E-Discussion on the 2018 ECOSOC Theme

From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities
26 Mar - 12 Apr 2018
Go back to E-Discussion on the 2018 ECOSOC Theme

Published on 26 March 2018 in E-Discussion on the 2018 ECOSOC Theme

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 ECOSOC e-Discussion, this year focusing on the 2018 ECOSOC theme “From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities.”

To take this discussion forward, we propose the following two questions:

  • What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies and what actions can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?
  • How are national and subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions? What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are required, and how can they be built?

We encourage all participants to share concrete national and subnational examples, lessons learned and experiences to feed into policy recommendations and guidance for the 2018 ECOSOC substantive session and beyond.

Comments (105)

Patrick KEULEERS • Director of Governance and Peacebuilding Cluster, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear colleagues,

The 2018 ECOSOC e-Discussion has now come to an end.  We would like to thank all of you for your valuable contributions, ranging from concrete experiences and local examples to global, national and local policy recommendations, ideas and suggestions. The contributions reflect a wide range of perspectives from different actors and regions on how international, national and local actors can work together to translate global commitments into local action and build sustainable and resilient societies and communities.   

Based on your inputs, we have extracted the following main messages and recommendations that have emerged from the e-Discussion:

  • To build sustainable and resilient societies it is best to consider the local level as a key site of delivery, but more importantly, as the reference point for any development action ensuring the full ownership of development agendas, their implementation and monitoring. For that to happen, a clear effort must be made to engage local governments in the implementation of the SDGs, the 2030 Agenda, and related international agreements.
  • In particular, local and regional governments, in coordination with all levels of governance, are vital for promoting sustainable development and building resilient societies in their territories, while facilitating and encouraging the full and active engagement of their communities.
  • Building sustainable and resilient societies at the local level requires the strengthening and deepening of local democracy and decentralization worldwide.
  • Building knowledge and awareness holds the key to fostering sustainable and resilient societies.
  • Sustainable and resilient societies are societies that are able to adapt, evolve and have the capacity to recover quickly from any adversity or risk.
  • Integrating disaster risk reduction across UN system efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can assist in providing practical and tangible ways to bridge the development and humanitarian communities.
  • A greater emphasis on community involvement in needs assessment and in planning, execution and monitoring of SDG activities is necessary, as each individual and actor has a role to play in the achievement of the goals.
  • Developing the capacities of stakeholders and actors in local governance, including civil society and local and sub-national governments, is essential to lead advocacy, resource mobilization, community sensitization as well as implementation and monitoring of plans and projects.
  • To be able to ensure the follow-up of the global agendas, and particularly of the means of implementation, local governments need more disaggregated data on their local communities.
  • Local and regional governments need to be transparent and accountable and must make themselves accessible to their citizens and respond to their needs and priorities, especially with regards to health, education, transport, environment and food security.
  • Local governments require adequate financing mechanisms to build responsive and accountable institutions, and more broadly to drive SDG localization in their territories.
  • New technologies, such as knowledge sharing platforms and Artificial Intelligence, can enable greater understanding and knowledge creation and sharing for sustainable development.
  • To implement a people-centered approach to sustainability and resilience, it is necessary to have a strong commitment by national and local actors underpinned by relevant legal provisions, methodological tools and effective capacities in public institutions, civil society and communities.

A summary of the e-Discussion, including the recommendations for each discussion question is attached.

The summary will also be made available through the ECOSOC website as background to the deliberations during the Council’s High-level Segment in July.

We encourage you to continue engaging in this global discussion here on the Global Dev Hub, on the ECOSOC website, as well as on www.localizingthesdgs.org for access to a wealth of tools and resources on SDG Localization.  

Best regards,

Marion Barthelemy and Patrick Keuleers

Co-Moderators

Patrick KEULEERS • Director of Governance and Peacebuilding Cluster, UNDP at UNDP from United States Moderator

Dear colleagues,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 ECOSOC e-Discussion, this year focusing on the 2018 ECOSOC theme “From global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities.” The e-Discussion will take place from 26 March to 8 April 2018. The e-Discussion provides an opportunity for the wider development community to formulate policy messages and recommendations as inputs into the Council’s deliberations. A summary of the contributions made by the e-Discussion participants will be made available through the ECOSOC website as background to the deliberations during the Council’s High-level Segment in July 2018, and may be channeled into discussions during the Council’s high-level segment.

If the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is to be truly transformative – an Agenda “of the people, for the people, and by the people” – it needs to be implemented and fully realized at the local level. It is at the local level where it can most directly and positively impact people’s lives. One of the biggest paradigm changes emerging from the Agenda is its emphasis on the promotion of integrated solutions to complex development challenges. The local spheres remain, for the vast majority of men and women, the most accessible level of engagement with public authority and state institutions. Local governments stand in a unique position to identify and respond to development needs and gaps and be responsible for a wide range of functional responsibilities that go beyond basic service provision. But local governments cannot succeed on their own. They need to engage the private sector, civil society organizations and academia to assist in transforming the global goals into local realities, while coordinating with all other levels of governance.

As we are in the third year of implementing the SDGs and the second year of the New Urban Agenda. It is important that Governments (local, sub-national and national), Civil Society, private sector, academia and development partners make a critical review of what has been, and what remains to be, accomplished.

To take this discussion forward, we propose the following two questions:

  • What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies and what actions can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?

  • How are national and subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions? What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are required, and how can they be built?

We encourage all participants to share concrete national and subnational examples, lessons learned and experiences to feed into policy recommendations and guidance for the 2018 ECOSOC substantive session and beyond.

We look forward to a lively and engaged discussion.

Best regards,

Marion Barthelemy and Patrick Keuleers

Co-Moderators

Melody Mirzaagha • Representative at Baha'i International Community from United States

Dear Marion, Patrick and contributors to the discussion so far,

 Thank you all for the lively discussion on this critical question of sustainability and resilience at the local level.

 I am reminded of a colleague who recently asked a representative of one Member State what she saw as the greatest challenge in building resilient and self-reliant local communities. Without hesitation she said, “Getting down to the people - the real, actual people out in the fields and in the shops.” Her organization, she explained, typically worked with local governments and relied on them to take programming down to the grassroots level. But there was always a danger, she knew, that that wouldn’t actually happen.

 In that regard, I’d like to ask the other participants in this e-discussion - particularly those at the regional, national, and international levels - how they have been able to take efforts to the countless places where daily life is lived by local populations. What has this looked like? What mechanisms have been involved? What narratives have been generated?

 For their part, Baha’i communities have been approaching these questions partly through the lens of community and the conscious creation of new and (hopefully) more constructive patterns of community life. This was a theme that was touched on in my office’s statement to the HABITAT III conference. A few thoughts along these lines:   

 “Prominent among [elements contributing to flourishing human settlements] is an explicit concern with reviving the concept of community. The idea is virtually ubiquitous in its most basic form, of course; we speak of communities of countless types and varieties. The lived reality of many, however, is not that of a cohesive and interlinked whole, but rather an atomistic collection of largely unrelated parts. This will need to be replaced by communities and neighborhoods in which inhabitants are friendly, trusting of one another, unified in purpose, and attentive to moral and emotional well-being. Mutual commitment and an overarching sense of shared identity will need to expand as more and more of those living in proximity to one another work to transcend barriers that previously kept them separated.

 “If community is to further the progress of society in its own right – complementing the roles played by individuals and social institutions – a much more expansive conception of community life must be actively embraced. New patterns of action and interaction will have to be built, and new forms of relationship and association constructed. Experimentation, trial and error, and a robust process of learning about the nature of lasting cultural change will be vital – all of which require effort and no small amount of sacrifice. Yet as this work continues, new capacities that facilitate progress toward those very goals will come to the fore. Among these, the ability to forge consensus across a diverse population and foster collective commitment to shared priorities; to strengthen vision of a common future and devise practical steps to pursue it; to shape and assess action according to an emerging collective conscience about what is right and wrong, acceptable and intolerable, beneficial and harmful. These are outcomes of significant social change at the local level, but are also drivers of it.”

 Many thanks for any experiences that can be shared, and best regards to all.

 Melody Mirzaagha

Representative to the United Nations

Baha’i International Community

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Marion and Patrick,

Let me start in simple terms.I had been in to the discussions starting 2008 and again 2011.Started with MGD,and Having discussed HABITAT-3[as an Engineer]were in to discussions on GAPMIL [media information and Literacy]. Many such and several others.

Our goals are 17 nos.Starting with no hunger,what and how we act locally in cities in rural areas in provinces on How best to make a CSA[climate smart agriculture-group of FAO].So i had told that we need to save water for humans by using dip irrigation and grow more crops.Use natural pesticides ,natural fertilizers.Provide geomembrane water ponds to save water losses in soils.Use small plastic pipes to see that water reaches the crop areas with out loss.Prevent Malaria,avoid having bad housing and provide disaster resistant houses.

Education,make it more on practical with more usage of tablets,mobiles and computers,what ever it could be carpentry,agriculture,storage of milk,animal preservation etc,avoid Neglected Tropical & Infectious Diseases.Protect humans.

Provide solar power for water wells for irrigation and storage and use in nights for small towns and rural areas.

Information about such achievements shall flow on television and papers.

Marion Barthelemy • Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs from United States Moderator

Thank you for your comment. Would you be in a position to provide specific examples from your experience on water consumption, natural pesticides/fertilizers, improving access to education through the use of technology and solar power?

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

marion.barthelemy In India,we measure the water in canals,in storage reservoirs  by Cubic feet or cubic meters.Hence even the flow velocities also gives us in volumes which is the world standard.The consumption is in liters [1000 liters equals a cubic meter or a ton,based on density].Hence the human and crop requirements are based on the water requirements.Thus this precious item is quantified in world and i have enclosed my paper which i have presented at American Metrology Symposium at Austin .,Texas on 8 th Jan,2018.

Natural pesticides are made mostly from the Neem ,others are under trials.Pesticides are Rock phosphate ground ,and directly applied,also natural soil compost mixture[soil and vegetable and such organic waste composted in pits] to vitalize the soils is widely used.

We have adopted under many schemes,including From Institution of Engineers,Engineering council of India[i am a fellow member] and other bodies to give digital training to upcoming engineers and encourage them to go to villages for three months[where from they came-generally]and find any item which they can call makes Innovation,which can change the lives and systems.

As far as Solar Electricity,India has earmarked for almost 25% of requirements under the solar energy.We all can find some street lights on highways connected to solar energies,so also some villages are connected to the solar energy.Now they use the power[which falls under item 7 of SDGs]for connecting pumps and energise their computers.

Robert Athickal • Co-ordinator at tarumitra from India

Hi friends, 

Personally I have been involved in challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies campaigns last 30 years. Working with over 300,000 students finally our vision is being concretised inside a small forest planted by 12-15 year old students in Patna,  Bihar India. We live inside a farm where we are practising 100 percent organic farming and propagating the spirit among a net work of over 2000 schools. Slow work but very rewarding. 

Since pesticides and chemical fertilizers have ruined most of the cultivable lands in the country, our effort along with the local govenment is to reach out to the peer group and get them involved, both in cultivating in a central location as well as persuading them to engage in a sustainable kitchen garden at home or in the schools. 

Starting this year we are actively propagating the sustainable kitchen gardens from our State of Bihar in India. 

Regards, www.tarumitra.org ​​​​​​​Bob with the students

Marion Barthelemy • Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs from United States Moderator

Thank you for sharing this initiative to educate students about organic farming. I understand that the organization also works to improve roads and promote a cleaner environment. Could you share how the organization has succeeded in replicating such initiatives in other parts of the country?

Dr. Audrey POMIER FLOBINUS • Président & Fondateur at Humanity For The World from Martinique

Bonsoir à tous,

Trouvez ci-joint ma piètre contribution pour cette thématique.

Quels sont les défis actuels et émergents à la construction de sociétés durables et résilients et quelles mesures peuvent être prises, en particulier au niveau local pour relever ces défis?

Quels sont les défis actuels et émergents à la construction de sociétés durables et résilients ?

Le grand défi est de rendre accessible l’information pour tous malgré la diversité culturelle, religieuse, des idéologies sociétales…dans laquelle nous vivons

Le grand défi est celui de la réconciliation des peuples de la terre

Le grand défi est de parvenir à considérer un Homme dans sa globalité pour ce qu’il représente pour l’Humanité en faisant abstractions de préjugés

Le grand défi est de savoir définir une société durable et résiliente, adaptable à chaque société, chaque population

Le grand défi est de fédérer les peuples autours des mêmes priorités

Quelles mesures peuvent être prises, en particulier au niveau local pour relever ces défis?

Promouvoir l’information au niveau de toutes les strates de la société.

Harmonisation des bonnes pratiques

Mettre l’amour au cœur de chaque action pour passer outre les difficultés culturelles, sociale, religieuse…etc

Redéfinir la place de l’Homme quant au développement durable de la société

Développer la philosophie pacifique dès le plus jeune âge

Redéfinir des échelles de valeurs pour quant à la définition d’une une société durable et résiliente

Proposer des conférences-débats pour préparer la population locale au changement

Intégrer les médias, les cinéastes pour une bonne diffusion des effets attendus par une société durable et résiliente.

Faire appel aux associations, aux ONG pour plus de proximité avec le peuple, et fluidifier l’accès à l’information

Comment les institutions nationales et infranationales traduisant les objectifs de développement durable en actions concrètes? Quels cadres institutionnel pour le développement durable sont nécessaires, et comment peuvent-ils être construit?

Les institutions nationales et infranationales traduisant les objectifs de développement durable en actions concrètes en mettant en place :

Des plateformes informatiques d’information sur le sujet,

En faisant la promotion du développement durable et de ses effet via l’instauration de lois diverses et varié (en accordant des primes pour l’achat pour des véhicules moins polluant, en pratiquant des écotaxes, en faisant la distributions d’ampoule basse consommation, en incitant la création d’association, d’ONG en direction des objectifs attendus par le programme de développement durable transversal via des subventions diverses et variées, en utilisant les médias pour la promotion des objectifs attendus, en sollicitant des discussions avec le publiques par la voie des associations expertes en la question.

Quels cadres institutionnel pour le développement durable sont nécessaires, et comment peuvent-ils être construit?

Le cadre institutionnel idéal pour le développement durable transversal envisagé serait la mise en place d’un MINISTERE DU DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE TRANSVERSAL, mieux adapté aux objectifs transversaux à la place du ministère du développement durable actuel qui est principalement orienté vers l’écologie d’ailleurs, il s’intitule MINISTERE DE LA TRANSITION ECOLOGIQUE ET SOLIDAIRE.

Comment peuvent-ils être construits?

En France, notre président est le seul habilité avec son conseil d’état à pouvoir envisager la transformation du ministère actuel en celui proposé ci-dessus. A mon après la prochaine réunion ECOSOC 2018 au regard des objectifs visés, il n’aura peut-être pas le choix.

Audrey POMIER FLOBINUS

Humanity For The World

Kadidia • Teacher at IB from United States

Tres bon commentaire qui me semble, idealiste au vu des realites sur le terrain.

Neanmoins, la promotion du developpement durable reste une reelle priorite sachant toutefois, que les lois ne servent a rien si elles ne sont pas mises a execution.

Dr. Audrey POMIER FLOBINUS • Président & Fondateur at Humanity For The World from Martinique

Très Cher Kadidia, 

Je comprends parfaitement votre vision néanmoins, pour parvenir à mettre en place cette réalité qui vous semble aujourd'hui idéaliste, il faut commencer par y croire, par penser positivement.

Je crois qu'en chacun de nous (même chez les personnes d'apparences, de comportements abjectes), il y a une étincelle de bonté, d'humanité, qu'il s'agit de faire grandir, d'entretenir.

C'est en montrant l'exemple, que nous y parviendrons.

N'oubliez pas que les pensées que nous émettons sont créatrices.

Ce type d'exercice, d'échanges en ligne est justement destinée à porter cette vision au sommet du monde.

