The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, launched on 6th October his Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments, through its first hybrid meeting among its 20 members. This first meeting offered an opportunity to exchange on strategic topics pertaining to local and regional governments’ engagement and action in relation to recovery measures from multiple and overlapping crises and advancing international agreements and standards, including on sustainable development, gender equality, social inclusion, climate action, the new urban agenda, and human rights.
The establishment of the Advisory Group, whose creation was proposed in Our Common Agenda, right after the 2023 SDG Summit and in the run-up to the 2024 Summit of the Future, represents a historical achievement in the process of building a structural engagement of the local and regional government constituency with the United Nations.
The Advisory Group will work over a one-year period and meet with the Secretary-General on three occasions to inform on local and regional governments’ dimensions for consideration in preparatory processes of the Summit of the Future. It will therefore serve as a mechanism to engage contributions from sub-national stakeholders and enhance coordination and collaboration between cities, regions, nations, and international processes, to support course corrections and identify resources for the delivery of the SDGs with impact, scale, and speed.
The Advisory Group is expected to contribute to the Summit of the Future through several deliverables, among others:
The Advisory Group encompasses 15 representatives of local and regional governments, nominated by the Global Taskforce, and leaders from five countries — Colombia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines and Spain — with responsibilities or recognized expertise on multi-level governance. Pilar Cancela Rodríguez, State Secretary for International Cooperation in Spain, and Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick, President of Nouakchott Region in Mauritania, were appointed co-Chairs of the Group. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) will provide Secretariat support to the Group.
It will also consult with platforms that advance local government engagement, including those led by local or regional governments, Member States, or UN entities, such as the World Assembly on Local and Regional Governments, Advisory Committee for Sustainable Urbanization, United Nations Advisory Committee on Local Authorities (UNACLA), the Local 2030 Coalition of the Decade of Action and the Local and Regional Governments Forum.
Members of the Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments:
The article was originally published here.