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DSG/SM/1726
26 April 2022

People Closest to Sustainable Development Challenges Best Positioned to Produce Solutions, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Special Meeting on Urbanization

(Delayed for technical reasons)

Following is the text of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s video message to the Economic and Social Council special meeting on Sustainable Urbanization and the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda, in New York on 21 April:

It is a pleasure to be with you here today for the opening of the Economic and Social Council special meeting on Sustainable Urbanization and the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is closely tied to urbanization trends.  I welcome the President of the Council’s invitation to assess the implementation of the New Urban Agenda from the perspective of themes he has prioritized during his tenure — notably inequality and United Nations reform.

The New Urban Agenda includes measures to secure land tenure, promote affordable housing, create public space, enhance mobility and provide services that are accessible to all, leaving no one — and no place — behind.  COVID-19 deepened existing inequalities and created new vulnerabilities in cities, making the New Urban Agenda more important than ever.

The New Urban Agenda predated the United Nations development system reform, yet its spirit of partnerships and integration is central to all efforts to accelerate the delivery of the reforms.  Indeed, the New Urban Agenda calls for practices that offer United Nations country teams opportunities to establish new ways of working. It underscores the importance of a systems approach that brings together different sectors and actors.

The Local2030 Coalition for the Decade of Action seeks to mobilize the support of national Governments, private industry, local governments and various non-State organizations together with the United Nations system to coordinate action at the local level to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It is built on the premise that the people closest to the challenges for sustainable development are best positioned to solve them and that multi-level and multi-stakeholder partnerships are essential to ensuring results.  It is one example of how the United Nations system can come together to reduce inequalities in partnership with key stakeholders.

Local is the space to connect all the dots — and cities can spearhead innovations to bridge the inequalities gaps, deliver climate action and ensure a green and inclusive COVID-19 recovery.  I encourage all of you to support the Coalition and spare no effort to make the New Urban Agenda a reality.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 and its synergies with other Sustainable Development Goals position the New Urban Agenda as a road map for accelerating the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development.  Sustainable Development Goal 11 proposes making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

I thank you for your attention and look forward to fruitful deliberations in this Economic and Social Council Special Meeting.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.