Bien à vous.

Dr. Audrey POMIER FLOBINUS

Humanity For The World

"Un Amour inconditionnel, au centre de chaque action pour une évolution vers un monde meilleur "

"Faisons de l’Amour un étendard mondial"

Dearest Kadidia,

I understand perfectly your vision nevertheless, to manage to put in place this reality which seems to you today idealist, it is necessary to begin by to believe there, to think positively.

I believe that in each of us (even in people of appearances, abject behavior), there is a spark of kindness, of humanity, which it is a question of making grow, to maintain.

It is by showing the example, that we will succeed.

Remember that the thoughts we emit are creative.

This type of exercise, online exchanges is precisely intended to bring this vision to the top of the world.

Yours truly.

Dr. Audrey POMIER FLOBINUS

Humanity For The World

"Unconditional love, at the center of every action for an evolution towards a better world"

"Let's make love a global banner"

Erick Velázquez • PhD Researcher at VU Amsterdam from Mexico

An important issue that touches both questions is the appropriateness of indicators for measuring the outcomes of local efforts. I wonder how many countries would have the capabilities and the know-how to adjust their methodology to a local scale. Generating data in a traditional and centralized fashion would be highly time consuming, so local actors should also be incorporated in process of measuring the progress of the different targets. This is an area for synergies between local officials, practitioners and Academia.

Marion Barthelemy • Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs from United States Moderator

Thank you for your comment. Synergies among local officials, practitioners and academia in the measuring the progress of different targets, using relevant indicators are essential elements in evaluating the outcomes of local efforts.

Dr .Roland Bardy Sr. • Associate at Centre pour le développement socio-éco-nomique, Genève (www.csend.org) from Switzerland

Supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities requires the support of businesses. Businesses both maintain and use public goods - a topic that is often neglected in the discussion.  From the intra- and intergenerational aspect of the Brundtland definition we can deduce that public goods usage must be restricted to consuming the “fruit” that is generated from natural and social resources while the resource itself, the “capital”, must be maintained. A very illustrative parallel to business systems is what firms practice with regard to the capital invested by a shareholder of financial institutions: they cannot consume their capital; they can only consume the income that is generated this capital. Capital maintenance is one objective of business management. But businesses also use natural and social capitals; hence, they must preserve and maintain them and, if necessary, increase and expand them. This is, at least in part, accounted for by paying taxes and excise, and by duties like those levied on emission. What is not accounted for, yet, is the magnitude of public goods usage. There has been a long debate amongst economists on whether public goods can and should be expressed in monetary terms. Yet, monetary valuation is the language of business. Linking sustainable  performance at the business level to public goods usage will depend on the co-operation of businesses and national statistics to test the feasibility of monetary indicators for both the micro- and the macro-levels. If there is no attempt by statistical offices to set up indicators for that purpose, and if businesses make no attempts to exhibit numerically how they contribute to preserving and expanding the societal commons. There will be no base for  argumentation and there will be no data to confront the  ever-growing agitation from pressure groups who do not have data, either. But they get heard, anyhow, because businesses and governments remain silent.   

DR TIMOTHY BARKER • Founder at DIYNGO from United Kingdom

Hello Everybody,

Though short on time myself I would just like to quickly add that there is the issue of the time it takes for global policy to TRICKLE DOWN to more local actions? I have noticed that current funding models are short term yet policy formation from the global agenda to the local level can take decades to emerge. It has to be effectively translated to have meaning for local communities which inevitably can take some time to happen. I will say more later but would like to thank all for the discussion.

Best wishes,

Tim.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

From my side i am neither making an argument nor continuing with any persons ideology. First nations have to embark on the crop area,irrigable land,water,water management.Population,their means of earning,export systems.If "Chat"from Ethiopia is to be exported then they have to see how they balance production and sales.Similar is Mangos,Tamarind,and Turmeric and such crops of highlands.How ever they also needs to find how to meet locally the routine food such as maize,wheat etc.A well connected TAB with the village worker can feed data to national grid.

This can be done by using an agronomist or a village officer.Irrigation is normally attended in normal cases by the team it self.So the small regional data is at the foot hold of local councils.Integrate it to provinces and states.

Dr.Khurram Malik • Executive Director at Hope Worldwide Pakistan from New Zealand

Hi Everyone , 

I am here today would like to bring very critical and serious issue for this decade which is forced migration in many countries. I would say that "Man made Disaster" Like persecution ,and discrimation which is causing damage to the globally Peace and sustainable development. We are focusing on building resilient societies but in order to build resilient of the people nations should focus how to address root cause issues . I know this is huge debate.

Actions at local level should be taken are :

Involving Governments to develop policies and implementing plan how to deal with local problem .

Secondly , Intervention of local and International civil societies to implement such plan at local level.

Thirdly Introducing and educating local bodies about methodologies that how to deal with current or local issues 

khaled moh'd ALRASHDAN • Economic Consultant at AIHG from Jordan

Dear all Brothers

All aproches for this dilouge linked directly most of time to the scurity situation at local level, for example if we lost security in our socities how we can implement the Development Action plans.

Beside that we see the cooperation between all players at internal and external levels so week, the leaders in MENA region focus to defeat torrist that take most of our resources that should use in development programes and we don't got any real assistant to avoid problems at economic level, that enhanced the abilities of terrorsit entities beside israil agrassive action when all international Agencies just watch, specially NGOs

This is quick partcipation from my side and thier are more details if we can the chance to disscuse it in some kind of sumit.

we so happy to share you this kind of dilogue

With Best wishes to all

Regards

Dr khaled ALRASHDAN

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Yes The countries either in conflict or near conflict were regions of Humanitarian assistance,where no progress in living conditions can be made and some times they deteriorate.These are the places where from migration was happening.

But as modern times started for making business and empire the migration has become a tool due to several issues,including lack of will from governments,and some times a directionless half way job done by a regime that has to demit the office.

In India it was a reckless land acquisition that made service sector lucrative than agriculture and rural living,that held for migration to cities from there to other countries.

Now the countries feel that some of the products developed by the persons of their national origin have to be bought at high rates from the other nations.

In all such we the policy makers are playing with an extremely intolerant issue of "Culture and Heritage"[UNESCO].That divide will spill fire more than the beans in longer years.

Rantastia Nur Alangan • Distance Education Program- Universal institute of Professional Management at Universal institute of Professional Management from Indonesia

Poverty targeting, defined as the use of policy instruments to channel resources to a target group identified below an agreed national poverty line, is used by all governments in Asia in one form or another, either to ‘protect’ the poor from adverse shocks or ‘promote’ their long-run move out of poverty. Such measures typically include reaching the poor with credit, food, employment, access to health and other social facilities and occasionally cash transfers.

The UIPM has conducted surveys of the experiences with poverty targeting in anumber of large economies in South Asia (India), South East Asia (Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia) as well as in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In some of these countries poverty targeting has a relatively lengthy history stemming from longstanding social welfare concerns (India and to some extent the Philippines and PRC), whilst elsewhere it originated principally in the late 1990’s in response to the impact of the regional Financial Crisis (Thailand and Indonesia).

Errors of targeting can in principle arise for several reasons: inaccurate specification of who are in fact poor; poorly designed programs that do not reach the target group even if it is known accurately; and poor governance in the implementation of schemes so that benefits leak to the non-poor. Since targeting has been widely used over the past two decades there is now a relatively long ecord of experience that can be surveyed.

Experiences in the five case-study countries suggest that errors have been very significant, leakage rates have been high and many of the poor have not been covered, with the implication that in some cases these programs have had only a minor impact on poverty reduction. One cannot conclude from this, however, that no special efforts should be made to promote or protect the poor, rather that the impact and costeffectiveness of all schemes need to be reviewed regularly.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

As for India,the Identity is defined with the UID [adhar-identification of person based on universal identification system].Many schemes are now based on the individual address/bank account-direct credit system,and giving work in lean period of agriculture all attached with the banks and adhar.Which is more than 95% sucess till now.We have in borders migrant workers,who either refuse to go back,or who wants to be enrolled as citizens[they can be enrolled for time being as a migrant only].Some politics do happen in such regions.Other wise the subsidies on rice ,gas,fertilisers go direct to such accounts.

Abdurazak Hassan • Local Governance at UNDP from Somalia

Very Good theme,I can something in the Horn Africa Specifically the Somali inhabited areas. Climate change, decreasing and erratic rain falls make the lives of the rural and the nomadic population difficult, when the crop fails and animals perish people emigrate to the nearby towns and cities, the livelihood of these communities is almost destroyed,  urbanization is said to be good for economic development but when unskilled and uneducated nomads and farmers emigrate to the towns then urban poverty increases.

Sometimes the small scale farmers are unable to compete with cheap inorganic crop, fruits and vegetables imported into the country.

The water run off the surface of the sun burned earth, exacerbated by the deforestation with charcoal export and local use in  an already semi arid land. Due to lack of road networks vehicles are being driven in every corner these unpaved roads allow rain water to flow instead, and after some years turn into gullies. there is a place I remember the grass could hide a standing camel and today it is just the sand. The lives of the rural and the nomadic population in the horn Africa are increasingly getting desperate. 

What can be done? yes something can be done, but can the UN do?   One first step  could be considering charcoal export a crime. cheaper energy availability, solar koocing and gas have been tried but it is not enough. Water catchments in small scale investments were created by the UN and in some places by business people of the local communities.

what is needed here now is supporting the governments to be able to make bilateral agreements, and accessing bigger investments in projects to stop water flowing into the oceans and seas. Community awareness and civil society organization conducting campaign against charcoal burning and deforestation.  Experts on environment, environmental engineering and ecologists can come up with some solutions. somebody who had never been to the area may think that it has been like this always, but it has not. Then develop some kind strategic plan with clear timeline and results in areas that are peaceful and can be monitored and evaluated.

support local governments register number displaced people that move into the town and provide immediate support, skill training for the youth who recently moved into the town from the nomadic or rural area. Nomadic movement can be reduced to make them more resilient, this can be done if the nomadic can also be supported with alternative livelihood such as small scale business activity, farming or fishing.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Sir,Fortunately i worked in 2001-03 in Somali part of Ethiopia[Near Hargessa][my novel NANI-Free e-book-is based on some experiences at that place].The area is flat.The soils are some what porous,gravel type.The terrains are slopy.So protect a catchment and some how to get underground streams are some what problematic,but can definitely be done by using the so called geomembranes.Let us hope some one concentrates on the ground water also.

Abdurazak Hassan • Local Governance at UNDP from Somalia

s_n_surya There should be some sort strategy, as the number of trees and grass decrease then floods and winds wash away the delicate fertile soil on the surface. When it rains it floods and the dry rivers sweep vehicles and add to the seas or the oceans,  and after six months if it does not rain there is a severe drought. 

Oliver Cam • VP External Affairs at Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry Tacloban-Leyte Inc. from Philippines

Hello everyone. I would like to share with you all what we in our local chamber of commerce are doing as one of the practical and hard lessons learned here at ground zero of super typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda) in Tacloban City and the rest of the Eastern Visayas region:

Our chamber is actively pushing for the more widespread adoption of Business Continuity Planning/Management (BCP/BCM) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME's), who comprise around 99% of all registered businesses in Eastern Visayas, thru the following concrete actions:

1. Education/awareness campaign on business resilience and business continuity management/planning (BCM/BCP) thru the simplified half-day business continuity planning (BCP) orientation/workshop specifically tailor-fit for MSME's. MSME owners/officers will be oriented and taught how to complete a simplified BC Roadmap Checklist. This will start next year 2018 with Eastern Visayas as the pilot area in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) GoNegosyo Centers network, the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) Kapatid Mentor Me and Agri-Mentor Me programs and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF). Expanded BCP/BCM, DRRM/CCA trainings will also be made available to MSME owners/officers/staff thru strategic partnerships with the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s), socio-civic/humanitarian NGO's and development partners.

2. Advocacy for institutional/regulatory support to provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for MSME's that voluntarily comply with submitting a certified completed Business Continuity Roadmap as part of their regular business license/permit registration/renewal process. Evidence for the voluntary compliance of the MSME BCP Roadmap must include:• all-risk insurance coverage by submitting a certified true copy of the insurance policy certificate of coverage/official receipt,• notarized special power of attorney (SPA) or notarized secretary's certificate for authorized second-in-command to ensure smoother organizational succession/transition/minimal business disruption in the event that the principal owner/company officer is incapacitated,• notarized line of credit/extended payment/resupply agreements with key suppliers/banks/financing institutions during fortuitous events, etc.

3. Advocate for institutional/regulatory support to provide incentives to local government units (LGU’s) thru the National Competitiveness Index (NCI) and in the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) to encourage greater awareness and adoption of BC Roadmap completion among MSME's in their respective jurisdictions. LGU's will get a corresponding number of points in the NCI and SGLG when the number of MSME's with certified completed BC Roadmaps reach specific percentage of total registered businesses in their respective areas of jurisdiction:• at least 20% of all registered business with a completed BCP Roadmap• at least 40% of all registered business with a completed BCP Roadmap• at least 60% of all registered business with a completed BCP Roadmap• 80% or higher of all registered business with a completed BCP RoadmapThe points system weight of each achieved bracket will need to be worked out and negotiated with the DTI, NCC and DILG.

Marion Barthelemy • Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs from United States Moderator

Thank you for sharing this initiative to educate micro, small and medium enterprises on business continuity management and planning, advocate for incentives for such enterprises, as well as local governments. It could serve as a model that could be adapted to the specific needs and circumstances of other countries.

Dr Michael Hopkins • CEO at MHC International Ltd from Switzerland

In these difficult times I make a plea for Responsible Leadership and hope you will enjoy a recent video I made in Geneva on March 2 2018 after meeting with UNITAR in the UN offices in London.

https://www.dukascopy.com/plugins/tvPlay/?id=237806

AMEENA AL RASHEED • GENDER EXPERT at UN Consultant from United Kingdom

Thank you for opening this important platform for discussion; to foster for effective engagement with sustainable developments agenda and goals, it is imperative that an alternative approach is developed to ensure that the communities and countries involved owned the process, and able to invent appropriate measures and strategies to fulfill the sustainable development goals. Moreover, the engagement with stakeholders and partners in forwarding SDGs should equally pay attention to sociocultural and economic factors that impact the process. To contextualize is to be historically specific and to care for underlying details that informs the development process. Agenda 2030 is not a done deal but rather an ambitious perspective that needs utmost attention to fulfill. Paying homage to priorities of the nations, the local and national approaches , views and ideas will enhance the outcome and will forward the SDGs that consider the nation’s, and the countries’ perspectives, and formulate solutions from within and guided by the overall agendas of 2030. 

Jean-Claude Paul Degbe • Président at ONG PADJENA from Benin

Nous devons réellement inviter la communauté à comprendre sa participation dans la mise en oeuvre de cette noble cause, et je vous remercie pour l'initiative.

Dr Kalyani Gopal • Founder/President at SAFE Coalition for Human Rights from United States

Thank you very much for providing this important platform for discussion. To my mind, our global challenge is combating Human Trafficking. Thanks to wars and migration there is a massive global displacement of families, loss of cultural contextual relationships, separation of children from parents and caregivers, landslides, mudslides, natural disasters, famine, poverty and breakdown of societies around the world. All of the above and more are contributory factors to organ harvesting of kidneys and other organs, sex trafficking of minors, child soldiers, kidnapping of children, and the sale of men and women in the "free markets" as slaves. We have in this day and age, tremendous fluidity in societies via the internet and via breakdowns in the fabric of family  cohesiveness. Again, I want to thank you for this wonderful forum for discourse and examination of the sustainable goals moving forward. One way of addressing this issue is to bring together the stakeholders involved in reducing crimes and increasing safety of our children, and to that end, my organization, SAFECHR is hosting SAFE 2018: third global conference on human trafficking (please see attachment) and we invite you to bring your colleagues as we work on innovative responses to migration, conflict, and war. Thank you.

