UCLG Co-President Roland Ries invited to participate in COP13 on addressing the challenges of land degradation to present the “Strasbourg Declaration”

The 13th edition of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) is taking place from 6 to 16 September 2017 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (China). 

In line with the adoption of the “Strasbourg Declaration” of non-state actors at the Desertif'actions Summit held in Strasbourg on 27 and 28 June 2017, Roland Ries participated in the high-level ministerial segment of COP13, both as Mayor of Strasbourg and Co-President of the international organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).

Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg (France) and UCLG Co-President, participated in the high-level segment on 12 September along with ministers and delegates from the States Parties and four local elected leaders (including the Mayor of Bonn, host city of the next COP23 on climate change in November). In particular, the Mayor of Strasbourg stressed the key role that local governments must play in ensuring the success of an effective ecological transition that is both urgent and necessary.

It is crucial for national governments to implement real and effective decentralization policies that give local governments the responsibility and financial means to bring together the climate and development agendas at the right scale, that is to say the territorial scale, as close as possible to the populations and actors on the ground” declared Roland Ries

On this occasion, Ries further presented the outcomes of the 2017 DésertifActions Summit that took place in Strasbourg in June as well as some good practices. As Co-President of UCLG, he delivered the following key messages:  

  • Empower local and regional governments to make them stronger and more accountable, and broaden their competences to achieve sustainable development for the benefit of all.
  • Implement strategic planning to guarantee a clear vision of the development of cities and human settlements.
  • Renew the social contract, putting the Right to the City at the heart of the New Urban Agenda.
  • Unleash the potential of territories to encourage the implementation of sustainable local economic and environmental policies and to protect the planet.
  • Rethink local governments’ finance mechanisms to make cities (and their management) more sustainable.
  • Improve local and regional governments’ capacity to manage risks and crises. 
  • Guarantee local and regional governments a place in global discussions and cooperate in a spirit of solidarity.

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