the past 20 years, we succeeded to spread the word of Local Agenda 21 to thousands of communities worldwide. Lets ensure transformation to sustainable cities by adopting a stand-alone urban SDG in the the post2015 UN Development agenda..