​​​​​​​

Magdalena Garcia • Presidenta at MIRA Mujeres Iberoamericanas en Red from Mexico

Muchas gracias por esta oportunidad al abrir este espacio ECOSOC  2018 "De lo global a lo local: apoyar sociedades sostenibles y resilientes en comunidades urbanas y rurales".

Una parte muy intensa de mi experiencia reciente proviene de la vinculación con la Comisión Huairou, mi relación con redes regionales como la Federación de Mujeres Municipalistas de América Latina y el Caribe (FEMUM LAC), la coordinación que he hecho del Campus Binacional de Pensadoras Urbanas México Perú desde 2015 y de ser Co Chair del Grupo de Mujeres Constituyente de la Asamblea General de Socios, GAP en ONU Hábitat. Desde estas experiencias es que enseguida respondo las dos preguntas que se nos proponen en este foro.

  • ¿Cuáles son los desafíos actuales y emergentes para construir sociedades sostenibles y resilientes y qué acciones se pueden tomar, especialmente a nivel local para enfrentar estos desafíos?

De 2015 a la fecha, Naciones Unidas ha contribuido a la construcción participativa de un conjunto de Agendas muy importantes, un resumen muy preciso del propósito de esta era de Agendas Globales lo resume el párrafo uno de la Agenda de Acción de Addis Abeba, de la Tercera Conferencia Internacional sobre la Financiación para el Desarrollo:

Nuestro objetivo es poner fin a la pobreza y el hambre, y lograr el desarrollo sostenible en sus tres dimensiones mediante la promoción del crecimiento económico inclusivo, la protección del medio ambiente y el fomento de la inclusión social. Nos comprometemos a respetar todos los derechos humanos, incluido el derecho al desarrollo. Aseguraremos la igualdad de género y el empoderamiento de las mujeres y las niñas. Promoveremos las sociedades pacíficas e inclusivas y avanzaremos plenamente hacia un sistema económico mundial equitativo en que ningún país o persona quede a la zaga, posibilitando el trabajo decente y los medios de vida productivos para todos, al tiempo que preservamos el planeta para nuestros hijos y las generaciones futuras.”

Estas agendas son fundamentalmente las siguientes:

  • Marco de Sendai para la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres 2015-2030 (18 de marzo de 2015)
  • Conferencia Internacional sobre la Financiación para el Desarrollo: Agenda de Acción de Addis Abeba (16 de julio de 2015)
  • Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible (25 de septiembre de 2015
  • Acuerdo de París (11 de diciembre de 2015)
  • Declaración de Nueva York sobre los Refugiados y los Migrantes (15 de septiembre de 2016)
  • Nueva Agenda Urbana. Declaración de Quito sobre Ciudades y Asentamientos Humanos Sostenibles para Todos (20 de diciembre de 2016)

Enumeraré algunos retos.

El primer reto es que estas agendas sean conocidas por todos los niveles de gobierno para ser incorporadas en los planes y programas de desarrollo. Que sean conocidas por la sociedad, por las mujeres y las mujeres de base y por los hombres, lo que contribuirá a la mejora continua en su aplicación. Que sea conocida por el sector productivo.

El segundo reto es que se entienda la integralidad y la jerarquía de las agendas. La Agenda 2030 para el Desarrollo Sostenible es una agenda que se alcanza, no que se instrumenta. Para lograrla es necesario que el resto de las agendas se instrumenten y se adopte un sistema de evaluación participativo para su seguimiento, usando, de forma central, el Sistema de Indicadores de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible. Seguimiento y evaluación apoyada por Observatorios ciudadanos. Recomendamos que este sistema de indicadores se complemente con los indicadores de Progreso propuestos por el Comité de Seguimiento de la Convención Belem do Para (MESECVI) de la OEA. Este Sistema de Indicadores de Progreso busca medir el cumplimiento de las obligaciones contenidas en cada derecho humano, sean éstas positivas (de hacer) o negativas (de omisión), los que se clasifican en los siguientes tipo de indicadores: 1) estructurales: recepción de derechos, los que examinan si el marco normativo y las estrategias que el gobierno instrumenta son adecuados y eficaces para garantizar cada derecho; 2) de proceso: contexto institucional, financiero y compromiso presupuestario, que miden la calidad y magnitud de los esfuerzos institucionales, financieros y presupuestarios del gobierno para implementar los derechos protegidos; y 3) de resultados: que son capacidades institucionales o gubernamentales que miden el impacto real de las estrategias, programas, intervenciones del gobierno en materia de garantías de derechos en condiciones de igualdad entre mujeres y hombres.

El tercer reto es sobre la necesidad de reconocer la enorme importancia de la igualdad entre mujeres y hombres para lograr sociedades sostenibles. En este caso destacamos un aspecto central relativo a la división social desigual del trabajo productivo (empleo) y reproductivo (doméstico, de cuidado de personas en la familia que lo requieren y comunitario) entre mujeres y hombres. Las mujeres, en las últimas décadas han debido acelerar su incorporación al trabajo productivo, en muchos casos para sustituir o complementar el ingreso familiar, en un contexto, en numerosos países del mundo, de deterioro salarial, de prestaciones y de seguridad social. Ello sin que se produzca una mejor distribución del trabajo reproductivo en la familia. Lo anterior ha significado ampliación e intensificación importante de las jornadas de trabajo de las mujeres y una reducción del tiempo para la crianza. Según un estudio de la OIT (Women at Work: Trends 2016), alrededor de 2015, la duración de la jornada de trabajo no pagado, que incluye trabajo doméstico y de cuidado (trabajo reproductivo) de las mujeres en los países en desarrollo era de 3 horas 35 minutos por cada hora de trabajo de los hombres en estas actividades, en tanto que en los países desarrollados esta brecha en las mujeres era de una hora 53 minutos por cada hora de los hombres. El tiempo para la crianza es un valor supremo para garantizar la reproducción social en las mejores condiciones. Su atención es una responsabilidad compartida entre los gobiernos, las empresas, las comunidades y las familias. Ella dará a las mujeres una vida digna, a las niñas, niños un futuro feliz, como personajes con autoestima, creatividad, seguridad, agradecimiento, conocimiento del buen vivir, empatía con los derechos humanos y el respeto a la otredad en su edad adulta. Al recibir, desde el inicio de su existencia, atención, protección, amor, cuidado, ello genera un desarrollo sano en su sociabilidad inconsciente, empátía con la otredad y su entorno, lo que dará a la sociedad riqueza incrementada con la formación de generaciones sanas, felices y productiva para el futuro, una sociedad en paz y con cohesión social, porque “...la violencia está presente cuando los seres humanos se ven influidos de tal manera que sus realizaciones afectivas, somáticas y mentales, están por debajo de sus realizaciones potenciales” (Centro Internacional de Investigación e Información para la Paz, CIIIP-UPAZ, ONU). El equipamiento y los servicios de cuidado deben caminar en la ruta de la universalización junto con la desaparición de la brecha de desigualdad salarial de las mujeres para trabajo de igual valor. Una sociedad que cuida no es una sociedad violenta.

El cuarto reto es disponer de materiales muy sencillos que resuman de forma incluso gráfica -mediante infografías, por ejemplo- el por qué, el para qué y el cómo de la instrumentación, seguimiento y evaluación de las agendas, con la participación de todos los grupos de interés. Con materiales que incluso representen la integralidad de estas agendas. En muchas partes del mundo la mayor parte de la gente no lee. No leen la mayoría de los gobernantes, los legisladores, las mujeres y los hombres. Es por tanto necesario reconocer y resolver esta problemática. En la promoción y seguimiento de estas agendas un aliado fundamental son las organizaciones de mujeres y de mujeres de base que han demostrado una activa y comprometida participación.

El quinto reto y último, de esta reflexión, es lograr que, cuando los gobiernos presenten ante Naciones Unidad su reporte de avance, se establezca la posibilidad de que las organizaciones sociales presenten informes sombra, complementarios o alternativos de los temas bajo revisión y con las metodologías propuestas. Ello contribuirá a que los Comités dictaminadores de Naciones Unidas tengan más elementos para les recomendaciones que hagan a los gobiernos, lo que favorecerá el avance en la instrumentación en las agendas, fortalecerá la ciudadanía y la gobernanza de los territorios avaluados bajo estas premisas.

  • ¿De qué manera las instituciones nacionales y subnacionales traducen los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible en acciones concretas? ¿Qué marcos institucionales para el desarrollo sostenible se requieren y cómo se pueden construir?

Para la respuesta a esta pregunta daré ejemplos de lo que sucede en México y cuya investigación es resultado del trabajo de los Laboratorios Urbanos del Campus Binacional de Pensadoras Urbanas México Perú, que trabaja en 40 ciudades en estos países de manera ininterrumpida desde 2015.

En el caso de la instrumentación de la Nueva Agenda Urbana en el nivel de gobierno federal los avances han sido muy importantes. En México en noviembre de 2016 se publicó la LEY General de Asentamientos Humanos, Ordenamiento Territorial y Desarrollo Urbano, que sustituye a un marco jurídico con más de 40 años de vigencia, se crearon también, los Consejos Federal y Estatales correspondientes. La Ley federal incorpora la perspectiva de género, el Derecho a la Ciudad y se refiere a los Observatorios Ciudadanos a ser instalados en entidades federativas y municipios. Sin embargo, los recursos destinados a la instrumentación de estas agendas se reducen de manera sistemática en los últimos años, y por ello es necesario utilizar los Indicadores de Progreso antes señalados, para visibilizar las debilidades de las políticas públicas aplicadas de forma integral.

Con respecto a la promoción gubernamental de la Agenda 2030 ODS el gobierno federal está haciendo una solicitud a los diferentes órdenes de gobierno para que informen lo que están haciendo para que se alcancen los ODS y una difusión masiva a la población en general a través de un portal de participación ciudadana https://www.gob.mx/agenda2030. Sin embargo, no difunde que para alcanzar esta agenda se requiere de instrumentar la Nueva agenda Urbana, el Marco de Sendai, el Acuerdo de París y la Agenda Addis Abeba. Ello resulta necesario, pues de otra manera no se aprovechará la riqueza de las hojas de ruta que establecen estas agendas, que son el prerrequisito para lograr la Agenda 2030 ODS, que es una agenda que no se instrumenta, se alcanza con la aplicación de estas otras agendas.

En la Ciudad de México en 2017 sucedió una reforma política de gran alcance por lo que se aprobó una Nueva Constitución Política que incluyó un robusto apartado de El Derecho a la Ciudad, en la que los instrumentos internacionales como las agendas de la Agenda Global -la Nueva Agenda Urbana, el Marco de Sendai, el Acuerdo de París y la Agenda Addis Abeba- adquirieron el carácter de obligatoriedad equiparable a los tratados y convenciones internacionales de derechos humanos. Ello hace posible que tales instrumentos sean integrados con mayor fuerza a los programas de gobierno de esta entidad, y coloca un referente para el resto de las 31 entidades del país.

Para fortalecer estos procesos una estrategia en marcha por parte de las integrantes del Campus. Binacional de Pensadoras Urbanas México Perú consiste en la consideración de los resultado de la fase de seguimiento de la Nueva Agenda Urbana en 2017, cuando detectamos en nuestros laboratorios urbanos el desconocimiento de la Agenda Global por parte de los alcaldes y alcaldesas. Solamente una quinta parte de ellos señalaron conocer la Agenda 2030/ODS, pero no los Programas de Acción de esta Agenda Global: la Nueva Agenda Urbana (NAU), el Marco de Sendai, el Acuerdo de París y el Programa de Acción de Addis Abeba. Este desconocimiento significa un incumplimiento de los compromisos internacionales firmados por el gobierno mexicano, pero más grave aún, significa la desatención a un conjunto de directrices internacionales que permitirán avanzar en la mejora en el nivel y calidad de vida de la población, tal como la Agenda 2030 de los ODS lo postula. Por ello en 2018 lanzamos una cruzada para colocar la Agenda Global (la NAU, el Acuerdo de París, el Marco Sendai, la Agenda de Addis Ababa y Agenda ODS 2030) en la política pública que se renovará en México en 2019 derivada de un gran proceso electoral en 2018. Ahora, en 2018, estamos sistematizando estas agendas para entregar en mayo infografías a los candidatos en este proceso, bajo el paraguas de los Derechos Humanos (incluido el Derecho a la Ciudad) y las perspectivas de género y edad. Estas sistematizaciones tendrán otro subproducto que serán las propuestas para integrarse en los Planes de Desarrollo municipal, estatal y federal en 2019. En las elecciones de este año, cerca de 22 mil puestos compiten por cargos públicos de elección, incluyendo un poco más de 1,600 alcaldes, el 65% del total nacional. Sería de mucha ayuda la contribución de Naciones Unidas, incluso en especie, para la elaboración de estas infografías.

En México después de los terremotos y huracanes de 2017 quedamos convencidas de la importancia estratégica de la aplicación integral de estas agendas: México es un país en el que más de la mitad de su población se asienta en zonas de alto riesgo que se han deteriorado, además, por proceso de desertificación, destrucción de manglares, y uso irracional de recursos naturales, entre otros. La urbanización (Nueva Agenda Urbana) no puede desligarse de asuntos medio ambientales (Acuerdo de París), de mitigación y prevención de riesgos de desastres (Marco de Sendai), ni financieros (Agenda Addis Abeba), para enfrentar estas complejas problemáticas, que afectan en mayor medida a las mujeres por diversos motivos: • No son dueñas del patrimonio familiar (Autonomía económica) que puede ser recuperado ante un fenómeno natural cuando hay gestión pública adecuada, que, de hecho, no siempre es el caso, y los recursos son insuficientes y algunos provenientes de la comunidad internacional desaparecen (Agenda Addis Abeba). • Pierden sus medios de trabajo (autonomía económica), y no obstante que muchas de ellas trabajar en actividades precarias, les es muy difícil recuperarse porque generalmente no son sujetas de crédito, o las micro financiadoras prestan a tasas muy altas (Agenda Addis Abeba). • La afectación del equipamiento educativo (NAU) genera que ellas tengan que dedicar más tiempo a la atención a la infancia (autonomía económica y desaparición de los de por sí precarios servicios de cuidado) que se quedó sin escuelas, en donde puede haber un problema vinculado a las finanzas públicas (Agenda Addis Abeba), por una construcción de escuelas y su mantenimiento irregular, por decir lo menos. • Los refugios temporales después de un terremoto con estancias más o menos largas (Marco de Sendai), son espacios en donde las mujeres sufren violencia de diversos tipos (autonomía física referida a su derecho a vivir una vida libre de violencia), incluida la sexual. Adicionalmente están los incentivos y desincentivos tributarios y fiscales (Agenda Addis Abeba) para lograr lo que proponen el Marco de Sendai, el Acuerdo de París y la NAU. Por ello, no es posible pensar en la instrumentación de estas Agendas Globales de forma aislada, pues ello nos permitirá alcanzar los ODS.

Muchas gracias,

Kemi Odutayo • Co-chair & Chief Administrative Officer at Global 2000 (2010) International from United States

Talking about achieving the Sustainable Development goals to transform the world, empowerment of family unit is a vibrant action that can lead to sustainable and resilient societies. When each family is empowered, the society would be empowered. In this sense, economic empowerment of each family is the focal point to power a family especially at the local level. Rural areas especially are still facing the challenges of electricity. But in this present time where solar energy is proving to be efficient, and when women are empowered, they will in turn empower their children. In a rural environment where electricity is not available, women particular are not productive when the sun sets and it becomes dark.

With the help of Solar lantern in the house, women particularly, in the house can still be more productive with a means of living like handiworks such as weaving mats to sell and other crafts, or any productive occupation that can still be done in the house. Hence, my organization is looking to provide rural families homes with at least Solar lanterns, if not Solar Family Unit which can power the whole house when sunlight is out to enable more occupational productivity of women in the house which will bring more economic power to the family, thus, empowering the children as well. You can visit my organization's website Global2kInternational.org to learn more about us or you might want to partner with us to be able to achieve this empowerment program together in the rural areas. One at a time, we can work together to achieve sustainability in our communities.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Madam Kemi Definitely we will recommend and we will get connected with your organisation.This initiative definitely improves the rural and other families.

