United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Local Authorities

OWG 11, 5-9 May Session
Local Authorities’ Major Group statement
Dear Co-Chairs, Member States and colleagues,
Let us first express our appreciation of the great effort of inclusion you have made in this
document where many of the views of Major groups and stakeholders have been taken into
We’re glad to see that Sustainable Cities and human settlements remain at the core of the
priorities of the agenda of the OWG. As you know, the main request of our constituency is
to have a stand-alone goal on sustainable urbanization in the future Post-2015 development
agenda. This, we are convinced, will contribute to a great mobilization of local and subnational
authorities, which are key stakeholders in implementing the sustainable
development agenda.
In that regard, we are glad to see local governments referred to as partners of inclusive and
participatory decision making processes. It is in territories that the basis for inclusive,
equitable and democratic sustainable development will be achieved.
In that regard, we would like to acknowledge the reference to local and subnational
governments as partners of inclusive and participatory decision making processes. And
although note they do not appear under the rule of law and capable institutions, as in
previous document. The competence, capacity and accountability of local and subnational
governments will be crucial in the implementation of the SDG’s.
The basic guiding principle of subsidiarity must be promoted as a vehicle to strengthen
democracy and basic services provision.
Building on Rio+20, we invite the OWG to define the “appropriate means of
implementation”, taking into account a multilevel and multistakeholders’ approach -
ensuring the designation of appropriate implementers and providing them with the adequate
legal, technical and financial capacities. Regarding local and subnational governments large
contribution to achieving goals and targets, specific financial mechanisms should be
developed and implemented at national levels. Strengthened domestic resources, tax
collection and public expenditure efficiency should be implemented at all levels, as proposed
in target “o” in focus area 15.
In addition, we would like to remember the crucial importance of a stand-alone goal to
“build sustainable cities and human settlements” to also address climate change and
resilience, equity and sustainable mobility. Only by focusing in territorial spatial planning,
and specially the linkages to rural areas, will allow a necessary integrated-territorial
approach if we are to truly achieve a set of SDGs, particularly in regards to transport and
inter-municipal displacement.
Furthermore we would like to call for targets that address the multi-thematic and integrated
possibilities of a goal on sustainable cities and human settlements including specificities of
the rural areas but also of the urban areas:
 The focus on sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition should also address
food transportation, and the connectivity between urban and rural areas, ensuring
territorial cohesion.
 Cities also present particular challenges for provision for water, sanitation, drainage,
solid waste collection and waste-water management, given their large population
concentrations and high densities. There needs to be recognition of the difference
between rural and urban contexts (and thus the means by which needs are met).
The high density of urban settings requires other provision means for universal
access to drinking water than rural areas. The same applies for sanitation and access
to good quality toilets and hand washing facilities.
 We would further suggest promoting heritage, diversity, creativity and knowledge as
a driver and enabler of sustainable development of all cities and territories, and
protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage.
 Under economic growth, employment and infrastructure, access to quality basic
infrastructures and services should not only be guaranteed to 100% of rural
populations but also to urban populations, especially the billion urban dwellers living
in informal settlements and working in informal sector that are facing an enormous
deficit in infrastructure and service provision.
 The improvement of energy efficiency, in buildings, industry, agriculture and
transport, as the use of renewable energy should be ensured both in rural and urban
We remain available to further work with you on the SDGs and thank you for your attention.