The Localization of the Post-2015 Agenda global consultation process culminated on the 14th and 15th October with a High Level Global dialogue in Turin attended by eighty representatives of national, regional and local governments, UN agencies, international institutions, civil society organizations (including women, youth, and slum dwellers), the private sector, academia, foundations and development partners from more than 30 countries.
Hosted by the municipality of Turin and the national government of Italy, the event was opened by the Mayor of Turin, Piero Fassino, the representatives of three host countries of the dialogue –the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, the Minister Secretary General of Planning and Development of Ecuador and the Deputy Director General for Development Cooperation of Italy–, and the representatives of the three co-leaders of the global consultation, UNDP, UN Habitat and the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments for the Post-2015 Agenda toward Habitat III. The representatives of all national governments agreed that, in order to reduce poverty and inequalities and ensure an integrated territorial approach to social, economic and environmental challenges. the Post-2015 Agenda will need strong local ownership and effective collaboration between different levels of government and local stakeholders.
During the opening ceremony the representatives of UNDP and UN Habitat expressed the hope that the recommendations of the dialogue will influence the intergovernmental negotiations on the Post-2015 Agenda next year, and that the role of local authorities in mobilizing local stakeholders and harmonizing local and national plans will be recognized. The Mayor of Rabat and Treasurer of UCLG, Fathallah Oualalou, who spoke on behalf of the Global Task Force, lauded the spirit of partnership behind the consultation and posed three questions to the participants: do local authorities and local stakeholders have a chance of being heard during the last phase of the intergovernmental negotiations?, how can they contribute to the conference on financing for development in Addis-Ababa in July 2015?, and how can national and local dialogues be improved to support the implementation of the Post-2015 Agenda? Carl Wright, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, acted as master of ceremony on behalf the Global Task Force in the opening and closing ceremony.
The opening session was followed by the presentation of the key messages from the representatives of the thirteen countries where the national consultation was held: Armenia, Burundi, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ghana, Jamaica, Malawi, Philippines, Tajikistan and Tanzania. This session was moderated by Josep Roig, Secretary General of UCLG, and representatives of UNDP and UN-Habitat.
Two panels were held on the second day: 1) the key dimensions for the localization of the Post-2015 Agenda and 2) the challenges of building transformative partnerships to promote linkages between territorial and global approaches. In the first panel, Ghassan Shakaa, Mayor of Nablus, President of the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) and representative of the Global Task Force on the consultation Advisory Committee, stressed the role of peace and security as preconditions of sustainable development. Simoneta Paganini, from the National Association of Italian Municipalities, emphasized the need to increase decentralized cooperation and the role of international municipal networks in the localization of the global agenda.
In the second panel, Albert Anicet Akoa, Mayor of Ngoulemakong and Vice President of the United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (UCVC), stressed the need for an enabling institutional environment for local authorities and communities. He also called for effective decentralization processes, real fiscal decentralization, a legal framework that encourages participation, and genuine collaboration between different levels of government to unlock the potential of local governments to contribute to the Post-2015 Agenda. Representing the European Commission, Angelo Baglio presented the EU strategy EU of building strategic partnerships with the main local government networks and national local government associations to strengthen their involvement in the development agenda.
The closing session saw the presentation of the final report on the national, regional and global dialogues that have taken place over the past five months. The subsequent debate focused on the way forward for the localization of the agenda. The report on the “Global Consultation on Localizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda” will be sent to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, to contribute to the report he is due to give to the UN General Assembly in November 2014.
During the closing ceremony, Paul Carrasco, Prefect of Azuay and President of ORU-FOGAR, speaking on behalf the Global Task Force, stressed that, for local and regional governments to be able to lead effective and inclusive partnerships at subnational levels, effective local governance and the appropriate distribution of responsibilities and resources between national and sub-national governments to avoid overlapping and inefficient use of resources, are required.
Paul Ladd, Senior Advisor of One UN Secretariat on Post-2015, closed the event with the Communique of the Global Dialogue. The Communique calls on national governments and the UN to: strongly advocate for the localization of the agenda in the intergovernmental negotiations; recognize the need for multi-level and multi-stakeholder approaches that allow all relevant stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the development agenda of their territories, and acknowledge the role of decentralized development cooperation. It also stresses the importance of enabling environments that unlock the development potential of local and regional governments and local stakeholders, and underlines the importance of sustainable financing mechanisms and capacity building programmes to support the localization of the Agenda.
UNDP, UN-Habitat and the Global Taskforce committed to continue to collaborate with national and local partners to strengthen the global partnership for the Localization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.