Fayyaz Baqir • O'Brien Fellow at McGill University from Canada

First step in achieving the SDGs through local government is indigenizing them through a local consultation process? Can any country off such an example?

Second step needed is transferring administrative and fiscal authority to local governments to achieve locally decided SDGs.

Third issue is to fix a resource use price which can prevent over harvesting of nonreproducible natural resources under threat of extinction. 

Can any of the participants share any local story on these questions?

Lydia Verniory Kickass Human Rights Lawyer * former United Nations * • International Human Rights Lawyer (the scary kind) at Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland

I am happy I received a colleague invitation for this discussion and I am happy to contribute ideas, facts, quotes, guiding principles and text.  You may use all of my contribution and with respect to the context in which I am submitting these comments, please.

POINTS OF AWARENESS AS GUIDING PRINCIPLES

"Let us never lose sight of the fact that this world will be the one we leave for generations to come. Our responsibilities as global citizens extend beyond the current generation."  Lydia Verniory

"Our societies and the animal and plant kingdom can only become resilient with the involvement of the people and groups affected by change. This process needs participation, transparency, inclusiveness, non-discrimination and fairness, so that risks and resources – and all the benefits of development – are distributed in a more balanced way between people, places and generations. This is the essence of the right to development."

"Damage to the environment, improper use of arable lands, climate change, increasing concentration of land in the hands of a few, rapid demographic shifts, conflicts, unfair trade and uncontrolled extractive industries are placing unprecedented pressure on the planet’s ecosystems, and threatening the livelihoods and wellbeing of billions of people across the globe."  Lydia Verniory

"Building sustainable and resilient societies depends on the progress in expanding the use of sustainable energy.  Unfortunatelly, this has already fallen short of what is needed to meet the globally agreed 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Consequently, societies and communities have hard and long battles to fight." Lydia Verniory

"Regretably, global figures suggest that attempts to uncouple economic growth from increased use of natural resources are also failing. This trend flies in the face of humanity’s stated – and internationally agreed – aim of achieving more sustainable production and life-styles." Lydia Verniory 

"Rapid urbanization and gentrification have brought enormous challenges, including growing numbers of slums, inadequate basic services and infrastructure, increased air pollution and environmental degradation. As cities across the globe become more vulnerable to disasters, reducing risks of these disasters is crucial if development is to be sustainable for the future." Lydia Verniory 

With my best regards

Lydia Verniory

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

We have seen the disasters last year in Mexico,West Indies,and South America.This year we do not know where we will be heading.But on such a count India has improved a lot in terms of Housing.The other areas is Irrigation,Farming,agriculture,water management.It still has not reached the water starved status.How ever we are not sure if the disaster strikes,we are not ready to face it with huge population.We need to modernize.

Lydia Verniory Kickass Human Rights Lawyer * former United Nations * • International Human Rights Lawyer (the scary kind) at Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland

I am happy I received a colleague invitation for this discussion and I am happy to contribute ideas, facts, quotes, guiding principles and text.  You may use all of my contribution and with respect to the context in which I am submitting these comments, please.

"Some activities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) come in direct conflict with human rights and specifically the right to developmet.  For the sake of transparency and accountability it is important to bring these two institutions on board.  There should be a striking difference between a humanitarian loaning agency and loan sharks which is not obvious right now for both these lending bodies.  Therefore, both the World Bank and the IMF should adopt smart lending practices that benefit everyone, not just banks and speculators. " Lydia Verniory

"Further, the IMF should abandon its misguided prioritization of economic growth above all other considerations.  Human rights, health and environmental assessments should be carried out systematically before approval of any loan to a government or project. The impact of loan conditionalities on human rights is a legal question that could and should be addressed by the International Court of Justice." Lydia Verniory

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Yes,we both may be right in asking that the IMF/WB representatives here.But money as a secret weapon is maintained by the countries,with their monetary policies and printing of currencies as a right of the nation,but how ever monitored by only by half a dozen consultants internationally.It is really not possible to account for the printed currency of each nation/their population and policies.Hence i feel we can leave that at this stage.

There is ITU an independent organisation,but it can at least tell us how much radiation we are getting from the radio waves generated out of data and communications use.But they conduct different meetings ,so also FAO and our climate smart agriculture group is separate.

Lydia Verniory Kickass Human Rights Lawyer * former United Nations * • International Human Rights Lawyer (the scary kind) at Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from Switzerland

I am happy I received a colleague invitation for this discussion and I am happy to contribute ideas, facts, quotes, guiding principles and text. You may use all of my contribution and with respect to the context in which I am submitting these comments, please.

ON MULTINATIONALS AND IMPACT ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES

"Several multinationals haven been savaged by the media and politicians for the destruction that such companies, and especially retailers have wrought on local businesses and communities." Lydia Verniory

  • Simly, once a multinational-backed retailer opens a store on the edge of town, selling cheaply made imported goods, local retailers almost immediately begin closing up shop.
  • Once-proud owners and managers of those local retailers are forced into menial, low-paying jobs at the very company that destroyed their business.
  • Without good jobs and a strong local business sector, the community's socioeconomic struggles become a vicious, self-reinforcing cycle.
  • These desperate people become willing to look to almost anyone for help in restoring their community to a happier time.

"The arrival of multinational-backed retailers has been devastating to many communities.  Communites need to be less dependent on low-wage retail jobs. Such retailers (including digital retail platforms) need to play by the same rules as the local retailers who have helped build communities. Their competitive advantage should never depend, even slightly, on an ability to undercut local businesses by not charging local sales taxes." Lydia Verniory

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Ms.Lydia,i like the words multi nationals "have savaged local business".Yes we have many companies of Indian origin who are working across Asia and Africa for Mining of several items including coal.And that is what we want the countries to avoid usage to protect the climate changes happening.The pharmacetical industry is another where the residue needs to be treated and dumped in deep sea.They are as good as Atomic waste.Thirdly some of us may feel that Small Modular Reactors[atomic energy]could be some medium term solution for growing humanity by say the year 2030.

Rita Luthra

Thanks for inviting us to participate in this forum.

Building the Capacity to Care

e-Health development should be holistic, evidence-based and people-centered. It should take into account how people live within their own environments and responds to stakeholders' needs.

Established in 2001, The Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) was granted Special Consultative status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations, in 2008. WHEC and its partners are actively working to advance the causes of peace, health and development with the United Nations and the World Health Organization, since its inception. Our focus is to create meaningful opportunities for girls and women to participate in global philanthropy.

The WHEC and its partners embrace the tremendous diversity, religions, and cultures around the world. In support of this belief, we have established an academic and cultural focus at important institutions around the globe, to nurture our common interests, agenda and potential.

By supporting reproductive health and research, open dialogue and objective analysis, WHEC and its partners has laid the ground work for mutual understanding among countries.

Join the efforts, we welcome everyone.

Dr. Rita Luthra

President

Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN

Editor-in-Chief of e-Health Publications

http://www.WomensHealthSection.com 

Henry Ekwuruke • CEO at Development Generation Africa International from Nigeria

At the Development Generation Africa International (DGAi), we are working with women and youth in Nigeria to implement Local Voices Initiative project and the Unity Initiative, both projects aim to build sustainable and resilient society. We contribute time, talent and energy to teach school children about the #SDGs in a weekend school. We also mobilize young people to help in the repairs of bad roads and cleaning up the environment. 

Lastly, we work with youths to write letters to legislators on institutionalizing the SDGs in Abia State and we are to train them on the sustainable development goals. At the national level, the office of the special assistant to the president on SDGs is consulting nation - wide. We will meet at the HLPF in July at New York . 

Losango • Independent Mineral Chain Auditor (IMCA) at International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) from Burundi

In most underdeveloped countries, particularly in the African continent, the dominant interpretation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) amongst companies has been in terms of philanthropic initiatives in education and health issues, and the role of business in CSR is not coordinated and integrated. Even though these initiatives have represented welcome contributions, they have had little impact on the root causes of social problems surrounding their activities, such as addressing the socio-economic development challenges of the country, including poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, the issues of artisanal mining, corruption and revenue transparency, environmental degradation, stakeholder engagement and social empowerment. Such social impacts are still not emphasised in the public CSR reports of most companies operating in Africa. This illustrates how the sustainable development discourse in the African continent is also subject to processes of accommodation and legitimation, giving credence to the ‘greenwash’ critique. 

Until now, the question remains whether CSR on its own can make a substantial contribution to local sustainable community development in Africa.

It is not known whether CSR really does make a difference. CSR practices remain quite a controversial and disputed concept at an international level, in terms of requirements, opportunities and benefits generated to companies. 

Finally, the theoretical argument is made that companies’ evolving institutional context circumscribes economic and ethical incentives for CSR when operating in a weak state capacity to enforce legislation and limited ability for monitoring corporate governance to actively avoid their social responsibilities.

Marie Oldfield • from United Kingdom

I woudl very much wholeheartdely agree with this.

DR TIMOTHY BARKER • Founder at DIYNGO from United Kingdom

From Local Needs to Global Visions.

​​​​​​I would like to turn the argument upside down and ask how can the SDGs serve local communities? So, instead of processes being driven from the top down they originate at the 'bottom' of the social pyramid? Perhaps this would be a means of integrating local communities around the globe - if suitable mechanisms can be identified - rather than assuming such a subset of a population should have an interest in what may be occurring in the upper echelons of society?

I do wonder if, for the time being at least, universalism has had its day? It particularly seems that nation states are presently enjoying a more inward looking cycle of nationalism or what has been called "populism" in some quarters. It is therefore going to prove difficult to influence individual's behaviours from a centralised, distant hub. By listening to the needs of communities on the ground and helping them to own these kinds of initiatives (as others have mentioned) we may start to witness true progress beyond carefully stage managed hyperbole?

I personally believe technology may help to further democratise the global initiatives - these discussions being a case in point, perhaps - but due to prevailing digital divides they will never be the complete solution.

To sum , one must be creative in setting these global agendas so that they emerge through democratic means rather than risk being perceived as more autocratic edicts. Only then - particularly given current predelictions - may they 'succeed' (however one measures this).

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

I fully agree.In the days of technology,where autonomous vehicle are becoming a basis for living,where the banking is based more on mobile platforms.We are ready for small flying autos,and have many experiments on independent car drivings[My son Prof.Saripalli srikanth at Texas.A&M university is in to it and gave lots of interviews on public Media].2.We have developed lots of solar energy.[A]This can change the pedigram of [1]Digital divide[2]Sex discrimination in land use[3]in agriculture[4]in safe water systems.At least these 4-5 items are great developments for small communities to prosper.

Ashwini Sathnur • Capacity Development Expert at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from India
  • What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies and what actions can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?

Knowledge - building and awareness creation hold the key to building sustainable and resilient societies. Innovations and creation of solutions based on the UN SDGs require new understanding and new technologies for implementation. Building a technological foundation framework leads to the implementation of the goals. For example, Artificial Intelligence is labelled as the future of technology. The new ideologies must be incorporated into the educational system to enable greater understanding and knowledge creation in the younger generation, who are the futuristic innovators for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030!

  • How are national and sub - national institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions? What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are required, and how can they be built?

"Future We Want" type of innovation platform are creating revolutions in translating the SDGs to implementation. Competitions, challenges, projects, public - private - partnerships etc. opportunities are building the framework of implementation of the UN sustainable development goals.

Marie Oldfield • from United Kingdom

We have to be so careful with AI. Its currently a black box in the way it is modelled and so many ehtical considerations have not yet been consdiered.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Marie Oldfield ,What you said is true,that is why i am lecturing on how best to rationalize the AI,and so also Prof.sri [my son]gave lots of interviews to wall street Journal on how to make system work,under the supervision of governance.

Marie Oldfield • from United Kingdom

Dear All,

I am here as a Statistician and Project Chair for SWB (Pro Bono Statistics help; part of the ASA). I have been working in the mentioned areas for a number of years. At present we have several projects around how we can develop sustainable societies, understand metrics and work with countries to provide metrics and statistics to aid sustainable development. Currently, we are helping Asante Africa determine the success of numerous pilots, we have been recently helping Zanzibar in their search for metrics to review the implementation of numerous policies and we have been present in many disaster relief settings and the resulting redevelopment needed after the event.

These questions are very large and it all depends on what challenges we zero in on and what actions can be taken specifically. The Project Co-Chair works in this area and has missions that encompass this exact challenge but each mission is extremely long and complex. Just to address schoolgirls responding to reduced pregnancy initiatives is difficult but when it comes to several concurrent policy implementations like we had in Zanzibar it is hard to pick out what part of the policy has the effect. I think that the emerging challenges question is only just being examined in a more full manner and I do see - at a national level- a gap in trying to implement sustainable development goals, for a multitude of reasons, but its safe to say it's not happening on the scale we would like.

If anyone would like to engage with statistics without Borders or discuss our projects in this area we are available for contact :

http://community.amstat.org/statisticswithoutborders/gethelpwithanewpro…

Elisabeth Anne • President at Kinderenergy from United States

Dear Colleagues, Kinderenergy is interested in the elusive data regarding what children are doing locally and nationally to implement the SDGs. Children have been and are being so effective in every category of the UN's SDGs , from building sustainable & resilient cities to re-forestation and coastal cleanups to campaigning for plastic-free oceans and through many other incredibly innovative ways, filling in where adults do not yet, this data is either unavailable or not easy to find.

This information is vital for us, governments and the UN but not much in numerical statistics is available for a myriad of reasons. What are the children doing in their local areas and how does this help national governments meet their country commitments?  

If anyone would like to send us information or contact us regarding this point, please do so here: http://kinderenergy.org/contact

Henry Ekwuruke • CEO at Development Generation Africa International from Nigeria

We believe that knowledge building and awareness creation hold the key to building sustainable and resilient societies at the Development Generation Africa International. Youth voices must be mobilized to provide their own "expert "recommendations for specific issues with the SGDs achievement . 

Dr.Amb.Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua • President and Founder of Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua Foundation at Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua Foundation from Nigeria

                                                                      ECOSOC    2018

Theme; from global to local: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities.

The word sustainable: Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

Resilient: Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

In the society we live today, there are different levels of livelihood which includes,

1. The upper class

2. The middle class

3. The low class

Today’s world, most people live in abject poverty especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To support, sustainable urban and resilient rural communities, the following measures needs to be taken.

  • Providing learning structures, schools, laboratories, training and equipping the teachers  with the necessary tools and materials.
  • Adequate health care and maternity, good water facilities, for all communities.
  • Educating the communities on mechanize farming.
  • Getting ready for an economic climate, enhancing the viability of working lands, preserving natural resources and increased opportunities.
  • Renewable Energy: Chapioning a movement that is more inclusive, collaborative and celebratory by creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions.
  • Training and empowering individuals on skilled and artisan works.
  • Low cost houses, affordable, safe and efficient transport system

Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation (ASYARF)

Marion Barthelemy • Director of the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN DESA at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs from United States Moderator

Week one (26 March – 1 Apr)

Highlights

Dear colleagues,

We would like to thank everyone for their contributions so far. We look forward to hearing more from all of you, as well as more interactions among participants.

