- Cities Alliance
This side event will discuss how the different global sustainability agendas- including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) and New Urban Agenda (NUA)- relate and connect to each other in the urban context of secondary cities; impact on enabling environments (institutional, legal, financial) for urban sustainability at the national and local levels, and offer opportunities for the engagement of sub-national governments and local actors in follow-up and review mechanisms. The goal is to help construct clear guidance that uses and promotes these global sustainability agendas in a more coherent fashion; and, equally important, that promotes the common understanding, better mobilisation and collaboration so essential for their effective implementation and follow-up and review at the national and sub-national levels. National and sub-national governments, from the different regions in which the Cities Alliance is engaged and with different institutional, legal and financial environments will share their experience on the implementation of these global sustainability agendas. The success of the global agendas will substantially rely on the capacity to leverage the actions already undertaken in cities by local leaders and actors. In many secondary cities, a combination of inadequate resources, ineffective policy choices and poorly-managed rapid urbanisation has long influenced their capacity to plan for and guide equitable and sustainable urban growth.
There is an urgent need to foster clarity and common purpose around what can be codified as the global sustainability agendas. This comprehensive framework consists of different global agreements, the most important of which are the 2030 Agenda, as the overarching framework; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development; the Paris Climate Change Agreement; the World Humanitarian Summit; and the NUA.
To varying degrees,these agendas provide frameworks for action relevant to secondary cities, both as areas of concern and as important development actors. In the field of sustainable urban development, the number of global agreements with high importance is partly perceived as an extra burden overwhelming national and sub-national decision-makers. Different meaning, value and importance is attached to one or other of the agreements, often out of confusion or ignorance, but sometimes in order to promote one or more particular agenda. By way of example: (i) The association of urban development and cities with SDG 11 significantly understates the many other SDGs and targets that are indispensable to urban and territorial sustainability; as well as the potential of the urban lens to accelerate the implementation of other SDGs; and (ii) since its adoption, the NUA has often been presented with unclear articulation with other relevant global agreements, including the SDGs.
In the view of the Cities Alliance and its members, it is essential to bring some clarity and objectivity to this discussion. The Cities Alliance Secretariat coordinates a multi-stakeholder Joint Work Programme for members and partners to share understanding, exchange tools, and collaborate towards the integrated implementation, follow-up and review of the SDGs and the NUA in and with cities.