The broad range of inputs included contributions on issues related to participation, education, access to information, information technology and the roles of NGOs, the private sector and the media. Below are some highlights of the key points made during the first week of discussion:

  1. What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies?

  • Establishing indicators for measuring the outcomes of local efforts. Local actors should be involved in the process of measuring the progress of the different targets. This is an area for synergies between local officials, practitioners and academia.
  • Ensuring the support of businesses, as businesses both maintain and use public goods. Businesses also use natural and social capitals; hence, they must preserve and maintain them and, if necessary, increase and expand them.
  • Recognizing the importance of gender equality in order to achieve sustainable societies.
  • Time lag between adoption of global policy to be translated into local actions.
  • Involving the people and groups affected by change. This process needs participation, transparency, inclusiveness, non-discrimination and fairness, so that risks and resources – and all the benefits of development – are distributed in a more balanced way between people, places and generations.
  • Damage to the environment, improper use of arable lands, climate change, increasing concentration of land in the hands of a few, rapid demographic shifts, conflicts, unfair trade and uncontrolled extractive industries are placing unprecedented pressure on the planet’s ecosystems, and threatening the livelihoods and wellbeing of billions of people across the globe.
  • Progress in expanding the use of renewable energy.
  • Reducing risks of disasters is crucial if development is to be sustainable for the future.
  • Making information accessible to all.
  • Uniting people around the same priorities.
  • Strengthening local, regional and international partnerships

  1. What steps can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?

  • All levels of government and communities at large need to become acquainted with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related development agendas. This would allow governments to incorporate the SDGs into their development plans and programs, and the private sector and citizens at large to ensure their implementation and monitoring. The engagement with stakeholders and partners in advancing the SDGs should equally pay attention to sociocultural and economic factors that impact the process.
  • More widespread adoption of Business Continuity Planning/Management (BCP/BCM) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME's) through education/awareness campaign on business resilience and business continuity management/planning, advocacy for institutional/regulatory support to provide fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for SMEs and advocate for institutional/regulatory support to provide incentives to local government units to support SMEs in driving sustainable and inclusive development.
  • Knowledge - building and awareness creation hold the key to building sustainable and resilient societies. Innovations and creation of solutions based on the UN SDGs require new understanding and new technologies for implementation.
  • The use of platforms and technology has been emphasized to broker knowledge and practices across societies, including making education more accessible through the use of tablets, computers and mobile phones.
  • Communicating in a simple way the rich and complex information of development agendas, creating very simple materials that summarize even graphically - by means of infographics and web-based platforms, for example - the why, the what and the how of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the agendas, with the participation of all groups of interest.
  • Compilation and integration of good practices.
  • Hold dialogues to prepare the local population for change.
  • Work with the media and civil society, to improve community awareness and promote the positive effects that can be expected by a durable and resilient society.

  1. How are national and subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions?

  • Promoting sustainable development and its effects through the introduction of various incentives, subsidies and laws through the use of information technology platforms on the subject.
  • Using the media to promote the expected objectives.
  • Seeking discussions with the public through the expert associations in the matter.

  1. What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are needed, and how can they be built?

  • Achieving sustainable development and resilient societies require addressing complex and interconnected challenges. There is therefore the need of national institutions that work in a transversal fashion, strong local governments with the capacities and resources to take action, and engaged communities.
  • Establishing a platform for civil society to present complementary reports on the issues under review when governments present their progress reports to the United Nations.

As a follow up to the ongoing discussions so far, participants may wish to consider the following additional questions:

  • The SDGs provide a solid foundation for supporting sustainable development and resilient societies. What challenges need to be tackled in order to make the aspirations of the SDGs become a reality at the local level?
  • How can local and regional governments in cities and rural areas drive the process and engage with the private sector, civil society, academia and citizens at large to support inclusive and sustainable development?

Moreover, we would like to encourage you to visit the platform http://localizingthesdgs.org/ where you will find a wide array of tools and resources for SDG localization developed, but also contribute to this resource by sharing your own experiences and tools for SDG implementation.

Best regards,

Marion Barthelemy and Patrick Keuleers

Co-Moderators

DR TIMOTHY BARKER • Founder at DIYNGO from United Kingdom

Thanks Marion and Patrick for your summary and further guidance. I just took a quick look at the link you provided. I particularly noted how online education seems to be popular for "capacity building". DIYNGO.org tried this approach to conflict resolution (we also consider peace and security essential for sustainable development) but it was not popular at all. We remain uncertain as to why though we suspect the 'usual' digital divide issues were prevalent.

Personally I like the technological solutions but they come with so many issues? I have researched them for decades now including within the UN system yet issues persist. In this respect I suppose I have to admit to being disappointed that so many of the proposed solutions rest upon the online education paradigm. That said, it could be a function of the submission system, i.e. that it is itself online? It's also early days. So, maybe we should be patient - as I already said - and allow less online initiatives to be reported.

Additionally people here have mentioned developments such as renewable energy, AI, etc. helping to bridge the digital divide, etc. but, again, DIYNGO.org has found this too is not plain sailing especially in communities that were not previously aware of such solutions. Again, time will tell and patience in allowing these global agendas to trickle down to the local level will be essential. As will, importantly, feedback from the local to the global thus facilitating refinement of global goals...Anyhow, thank you once again for your leadership. Best wishes. Tim 😀

Hon Kivumbi Earnest Benjamin • President @ Heal The Planet Global Organisation-HTP at Heal The Planet Global Organisation-HTP from Uganda

The challenge we have been researching about for several years especially on the subject matter has been peace. According our findings in the report we’re about to publish on East Africa Peace and Stability Index we have realised that there's no sustainable peace at all because the future is hanging in balance. This has been threatened by political waves of deteriorating democracy. Leaders within East African 7 countries and beyond have not made efforts for the peaceful transfer of power, many of which have ruled more than 2 decades and there is no hope to allow the vibrant oppositions within their countries to take over.In South Sudan, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, Burundi, Somalia…it’s a proven fact. When the vibrant opposition sees no future of willingly transfer of power they resort to rebel movements and hence insecurity. There militia groups destabilizing these regions with strange and merciless killings of people both in urban and rural areas; women have been raped, protests continue and this possess a great threat to the future of these countries especially with seeds of hatred, segregation and corruption as well as economic imbalances. The youth continue to swim in abject poverty with no jobs implying that they will find it easy to be recruited by rebels, militias and terrorists while others die on oceans as they try to cross to Europe for greener pastures with many in the Middle East suffering as slaves.The only way to stop this is to allow entry of new governments on periodical basis with reinstating term limits in these countries. This can be ensured through promising immunity to the current leaders from prosecution after leaving power like how in Gambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa it has been done in a deal and engaging in direct talks with these leaders otherwise all the SDGs in many African countries can’t be achieved if investment and peace backed by meaningful democracy is not guaranteed.The only way you can prove if the legacy of a leader with his achievements in the years he has spent in power is when he retires peaceful and gives chance for others to come in and this is what Gaddafi of Libya missed with every good things he had built for Libya in 40 years to perish simply because he never wanted to go and today it requires more 200 years to rebuild Libya to where it was! This is a lesson, so UN Must not fear but to face these leaders and show them the lesson of Gadaffi. www.healdeplanet.org

Eugene FONKOU • Apporteur d'affaires / Intermediary Business Developper at BUSINESS from Cameroon

Nowadays, developing countries are involved in a great challenge of social development and sustainability. Especially in rural areas, building sustainable and resilient societies present various challenges in conformance with social habit of inhabitants , level of local developed projects, local climate changes, the sufficiency of local institutions with concrete field operation and the level of education and social understanding of youths in various societies.
To face these current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies we need to run oriented strategy that include social habit of inhabitants, level of local developed projects, local climate changes, local institutions functions, level of education and social understanding of youths and their local need consideration.
For concrete plan and actions, there is a need to build up a strong program of teamwork development experience closed to those considerations.

María Pilar Moreno Fernández • Officer for Decentralized Cooperation at MAEC Spain from Spain

While the role of local governments in sustainable development is widely recognised in Agenda 2030 and every convergent international agendas, little has been said on the function of local governments who are donors in international cooperation for development.

Shouldn't these partners be reinforced? Is there any main field where they should evolve in the area of international cooperation for development?

Dr.Priya Prabhakar • Policy Reformation and Right to Development at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) from India

1. Current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies:

(i) Sustainable Society -  ‘a society that can continue indefinitely.’

(ii) Resilient Society- ’a society that is capable to cope up with adversity or risk” 

Sustainable and resilient societies are societies that progresses eternally and one that has the capacity to recover quickly from any adversity or risk.

Sustainability is not about sustaining a specific design eternally. Sustaining on a single specific design permanently will eventuate us into regression, as,  after one complete cycle, we would be ignoring to include and adapt with the evolution we have accomplished through the previous cycle of work that leaves us behind into regression.

Progress or development is continuous evolution that is why we say ‘change is inevitable' and ‘change is the only thing that doesn’t change.’ Development is not the increase in economy but the socio-environmental progress through which economical progress is made.

Failing to include the advancements we had accomplished through our previous cycle of development and sustaining the same design of functioning and approach we are forced to live in an illusion where the world is set to have two different paradigm reality and practicality. Reality is the real world that is inclusive of the advancements we have accomplished and evolved with, whereas, practicality is the illusionary world that is confined to the singled out design we have officiated as common and general for the world through the misinterpreted concept of sustainability.

Thinking sustainability as sustaining a specific design for respective working we confined the world within a closed circle and under an average spectrum thinking it to include all. In reality, by confining the world to a specific and limited design we are sealing the ceiling, that doesn’t let individual to progress any further once they reach to the proximities of the set benchmark that overcrowds the area, making people already there to have unfriendly attitudes, simultaneously, making the place insufficient to accommodate people who are yet to reach the spectrum that eventuates the world with inequality and inequity. Poverty is because of this and not because of lack of any resources.

When we close the space and scopes originally available for the world to access and work on, to what we officiate in general ass average and common (uniform)for all, we are limiting the limitless nature of the world that makes society unsustainable or short-lived.

As we misunderstood sustainability as sustaining a specific design of approach and functioning lifelong, we ignored to focus on purpose and principles that stands as a challenge for our societies from being resilient.

Adversity and risk both exist because we have enabled the world with a design that is closed. We neither mind the purpose nor the principles both of which are an important point of anchor for a progressive, holistic, equated, equitable and an eternal society and world. When activities, mindset and approach of people and the world is in line with purpose and principles, it adds to the existing environment enabling us progress or development, while when we set development as increase in economy that lets us be casual on the purpose and principles, there is a higher possibility for our activities and functioning to cause damage or hurt the existing environment brining in adversity and risk.

For example, we did evolve with computer and internet technology but we failed to include and adapt it into our routine as basics that would set us to resolve the existing problems and further the advancement we have accomplished till date enabling us to eternalise the progression or liveliness of the world (sustainable society - that continues to be live indefinitely). Because, during the transition of the world from monarchy to democracy we did not have the provision that would enable us to facilitate the individual specific opportunities and design defined as democracy and principled as human right by the constitution and universal declaration of human rights respectively. Since we lacked provisions, we modified democracy as republic where people chose a representative for them who could connect them and the government. We designed a world in the middle which was neither monarchic nor was it completely democratic. 

If we had fixed ourselves to purpose and principles, the evolution of computer and internet technology would have sparked us with the possibility of facilitating the individual specific approach as principled by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and as proposed by the constitution which is the base and core point for a sustainable and resilient society.

What difference do we find between the monarchic and the present form of government? In both, people had to force themselves to be within the design officiated by the governing, the only difference is that, in the present form of government, people have the scope to choose who can lead them but have no say in anything else that follows. What has changed? If analysed to the point, nothing is changed. Is democracy, just the right to vote? 

Democracy by its definition is a government for the people, by the people and of the people. By its etymology, democracy is ‘demo’ -‘demos’- people and ‘cracy’- ‘kratos’- rule. The term “people” here refers to individuals and groups who agree to form themselves into a single whole for the purpose of living together in state established by a constitution, created and held by them in common that establishes themselves as a ‘politically united people’ or ‘political people’. Political people here refer to the citizenship, Citizenship isn’t about people living together in a defined geographic area, its about the responsibility every single individual in that geographic take for the social, environment and economic progress of the area with its resources and their individual personality. For a genuine democracy, the world must ensure the existence of three principal parts “Constitutionalism”, “Liberalism” and “Democracy”. What does these three mean? We had already discussed about democracy, let us now look into what’s constitutionalism, liberalism and how these two are linked with democracy.

Constitutionalism - is a concept that puts constitution to the forefront mandating the functioning of the government and living of a region for the principles outlined in it. It protects the diversity (here referred in terms of the people’s expertise and skill) of people from the authority or oppression of the government and on the other hand, it regulates the autonomy of the people towards their citizen centric responsibilities ensuring that neither the government dominates it citizens with authority nor the citizens dominate the government or their fellow beings with their autonomy, spreading the responsible of freedom. 

Liberalism - is a concept that emphasis on the role or the importance of fundamental freedoms or fundamental rights vested on to every single individual. It grants people freedom from norms and rules that would restrict their living and progress within the directives officiated by the government as average or standards.

How these both are linked to democracy is what makes the world’s structure holistic and progressive.

  

With liberalism, people (individual citizen) take up freedom in designing their living for their individuality and the government regulates any deviations found in the living designed by the citizens in line with the principles of constitution without turning down the citizens with their opportunity. Today, within the framework, government or facilitating organisation or institution either grants or rejects facilitations based on eligibility and approves or rejects a claim based on criteria, not turning down the request for facilitation means, we don’t reject facilitation of claims or opportunities instead we regulate them to fit the purpose and ensure that not even a single time the government or the system be the reason for an individual to be unproductive or non-progressive in life.

By cumulating and uniting the individual and diverse contributions of every citizen made by their living for their individuality with the resources of the region, the social, environmental and economic progress of the region is formed. In the same way, individual progress of every nation is cumulated by uniting all for the progress, balance and prosperity of the globe as a whole.

As we all know democracy is government “by the people, for the people and of the people”. People here refer to one single individual and not a set of individuals grouped under a collective social identity. Neither democracy nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights supports collective facilitation of opportunities nor identifies the global populace in groups which is why it has been addressed to the people in singular form. Having this single factor left unrecognised is the one and only reason for so many social problems and calamities existing today. With the adoption of Independence and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world is set free from any form of norms or stipulates it has been set to in order to standardise or average the world. It unfortunate that even though we haven’t recognised the true scopes of democracy and freedom, the world progressed it scopes for the next transformation of global governance. It is really not a good news that on one hand, we have the world progressing into global governance and on the other hand we have the practicality that got stagnated way behind that is neither democratic nor autocratic eventually leaving the whole world to suffer with anarchy.

2. ACTION THAT COULD BE TAKEN TO ADDRESS CHALLENGES, INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORKS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, TRANSLATION OF GLOBAL GOALS.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a universal and eternal institutional framework that was drafted and adopted way back 70 years ago.

We need to focus and fix ourselves on the fundamentals upon which the world’s transition from monarchic form to democratic form was made. Our approach towards the fundamentals must be to fulfil the purpose it intended to accomplish rather than manipulating the provisions made through it for our convenience. We focus too much on fundamental freedom and casually ignore the fundamental duties for which the freedoms were granted. This alters the purpose and entirely mutates the provisions into something else that is dead against the original purpose for which the principles were formed. Human Right is not a "power tool", its the freedom everyone in the world has for getting their individuality recognised and included for progress and prosperity.

Local is a part of global, framework everywhere around is the same, its just the area of work that differs according to the geography of the place. Its not examples but conviction that matters. We cannot ditto designs that worked in one place to another. Despite so many efforts and investment of resources and economy, we still have a list of developing and least developed countries because we dittoed the development design of the developed countries without focusing on the strengths of the regions.

Local level isn’t the starting point, World’s constituent starts with 'individual' and so does the chain of development. Cumulating progress made by every single individual form the regional development, cumulating all the regional development forms the development of the nation and cumulation of all national development forms the global development. And, hence, every single individual of the globe is a visible component of the global development. For a holistic and full-fledged development, every single individual of the global populace must be enabled with opportunities that lets them contribute their 100% to the world. Holistic development is not 100% of the world but the cumulation of every 100% contributed by the entire population of the world. Universal Declaration of Human Rights connects all these dots. It focuses on individual specific facilitation that cumulates and connects the outcome to global well-being. 

Translating Global Goals for development into action needs no new framework, UDHR is a full-fledged holistic guide that has absolute prospect to translate all goals thats been adopted into reality. The only thing that we need to do is pause, realise the principles of UDHR for its purpose and approach the provision of UDHR for its principles. Human Rights is not about resolving conflict or bringing justice from deprivation. Human Rights is about enabling ready recognition and inclusion to the global populace individually for their individuality that will set an environment free of conflicts and deprivation taking every one of us towards prosperity making every bit of the world blooming and prosperous. 

In a world that's rich in human rights, there wouldn't be activism, opposition, violence, unrest, conflicts or deprivation because human rights doesn't deny or stipulate inclusion or recognition, instead, it grants unconditional inclusion and recognition that just ensures and assures activities people design for their individuality is progressive without hurting other's freedom, other principles provisioned through the declaration and that it adds to social progress and prosperity - the guideline made for exertion of human rights through article 28, 29 & 30 of the declaration.

Finally, with regards to the sectorship, everything under a region is a part of the government. Sectorship just indicates the economic status and association of a unit and it has nothing to do with the role or functioning it plays in the world, nation or a region. Every unit including the government is autonomous, autonomy is freedom from the procedure and not a status of "unquestionable position" that it can ignore and design its functioning against the principles and provisions of the fundamentals. Every component of the society works for the progress and prosperity of the world taking up the resources of the world and hence every component irrespective of its pattern of economic association is bounded to abide by the principles adopted as fundamentals and are an integral part of the government.

Thus, everything that’s needed is already there, it is just our approach and outlook that needs a little reformation to correspond with the fundamentals thats been waiting for it to be recognised true to its principles for a long. 

Matthias Wevelsiep • Development Manager at Finn Church Aid from Finland

Dear All,

The biggest challenge perhaps exists in countries in fragile situations or in countries recovering from conflict. Here the local level does not necessarily have the robust fabric needed to engage societal forces (state-private-civil society-media). The local may be dealing even with a temporary vacuum, caused by absence of (well-governed) state or institutions, but also absence of media. Having said that, states in fragile situations may very well have resilient cities, built on urban governance (which may be different from local governance), and in post-conflict scenarios being both helpful and problematic (in for example bringing in an alternative, parallel layer of governance possibly.

One challenge is to make progress of how we picture the development taking place. We need to move further on the humanitarian-development nexus, and perhaps the concept of “resilience” to better unite the nexus and align associated funding instruments. When rethinking sustainable development, we need to offer more tailor made tools to those contexts that are only embarking on the journey.

It is therefore recommended to see resilience and sustainability as tools brining actors together under the humanitarian and development nexus and its instruments.

In addition, to unpack layers of resilience, also visible on local level, such as life-cycle resilience (individual level), community resilience (group level) and institutional resilience (societal level).

And finally, to rethink local governance in the absence of state actors, for example through urban hybrid governance models (some of which could be found for example in Syria or elsewhere).

Matthias Wevelsiep

Development Manager - FCA         

Joaquín Galván • Embajador en México at Regional Studies Association from Mexico

Hola a todos, antes que nada reciban un cordial saludo.

Quiero empezar mi intervención diciendo que a dos años de que se aprobaron los ODS y la Agenda 2030 en el caso concreto de México a pesar de que a nivel nacional se están realizando esfuerzos por institucionalizar la Agenda, en el nivel local con los gobiernos estatales y municipales es en donde los trabajos han sido muy marginales y casi nulos.

Un error grave que se sigo cometiendo como sucedió con los ODM  es que no podemos buscar que se institucionalicen los ODS si éstos no se conocen, ha faltado una campaña masiva a nivel local para que los ciudadanos, gobiernos y sector privado conozcan que son los ODS y por qué son importantes.

Otro punto a resaltar y que me ha tocado ver es que no existe voluntad política real por cumplir con los ODS, de los gobiernos locales en México que han realizado pronunciamiento por la adopción de los mismo solamente ha sido para sacarse la foto y no hay una real implementación de acciones que impacten realmente, no se están diseñando políticas públicas, no se está destinando presupuesto, no se esta cambiando el marco normativo.

Lo mejor que podemos hacer para realmente institucionalizar los ODS  a nivel local es hacer que los ciudadanos se apropien de la agenda, para ello deben conocerla y poder transitar a una gobernanza local en pro de los ODS. 

Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje • Executive Director at Afrihealth Information Projects/Afrihealth Optonet Association from Nigeria

FROM GLOBAL TO LOCAL: supporting sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities

Afrihealth Optonet Association <http://www.afrihealthcsos.org> is a civil society network and think-tank for the promotion of Health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being through systems strengthening in the health, community and development sectors, especially in the areas of diseases prevention and impact mitigations for HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, immunization, health care financing and endemic diseases; energy and environmental preservation, conservation and sustainability; nutrition and food security; good governance, democracy, gender and human rights; using partnerships, advocacy, research/evidence-generation, capacity development, outreaches, and monitoring and evaluation as strategies.

AFRIHEALTH is currently implementing a 24 months project called ‘Sustainable Citizen Participation in Nigeria’s Niger Delta’ region with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). The purpose of the project is to promote the capacity, voice and participation of 81 community-based civil society organizations [CSOs] and women’s groups (WGs) stakeholders in 81 local government areas across the 9 States of the Niger Delta region, by empowering them to actively participate in setting development and democratic agenda in the region and Nigeria in a sustainable manner.

The following are the challenges we and the participating organizations and communities have experienced in the Project:

  1. Very poor response by State Governments and local governments to the plight of the citizens in the midst of decaying infrastructure or total absence of the same especially in the areas of health care, education, water and road infrastructure;
  2. Some community stakeholders were non-responsive when approached to buy into the project;
  3. Few members of the Community Consultative Committee [CCC] elected by the communities, which we set up to work with our  local partners – CSOs and WGs were not punctual at the meetings;
  4. The 24 month period for the project implementation is short and the scope of intervention appears too limited, given the enormous needs of the community. The project ends in 2018 while there is still a lot to do;
  5. We discovered that more communities in each local government area should benefit from this project instead of just one as presently involved;
  6. The project should be funded to provide better roads, electricity and school buildings in the community;
  7. Communities do not always carry CSOs and WGs along when engaging with or attending meetings with government officials/institutions. Our CSOs/WGs duty bearers were specifically trained to do advocacy, resource mobilization, community sensitization and project monitoring; as the reluctance of some governments and stakeholders to contribute may be due to the lack of expertise of the community members to source for funds;
  8. Duty bearers should ensure that they step down training on resource mobilization, among others, to CCC members
  9. There is a lack of effective communication flow between members and the duty bearers

Therefore, the following institutional frameworks are required for sustainable development through:

  1. Increased emphases on community involvement in needs assessment and in planning, execution and monitoring of SDG projects/activities;
  2. Developing the capacities of the larger civil society for advocacy, resource mobilization, community sensitization and projects monitoring;
  3. Local governments must make themselves accessible to the local people and pander to their identified needs and priorities especially in health, education, transport, environment and food security; and
  4. Efforts must be made to encourage the civil society to be less dependent on donors in executing is mandate, by including civil society support funds in national budgets.

Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, CEO/National Coordinator

AFRIHEALTH OPTONET ASSOCIATION

National Coordinator, Coalition on Vaccines, Vitamins and Immunizations for All Nigerians [COVIAN]

National Chairman, Civil Society Partnership for Development in Nigeria [CSPDN]

Chairman, National TWG of NGOs in Health in Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH),

Co-Chairman, National World Malaria Day Committee, FMOH, Nigeria

Suite 216, Block G, FHA Cornershops, Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja

P.O. Box 8880, Wuse; Abuja, Nigeria

Phone: +234 803 472 5905

http://www.afrihealthcsos.org

Email: afrihealthnigeria@gmail.com, covianigeria@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/afrihealthnigeria

Twitters: @afrihealthcso @DAdirieje and @uaadirieje

Dr.Amb.Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua • President and Founder of Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua Foundation at Asabe Shehu Yar'Adua Foundation from Nigeria

From Global to Local: Supporting Sustainable and Resilient Societies in Urban and Rural Communities.It is a strong belief of the Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation that in order to truly bring development, curb criminals and terrorist action due to vulnerability and to improve livelihood of the citizenry in any society, it is key to focus and pay attention to the local community. The Local community has always been the centre for hard labour workers, soft-skills expert, cultured men and women but have also been at the receiving end of inequality, poor education and the likes. Have you wondered why it is so easy for the community leaders despite high modernization still talk about the rural communities when it has to do with food security and agriculture, health, women’s empowerment, energy access, economic growth, peaceful societies and effective governance? Global partnership should be designed with the interests of improving communities to achieve sustainable results. The Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation is hopeful that this facilitated partnerships will help to demonstrate mutual strategic benefits starting from the remotest of all rural communities: We believe these tips will go a long way to supporting and strengthening the rural and urban community at large.• Partnering with corporate networks to reinforce local stakeholder engagement, in order to address their greatest challenges and to take charge and improve their situation to be self-sufficient.• There is a primary need to building confidence and exposure of the youth through learning and volunteerism.• Capacity development among the rural – urban community is a major yardstick in fostering this development for potential target markets for corporate partners, while delivering improved workforce training and creating job opportunities for vulnerable youth.• Peaceful Coexistence among people: The Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation believes that basic root of all unpeaceful coexistence among people is a thing of the local community then it goes up from there, therefore, we are putting all necessary steps to promote peace from the local community such as practicing self-love and care among ourselves, encouraging the youth and elderly to take part in community policies and laws, helping the homeless, putting yardstick to encouraging and developing meaningful relationship regardless of race (sex, colour, tribe, religion), discouraging prejudice and promoting education/diversity inclusiveness amongst all.We believe there is a need to promote effective stakeholder,collaboration and learning to increase the scale and impact of our shared initiatives. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, The Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation through our Youth Development Centre have been able to develop new solutions to grow sustainable companies and communities to aid this process.

• Continuous Learning Platform: There is a need to conduct a continuous assessment to identify community needs and opportunities to determine the most effective corporate engagement approach that aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals. Over time, this system hasn’t worked for a lot of people because there is no system in place, the proposed change makers often do it as a one-time event and that cannot be sustained, which usually end in loss.

• Informal Education Processes: The Bureau of Statistics says that 65% of Sub Saharan African are uneducated and to cater for such groups who are soft target as tools for war and conflict in the world. We need to develop the informal sector through formal education and organise technical programmes for students and non-students to create, develop, implement, utilize, sustain information and infrastructure that is in line with the United Nation vision, mission, strategies and to enhance academic services, processes through the maintenance of integrated management information system applications that are real-time, which increases the efficiency and effectiveness of people worldwide and to assist students in understanding, utilizing the full range of information services that will be made available to foster the acquisition of skills necessary for independent living.

To cap it all, while we advocate for sustainable and resilient society among the rural and urban communities, we can’t help but to stress in Discussing sustainable environment which is a discussion that will affect our lives not for today but for the future. While, the rural community have been able to keep a balance structure of maintaining the ecosystem properly through charcoal for cooking, less use of carbon-dioxide, induced materials for transportation and power and encourages massive planting of trees and preservation of wild life and nature, the same cannot be said about the urban settlement. We all need to put hands-on deck to solving this challenge and encouraging everyone to get involved in making this work better.It is clear that peace process amongst Nations, tribes and community plays significant impact in all societies worldwide, in all economic, social, and cultural aspects especially growth. The Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation have identified the rural-urban community as a major part of this process and we are committed to making it a success.

Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation.

Lal Manavado • Senior Advisor at undefined from Norway

Path to an Adequate Regional Implementation of Global Policies

It would be useful to clarify a few terms before we proceed. Regional as used here refers to national level while the term local will be reserved for activities within a national state. Two more key terms, and we are done. Relevance refers to whether a given global (or national for that matter) policy statement such as any one of the SDGG’s have any practical significance. For instance, most Middle Eastern oil producers would find SDG/energy rather academic, but its prudent use has grave ecological implications for all.

The next much maligned term is appropriateness, which signifies whether the mode of implementation adopted to achieve a relevant policy is suitable for a given country. Its suitability depends on three conditions:

  1. Its successful implementation benefits the majority and/or a hitherto much deprived social group.

  2. Its implementation does not require material or technical skills that are beyond the capacity of a country to afford.

  3. It results in a quantitative increase in employment rates in real terms, and it does not lead to environmental degradation.

A policy implementation method that does not meet all three of those criteria above is inappropriate, and should be deprecated as doing more harm than good.

Now, at the global level, when broad and sweeping policies are agreed upon ostensibly by consensus, it is precisely their relevance and appropriateness for individual countries that ought to be left for them to determine. Unfortunately even at the global level, policy priorities are not always decided with reference to their importance of human survival and continued well-being. Otherwise, regeneration of our environment and strict controls on its degradation will have received a much greater priority in a holistic manner.

So, at the national level, a rational government would look at the 17 SDG’s and determine the ones relevant to its current state, and then arrange the chosen national goals according to their order of priority. For instance, many a ’developing country’ has a considerable portion of its population going hungry or malnourished. Obviously then, nutrition should receive the highest priority rather than say defense or some prestige project.

I need not describe what is ‘rogue aid’. Its vicious effects on millions of people in southern Africa have been clearly visible to anyone who cared to visit the area during past decade. At the global level, it might yet repay to take real steps to stamp out rogue aid, but of course those who provide it have too much economic clout, no mighty power dare voice objections. As one anonymous observer put it, ‘there is nothing like money to glue democratic lips.’ Therefore, I plead every national government not to offer or to accept rogue aid whose awful consequences already plague many of the poorest countries in the world.

I would also emphasize the importance of not being infatuated by the lure of latest technology. On paper, ‘cutting edge’ technology may appeal to some, but never forget as responsible authorities that they inevitably cut off the poorest from what little they may have. The reason for this is so simple; the wonder is that it is not appreciated enough.

Consider now, the reality in a poor country. High population growth, poor economy, high unemployment rates, wide-spread poverty, inadequate health, education and communications facilities just to mention a few. And what is the purpose of ‘high tech’? Obviously, to increase productivity, i.e., to produce much more at a lower production cost. Very well, one of the principle means of achieving this ‘effectivity’ is automation, i.e., fewer human employees and an extensive use of capital-intensive method of using machinery. And this is ‘highly recommended’ for countries where unemployment is rife. Hence, this is highly inappropriate. Only misplaced desire for prestige could drive the authorities onto this path to greater social inequity.

Increasingly growing slice of the total cake of resources in the world is being claimed by fewer and fewer people while the share left of the growing population of ‘have nots’ is constantly diminishing. And the total size of this cake is finite. I shall not waste time on ‘research’ to turn grass into bread or algae into ersatz meat, the final insult of depriving man from enjoying what he could even during his time in the stone age.

So, it is incumbent upon both global and national policy makers and implementers to take two concrete actions:

  1. Limit human population growth.

  2. Make a just portion of the cake accessible to those who have been left behind. Please note this does not entail re-distribution of wealth or any Marxist notions, nor yet the primitive capitalist competition.

What is suggested is real economic devolution identical to its political counterpart undertaken in many democracies. If the global institutions fail, I think the national authorities should take the initiative before it is too late, for even now, their authority is being constantly undermined by giant multi-national concerns.

Nobody man or that legal joke ‘entity’ should be permitted to sequester more than a certain quantity of wealth. Neither should be permitted to monopolize any one area of trade. It is this that would enable small farmers, traders, etc., to be self-supporting and also offer meaningful livelihoods to comparatively unskilled adult unemployed. High tech is irrelevant to these people.

Finally, if some elements in the global SDG policy set are irrelevant, national governments should select those that are for implementation. Then, they should be arrayed in order of their importance as described above, and appropriate modes on implementation selected. If they are appropriate, one would observe the following among and with them.

  1. The chosen national policies display inter-policy harmony, i.e., they do not conflict with each other with respect to their individual objectives.

  2. Each chosen policy embodies intra-policy harmony, i.e., its implementation strategies do not conflict with the overall goal of the policy. For instance, a policy on increased food production may opt for ensuring secure land tenure for the rural farmers, but if it adopts ‘high tech’ agricultural methods, disaster will ensue as it did in the wake of highly publicized but now quietly forgotten ‘Green Revolution’ in the 1970-ies. This is a classic case of intra-policy disharmony.

I know my views may be contoversial, but I am convinced that when it comes to matters of development, our perspective is no different from the Weltanschaung of people 600 years ago when they still believed that the sun revolved  around the earth. And economy in numers is that 'earth'. Let us put the economy in its right place, i.e., a useful tool when used to enable us to satisfy our justifiable needs, and not think of it as an end in itself, or an instrument of individual power. If it is thought too difficult, education does not have made much progress in civilising us.

Best wishes!

Lal Manavado.

Semia • Programme Manager Urbanization Section at UNECA from Ethiopia

Urbanization being a multi-sectoral phenomena, it needs to be analyzed and addressed taking into account all its related dimensions (social, economic, environmental, political, and cultural). To promote inclusive and sustainable cities, national strategies need to integrate urbanization as a mega trend that needs to be harnessed through appropriate and coherent policies, including urban, spatial, sectoral and macro-economic policies. The narrative on cities has so far focused on the challenges and negative externalities, without looking at the driving role cities play in increasing productivity and competitivity. Examples from many countries, including emerging economies, show very well the strong linkages that exist between urbanization and development. In many developing countries, there is a need to embrace urbanization as a positive trend and an opportunity to create jobs, improve social outcomes, address environmental degradation, and ensure sustained economic growth.   

Rantastia Nur Alangan • Distance Education Program- Universal institute of Professional Management at Universal institute of Professional Management from Indonesia

The importance of education in developing countries cannot be overstated. Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.

Education also makes a significant difference for adults, particularly when it applies to day-to-day life, including nutrition, healthcare and gender equity. When adults learn, they become role models to their children, who also wish to learn. 

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Where ever,how ever,how rich the modus of learning could be different but the process of learning is life long.Things on gravity,on sun,on transit of planets etc in general and health and living in particular are changing.In fact as is the innovation so is the systems of life.Well said.I particularly feel that modern houses are the needs of this decade in the Hurricane effected areas of USA.

So also i feel for pretty purposes do not encourage in family migrations by showing some new systems.They are not for any ones benifit.

Malashree Bhargava • Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist at UNRCO Indonesia from Indonesia

The United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda 2015 resulted in the launch of various disaster risk reduction related international frameworks and commitments to achieve Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. Some of these frameworks include:

  • Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[1] - Disaster risk management related goals, targets and indicators. There are several targets related to natural disasters, climate change and manmade disasters in 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 25 targets in 10 SDGs are linked with natural disasters alone.
  • Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015-2030 [2]
  • Paris Agreement on Climate Change[3]
  • One Humanity: Shared Responsibility, Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit [4] and Agenda for Humanity: Annex to the Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit.[5]
  • Nansen Initiative and Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change.[6]
  • New Urban Agenda[7]

Upon taking up his appointment, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “humanitarian response, sustainable development and sustaining peace are three sides of the same triangle”[8]. In this context integrating disaster risk reduction across UN system efforts in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can assist in providing practical and tangible ways to bridge the development and humanitarian communities. However, currently at the programmatic level, natural disasters, manmade disasters and climate change are being perceived as separate processes. There is lack of an integrated monitoring framework to track these various multilateral agreements, the linkages between various DRR frameworks and their role in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda at the international, national and sub national levels needs to be clarified and elaborated.

At the national level, United Nations Development Partnership or Assistance Frameworks (UNPDFs or UNDAFs) are dotted with multiple risks that countries face such as market shocks, natural hazards, social unrest, disasters, climate change, epidemics and the risk of conflict or serious human rights violations. Such risks can trigger economic loss and political tensions; undermining and reversing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).[9] Sustainable development cannot be “sustainable” until wholistic view of disaster risk management is mainstreamed and systematically monitored in SDGs.

Citing the example of Indonesia: 

Government of Indonesia and civil society have been actively involved in the conception and development process of the Agenda 2030 including ongoing work being undertaken by the National Development Authority’s SDGs Secretariat[10], engagement of Indonesia in DRM related international frameworks such as for SFDRR[11] and the Agenda for Humanity – World Humanitarian Summit at Istanbul.[12] Indonesia also hosted important DRR related Agenda 2030 conferences such as Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development leading to Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (including DRR) at Jakarta in 2015 [13], [14]&[15] and Prepcom3 – Habitat III for New Urban Agenda at Surabaya in 2016[16]. Indonesia is one of the 109 countries to endorse the Nansen Initiative and Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change.

Despite these impressive beginnings to implement Agenda 2030 frameworks, there is  limited information sharing and collaboration between the ministries and other stakeholders responsible for implementation and reporting of these various DRR frameworks.The national and sub-national entities are largely operating in ‘silos’ while focusing on certain aspects of DRR in selected geographical regions. The existing Agenda 2030 for sustainable development monitoring system doesn’t not capture complete scenario of disaster risk management and its coherence with DRR relevant frameworks especially with Goals 13 on Climate Change and Goal 16 on conflicts and displacement.

Lack of an integrated monitoring and reporting system has increased the burden ( time and cost) on the already resource-scarce countries. Thus the disaster risk management system must comprehensively address all the above mentioned risks and factors. There is a need for one joint monitoring and reporting system for all the DRM related frameworks in Agenda 2030. It will also help to elaborate the intrinsic linkages between natural disasters, climate change and man-made/conflict related disasters and will thus help to design a coherent and comprehensively risk informed development planning and implementation to achive Agenda 2030.

[1] United Nations (2015) Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development : https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

[2] United Nations (2015) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 - 2030: http://www.preventionweb.net/files/43291_sendaiframeworkfordrren.pdf

[3] UNFCC(2015) Paris Agreement on Climate Change : https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01.pdf

[4] United Nations (2016) One Humanity: Shared Responsibility, Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit: https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/whs_sgreport

[5] United Nations (2016) for Humanity: Annex to the Report of the Secretary-General for the World Humanitarian Summit : https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/whs_sgreport

[6] The Nansen Initiative (2015) Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change, Volume 1: https://nanseninitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PROTECTION-AGEN…

[7] HABITAT III (2016), New Urban Agenda Draft outcome document for adoption in Quito, October 2016 :https://www2.habitat3.org/bitcache/97ced11dcecef85d41f74043195e5472836f6291?vid=588897&disposition=inline&op=view: The New Urban Agenda seeks for disaster risk reduction and management at all levels, reducing vulnerabilities and risk, especially in risk-prone areas of formal and informal settlements, including slums, enabling households, communities, institutions and services to prepare for, respond to, adapt to, and rapidly recover from the effects of hazards, including shocks or latent stresses. It promotes the development of infrastructure that is resilient, resource efficient, and which will reduce the risks and the impact of disasters, including in slums and informal settlements.

[8]Guterres António (2016) Secretary-General-designate António Guterres’ remarks to the General Assembly on taking the oath of office: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2016-12-12/secretary-gener…

[9] UNDG (2016) Interim United Nations Development Assistance Framework Guidance : https://undg.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Interim-UNDAF-Guidance-2016.pdf

[10] BAPPENAS (2015): http://www.sdgsindonesia.or.id/

[11] GOI (2016) Statement of the Government of Indonesia By the Minister/Head of the National Agency for Disaster Management H.E. Willem Rampangilei at the Ministerial Session The Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction New Delhi, India, November 3rd 2016 https://www.amcdrrindia.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Indonesia.pdf

[12] Kemlu (2016) Indonesia Berpartisipasi Aktif dalam World Humanitarian Summit di Istanbul: http://www.kemlu.go.id/id/berita/Pages/Indonesia-Berpartisipasi-Aktif-dalam-World-Humanitarian-Summit-di-Istanbul.aspx

[13] ESCAP/IDD (2015). Financing Disaster Risk Reduction for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. Draft discussion paper submitted to Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia, 29-30 April. Available from www.unescap.org/events/hlcffd2015

[14] Kemenkeu (2015) Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development: http://www.fiskal.kemenkeu.go.id/dw-konten-view.asp?id=20150430120414230579340

[15] UNESCAP (2017) Asia-Pacific High-Level Consultation on Financing for Development: http://www.unescap.org/events/hlcffd2015

[16] UNHabitat (2016) Preparatory Committee (PrepCom3) of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), 25-27 July 2016: https://habitat3.org/prepcom3

Brechtje Kemp • Senior Programme Officer at International IDEA from Sweden

The first edition of International IDEA’s The Global State of Democracy explored the issue of democracy’s resilience. We defined resilience as the ability to cope, survive, innovate and recover from challenges that can lead to systemic failure.

Among the most salient challenges democracies new and old, from North and South alike, face today, we identified as the rise of populism, contested transitions of power, immigration, growing inequality, and the emergence of technologies. Moreover, we found that while most markers of democracy have improved over the last 40 years, the impartiality of governments (including the absence of corruption) has not.

At the local level we found some good news too. We measured to what extent citizens have opportunities and actually participate in elections for regional and local governments as well as to what extent those elections are actually free and fair. This measurement is part of our Global State of Democracy (GSoD) indices, which present global and regional assessments of the state of democracy from 1975—at the beginning of the third wave of democratization—to 2015.

We found that overall, these opportunities have increased substantially. Our measure for the whole world went from 0.21 to 0.42, which means that subnational elections are twice as good as they were 40 years ago. Europe and Latin America fare well above that average. Although Africa and Middle East have lagged behind throughout this period, their rate of progress is much higher: four and eighteen-fold, respectively.

At International IDEA we are optimistic about the potential of democracy at the local level. This is often a more conducive environment for innovative citizen engagement and new, expansive forms of democratic decision making. The local level, especially in urban settings, most often offers more concrete opportunities and impact for citizens to influence decision making. Local governments are proving to be at the forefront of such innovations, as seen on the HABITAT III discussion in 2016. We have produced comparative knowledge, tools and expertise to support the efforts of local political actors to improve their democratic governance by enhancing citizens’ engagement.

International IDEA Handbook Democracy at the Local Level, for example, offers practical tools for strengthening local democracy. It provides citizens and policymakers with ideas and options to enhance the meaning and quality of local democracy, and examples of how these ideas and options have been implemented around the world.

Our report on Protecting Politics: Deterring The Influence Of Organized Crime On Local Democracy examines the interlinkages between organized crime networks and political actors at the local level. It also analyses policy responses (particularly decentralization policies) that have—intentionally or unintentionally—enabled or prevented organized crime engagement in political corruption at the local level. Case studies from Afghanistan, Colombia and Niger illustrate how illicit networks relate to local levels of government and decentralization processes.

International IDEA also assists national partners working with three democracy assessment tools, the State of Democracy (SoD), State of Local Democracy Assessment Framework (SoLD) and Democratic Accountability in Service Delivery Assessment (DASD), which help countries, cities and municipalities to assess the quality of their democracy and define priority areas for policy and democratic reform. The assessment frameworks enable citizens to periodically monitor the health of their democracy and can contribute to strengthening national and local governments’ responsiveness -  thereby supporting the implementation of the SDGs (Goals 16, 5 and 11 in particular).

Esteban Leon • Head of City Resilience Profiling Programme(CRPP)- UN- Habitat at UN HABITAT from Spain

Thank you for inviting us to this fruitful discussion. The focus area is of extreme relevance for UN-Habitat’s work on resilience-buildingand SDGs localisations in cities.

 

As already highlighted by other participants in this forum, through our work we have also witnessed how people around the world are facing new and intensified threats and challenges: from the impacts of climate change and related natural events, man-made hazards and conflicts, or massive demographic shifts as a result of rapid urbanization and large migration flows. As much of this ground has been covered, we will focus on critical considerations for action.

 

While all threats are globally interconnected, impacting urban and rural environments indiscriminately, today, cities are home to the majority of the global population and are increasingly the port of call for migrants, refugees and IDPs, including those fleeing conflict and climate change. Owing to their scale, cities are therefore the key battleground for our collective quest for sustainable and resilient societies. Although cities are drivers of growth and innovation, they are also the heaviest resource users and biggest polluters, and we know that unplanned or poorly managed urban areas are fertile ground for inequalities. It is also in our cities where we see the greatest urgency for decisive action on all three pillars of sustainability: economic, environmental and social.

 

Urban areas provide a unique entry-point to implement and monitor risk prevention and resilience-building solutions however those operating at the local level, notably local governments, often lack the capacity, resources and mandate to sustain such measure over the long-term. In many contexts, the primary task of local governments (providing adequate housing and basic services) leaves little margin for forward-planning or solution testing. We must therefore keep in mind that sustainability and resilience must not translate into an additional burden for local actors unless duly accompanied by the corresponding decentralization.

 

To support local governments, you must first speak the language of local governments. The capacity building and support we provide seeks to be transversal to best reflect, and even facilitate the range of tasks and work of the local government and engage key stakeholders in the city. By adopting this approach, capacity is built across the city and action is anchored across numerous institutions. Only by adopting this type of holistic approach are we able to translate global standards into contextually sound actions at the local level, and ensure that forward-looking solutions can be implemented and used to inform decision-making at the wider regional and national scale.  

 

A current example can be found in Asuncion (Paraguay), where the municipality is adopting a multi-stakeholder approach to resilience building (through the City Resilience Profiling Tool). The approach, which relies on data obtained from local authorities, as well as from other actors like energy companies, industries, regional and national governments, is in fact helping local authorities to convene training sessions and workshops to illustrate the resilience agenda on water hazards, and to collect the required data and sensitise key partners from different constituencies on resilience-thinking. Here understanding of the city is made possible through communication, awareness raising and capacity building. The engagement of stakeholders in the process is win-win as they submit their data to the process but also benefit from the collective exercise and outcomes.The result is an enabling environment of mutual trust and information sharing among different groups of stakeholders, and an increased local capacity in resilience. This supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the achievement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and SDGs 11, 6, 17, among others.

Jonathan Moregård • Group leader at Klimatsvaret - CCL Sweden from Sweden

The root cause of a lot of the issues surrounding building sustainable and resilient societies comes from the face that it's much cheaper to build unsustainable and carbon dependent ones.

The most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions is by making them expensive, thereby making the decision less about altruism and long term thinking, and more about economics.

I work as a volunteer with the Swedish branch of CCL - Citizens Climate Lobby.We are a worldwide organization working with a proposal called carbon fee and dividend.

In our vision, all carbon emissions are met with a fee, at the mine or at the border.100% of the money is paid back, in equal parts to all citizens, each month.The fee starts low, but increase yearly, steadily and strongly.

This way, the citizens can use the money to fund their own way out of carbon dependency. Choosing sustainable alternatives is easy when unsustainable ones comes with a hefty price tag. Entrepreneurs and investors get a strong incentive to target sustainable solutions, since the projected demand will be huge.

This policy also has a fairness about it: everyone get the same dividend, but it is the big consumers of unsustainable products and services that bear the cost. This means that the poor will in fact gain money from the proposal, money they can use to build up their rural communities.This proposal will also have a spread effect, provided countries who implement the policy are allowed to impose a carbon tariff on imports from countries that lack a similar system.

How? Having to pay money to the citizens of a different country in order to continue exporting will awaken an immense support for introducing a similar system within the country. That way, the country can export freely without leaking capital.

This is my answer to how to build subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions:We don't. Building this kind of infrastructure will take far too long time, and face issues where funding is missplaced. Make carbon more expensive, give people the means to handle the transition, and let the market work out the rest.

Sejuti Basu • Senior Manager - Research & Advocacy at Pragya from India

• Emerging challenge - food insecurity and malnourishment in marginalised smallholder farmer households

Deprived socio-economic classes, which include indigenous remote rural communities, are marginalised and excluded from the mainstream economy and under-served in terms of basic welfare services and enablers. These areas display a nexus of- marginalisation by the government along with weak infrastructure and inadequate State services; distance from developed areas and poor connectivity and hence low access to the mainstream economy; and social discrimination which has constrained the populations from the benefits of development and equitable participation.Poverty among them is the highest in the country, and they suffer chronic hunger & malnourishment. Calorie deficiency among these socio-economically deprived groups is high, with female malnutrition being even higher. Majority of these communities depend on small farming and wage labour for their sustenance and livelihoods, and constitute the bulk of the rural poor. A complex set of disadvantages characterise them - outdated skills and technologies in agricultural livelihoods, lack of access to infrastructure and services, and pressure on natural resources along with impacts of climate change. They also have a deep dependence on forest produce, collecting various non-timber forest products (NTFP) for use and trade. The livelihood and resource crisis among these socio-economically deprived groups, and the chronic and deepening poverty, is resulting in increasing outmigration of their youth in search of economic opportunities.

• Solution:

Focus on precision farming and climate smart agriculture (CSA), enhancing outreach of extension services through local youth trained as extension workers, equipped with user friendly ICT tools for decision making support, promotion of promotion of stress tolerant varieties and indigenous high value crops through participatory research and adaptation trainings, networking with technical institutions, buyer-seller linkages - has proven benefits to enhance smallholder incomes, reduce malnourishment, reduce vulnerability of smallholders to climate vulnerabilities. We are happy to share some of our initiatives which are contributing towards global goals on zero hunger (SDG 2), lowering malnourishment and promoting health & wellbeing through improved dietary diversity (SDG 3) and climate action (SDG 13).

  • Interventions on climate smart agriculture being piloted by Pragya in remote high altitude Indian Himalayas: https://goo.gl/FJevqX
  • Learnings from climate smart agriculture being piloted by Pragya: https://goo.gl/Cn32Zr
  • Details on ICT tool on cropping advice that was recognised through ICT for Mountain Development Award (ICT4MD) https://goo.gl/5rKnjB
  • Learnings from wasteland reclamation, sustainable agriculture and medicinal plants based livelihoods in the Himalayas piloted by Pragya - documented by CIPT and USAID (and other case studies from India) https://goo.gl/AXQBE3
  • Learnings from successful medicinal plants based livelihoods in the Himalayas by Pragya https://goo.gl/PYxC8P

- Contribution by Pragya (www.pragya.org) - a non-profit, having Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC

​​​​​​​

Sejuti Basu • Senior Manager - Research & Advocacy at Pragya from India

• Emerging challenge – increasing climate volatility and disaster risk

Although there has been considerable progress in Disaster Preparedness and Resilience in the Asia and Pacific, the region remains vulnerable to concentrated disaster risk, and the economic losses in the region due to the effects of disasters, continue to rise. Increasing degradation of ecosystems and inappropriate development are enhancing risk levels in the region. There is a continuing schism between DRR and ecosystem based approaches, and lack of a bridging language contributes to it. Ecosystem based adaptation (EBA) are not considered in development planning which leads to elevated levels of vulnerability and increased expenditure on development and protection of human habitations.

The concept of ecosystem-based adaptation has been around for a while and is reflected in several policy documents of nations; Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR), is also well-recognized in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030). However, it continues to be missed out in the suite of solutions employed by countries and communities for disaster risk reduction. 

The core challenge for effective Disaster Management (DM) in remote areas such as the Himalayan mountains, is the lack of quality information for use in warning systems, relief and support, and risk reduction. The region’s high vulnerability stems from its exceptionally challenging physical geography and inaccessibility, compounded by poor infrastructure and the highly dispersed, remote nature of many settlements. Existing disaster management systems in these remote regions completely lack capacity to manage or respond effectively to the complex, combination disasters which characterise the region. Inadequacies in pre- and post-information infrastructure form a significant part of this challenge.

• Solution 1:

Over the past decade, Eco-DRR has gained increasing acceptance within the scientific, academic as well as engineering communities. Yet Eco-DRR approaches have long been implemented by local communities, in some cases over centuries, without necessarily being named as such. A number of countries are also implementing Eco-DRR at the national level. Healthy ecosystems provide multiple development benefits, including livelihoods, health, food and water security – all of which can strengthen resilience to disasters. Well-managed ecosystems function as “natural” or “green” infrastructure that can directly reduce a community’s exposure and vulnerability to a range of hazards, such as flooding, storm surge, drought and landslides among others. Use of nature as infrastructure needs to evolve. To begin with, a hybrid approach combining structural and ecological measures, grey and green engineering, may be adopted for DRR (eg., replacing sea walls with mangroves). We need to showcase the best practices in Eco-DRR and promote solutions that have proven to be efficient in the field, along with documenting clearly the relationships between ecosystem based approaches and economic resilience as well as infrastructural sustainability. Involving local communities in Eco-DRR programs has demonstrated success and can be replicated. Integrating immediate benefits for the communities, such as towards livelihoods, in the Eco-DRR program also helps to ensure its uptake.

  • Learnings from across South Asia – from Thematic Side Event on Eco-DRR hosted by Pragya: https://goo.gl/W7DZqN

• Solution 2:

A knowledge-based information infrastructure for the Disaster Management cycle can provide balanced support to each phase of relief and response activities to reduce the level of accepted risk. A Dynamic Risk & Response Information System, particularly designed for the last-mile by Pragya, is a process of dynamic risk governance and disaster response to cater to the disadvantages faced by populations in remote and vulnerable areas- the Last Mile. Based on its long experience of working in some of the remotest and most marginalized regions. Through rigorous consultative research, Pragya came up with an area-specific, cost-effective, decentralised system for two critical components of the Disaster Management cycle: i. Early Warning and grassroots preparedness; and ii. Post disaster damage and needs assessment and communication system.

- Contribution by Pragya (www.pragya.org) - a non-profit, having Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC

Richard Ewbank • Global Climate Advisor at Christian Aid from United Kingdom

Reflecting the many concerns raised already on the damage to ecosystems, human health, rural resilience and climate stability caused by a global food system increasingly reliant on the intensive use of fossil fuels and agrochemicals, action is needed in 5 key areas:

  1. Scaling up agroecology - the need to transform agriculture in terms of climate resilience is now clear. The most effective way that this can be achieved is through scaling up agroecological methods that can both reverse the environmental degradation, now cited as “an urgent priority to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services vital to all life on Earth and to ensure human well-being” (see IPBES Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration) and consequent climate vulnerability caused by conventional, intensive chemical agricultural methods; and strengthen the resilience of the global agricultural system in the face of future climate change. Four key elements of this transformation are identified in Christian Aid’s briefing on Climate Resilient Agriculture (which includes reference to evidence on the increased productivity, climate resilience and input use efficiencies of agroecological methods), with the challenge of scaling up addressed in the EAA report Scaling Up Agroecology.

  2. Implementing early warning/early action systems - the 2015/16 El Niño and consequent drought affecting agriculture (the sector which bears 80% of the economic impacts of drought) across 75 mainly developing countries was a wake-up call for the improvement of early warning and early action from global to local levels. The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoys’ report Preventing El Niño Southern Oscillation Episodes from Becoming Disasters: A ‘Blueprint for Action’ identified 11 building blocks which can be incorporated as appropriate into nationally-led multi-hazard plans and other efforts to focus on prevention and resilience. Subsequently an FAO/OCHA-led process has developed Standard Operating Procedures for Early Warning/Early Action to El Niño and La Niña Events which need to be urgently operationalised, including in support of initiatives such as the Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought in Africa. Christian Aid’s review of Building Resilience to El Niño Drought in Nicaragua and Ethiopia highlights the key issues involved. Going beyond drought to multi-hazard disaster risk reduction is also essential and can be achieved through community-based risk assessment and response planning to enhance agricultural resilience.

  3. Strengthening climate services for small-scale farmers – as well as effective early warning systems, small-scale farmers need sustainable access to climate services (forecasts, climate change scenarios, etc.) and associated agrometeorological advisories. As well as enhancing anticipation of major hazards, these enable small-scale farmers to increase yields, input use efficiency and avoid asset damage year on year. Evidence of climate service impact and recommendations from small-scale farmer users for future development is detailed in a wide variety of assessments, including Christian Aid-supported interventions e.g. in The Philippines.

  4. Deforestation-free agriculture – loss of forests to agricultural expansion not only reduces their potential in removing atmospheric greenhouse gases but is a major driver of ecosystem service degradation (as highlighted in the IPBES report cited above) that leaves other sectors, such as downstream urban areas, exposed to increased flood risks. The landscape dimensions of agricultural adaptation need full consideration, together with ensuring increased agricultural resilience is consistent with initiatives such as the GEF/UNEP/STI initiative on deforestation-free agriculture. The people who live in and depend on forests for their livelihoods must be at the heart of any solution.

  5. Reducing the carbon footprint of agricultureagriculture is unique as a sector that not only has to adapt to climate change but can also be part of the solution through both mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and removing them through enhanced soil and agroforest carbon. Livestock emissions are frequently the focus of attention, but of equal concern are the emissions associated with intensive and over-use of chemical inputs, such as nitrogen fertilisers - the source of most nitrous oxide, comprising 6% of greenhouse gas emissions CO2e. Both nitrogen and phosphorous flows to the biosphere and oceans, primarily from chemical fertilizers, are highlighted as 2 of the 3 highest risk violations of the 9 planetary boundaries identified by the Stockholm Environment Institute, further demonstrating the interconnectedness of environmental degradation and climate change.

Jaume • Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) from Spain

On behalf of the hundreds of local governments and territories gathered around the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights – working side by side with UCLG to promote the Right to the City and Human Rights in global and worldwide local governments agenda – our intervention to the debate could be summed up in three main action lines:

Building sustainable and resilient societies at the local level must first count with the strengthening and deepening of worldwide local democracy and decentralization with enough means and resources available to local authorities. That means they must have the capacity to both devote the maximum available resources to fulfill city dwellers economic, social and cultural rights, as well as build up local governance around the concepts of full citizen participation and the respect for local autonomy. More broadly, we keep on advocating for the enhancement of multilevel governance, so that local governments count with better conditions to carry out policy in collaboration with national authorities.

Secondly, we recall how the human rights approach and the right to the city (as enshrined in the New Urban Agenda) must play a central role in coping with urbanization main challenges: the raise of metropolitan areas, the commodification of cities and housing as well as the increase of social and economic inequalities (as noted by UN-Habitat, inequalities are larger in cities that at a national level). This approach must take a specific emphasis in regards the human rights of migrants and the right to housing, as pressing issues in the agendas of worldwide local authorities.

Thirdly, that organizations as UCLG, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments or the whole municipalist network must play a central role in the monitoring and implementation process of the goals. Having a seat at the national and the global table must thus ensure that local governments and their associations, are well included in the process of Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the SDGs; and that their voice and recommendations are received by institutions in charge of providing follow-up, monitoring and policy recommendations on the goals.

In our member cities and territories, we see how local governments translate the goals into concrete actions on their own initiative as a matter of social justice, local democracy and fundamental rights. Throughout the world, they carry out specific policies to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable in terms of Right to Housing (by carrying out inclusive and participatory urban planning or demanding strengthened multi-level governance or better local finances to provide housing for all) or opening their social services and democratic institutions to deprived populations or migrants. Through education for development and international networking, they also play a fundamental role in building strong institutions, promote peace among societies and partnering to achieve the goals. Here are some examples from Mechelen, Nador, Seoul, Montevideo, Barcelona, Madrid, Toronto or Grenoble

In a nutshell, building institutional frameworks for the goals requires to think in terms of rights, multi-level governance, advance of decentralization and local democracy and to secure strong local finances. As already recalled, it is also essential to include local governments associations’ in the process.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Food Tank,USA,Ms.Danielle who is attending the Agroecology seminar of UN/FAO at Rome reports that"ICRISAT estimates that more than 90 million people in Africa and Asia depend on millets in their diets, and 500 million people in more than 30 countries depend on sorghums as a staple food. However, in the past 50 years, these grains have largely been abandoned in favor of crops like maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans."

These millets were widely used in almost all countries till 1970.That was when our food and milk revolutions succeeded.But now that we need to account water,food production and preserve the health,these millets for breakfast and other side dishes offer good resistance for human body.

Some are really drought resistant varieties.

Dosse • Executive director at ONG: Amis des Etrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Sdgs from global to local is very easy. 

From the  HlPF under ECOSOC to regional economie commission with regional Major Groups. This entity work work with subregional economic entity with subregional Major groups. This entity work with country résident coordinator who work with government ans country team. Country team  works with municipal committees ans local SDGs centres with the  3 SDGs pillard.

Ricardo Martínez • Policy Officer at United Cities and Local Governments from Spain

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the global network of municipalities and subnational governments, representing today over 240,000 local governments in over 140 countries around the world. Understanding how to translate the global commitments enshrined in the new global agendas and in the Sustainable Development Goals into viable actions, initiatives and decisions at the local level is an inherently fundamental and crucial challenge and opportunity, for our organization as well as for all our members.

Since the adoption of the global agendas in 2015, UCLG has reshaped its strategic approach and its advocacy agenda on the requirements and commitments of the global goals. UCLG has also facilitated the work of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governance (GTF), a body which encompasses all the largest and most representative networks of local and regional governments and actors, voicing and channeling their needs and expectations at the table of global politics. UCLG and the GTF have been particularly active within the system of the United Nations. UCLG has cultivated a long-standing, extremely fruitful partnership with UN-Habitat and UNDP, as well as with many other UN agencies. Our network, members and partners have been extremely proactive in addressing issues and challenges of resilient development in different contexts of the world. Our work has extended to cover the implications of the Sendai Risk Management Framework, the effects of the Paris Climate Accords, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing Development.

The role and active participation of local and regional governments is going to be essential for the achievements of the global goals. It is calculated that about 65% of the current targets and objectives could only be attained at the local level, via local policies, and with the involvement of local stakeholders and actors of all kinds: local governments, civil society, grassroots associations, private sector, academia, among others. This engagement is absolutely essential to meet the demanding requirements of the SDGs and to pave the way towards more resilient societies, inclusive communities, and sustainable territories. The local level is the closest to the needs, demands and expectations of the communities that local and regional authorities represent: local authorities have a unique perspective and a great opportunity to foster collaboration towards the achievement of the Goals and, at the same time, to drive innovative change that may a catalyst impact on the relationship between national and local institutions, empowering local stakeholders, making them really “own” the Goals and engage fully both with their citizens and with the international community.

UCLG has developed a multi-dimensional approach to meet these ambitious goals. It has deployed a strong advocacy effort, especially by facilitating the GTF and the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, which met in the framework of Habitat III Summit, to represent the perspective of local and regional governments at the main global milestones that have marked the way towards the establishment of the global agendas. Raising awareness on both these goals and the role that local authorities can play in their achievement has been essential to drive significant institutional change, increase the room for dialogue and cross-level collaboration, and ultimately let local and regional stakeholders and actors take part in the decision-making process. UCLG has developed an effective learning and training strategy, thanks to which local and regional governments from different regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and West Asia – can come together to share successful practices, avoid pitfalls in the implementation process, increase social and political awareness on the SDGs and the global agendas. Recently, UCLG also initiated a process of peer-to-peer training, so that those local governments who have been introduced to the Goals and have been able to spark change and innovation in their own local policies are able to train others to become trainers, drivers of institutional innovation and advocates of the global goals as well. In collaboration with UNDP and UN-Habitat, the GTF and UCLG have created and curated the online platform, LocalizingtheSDGs.org, an open portal which allows all interested local authorities and stakeholders to share their experiences, best and worst practices, learned lessons and institutional evolution, as stimulated and fostered by the SDGs and their implementation.

Awareness and advocacy; mutual learning and the ability to generate ownership, understanding and dissemination; constant monitoring and review of available information and existing practices are the tools that UCLG has set up in order to address the challenges of development, sustainability, resilience and inclusiveness. Local and regional governments around the world are demanding their rightful place at the global table that is determining the roadmap and tasks for this future to become possible and sustainable. UCLG is voicing their effort and their stories, and welcomes all contributions from all local authorities willing to contribute to this common vision and goals.

Andrea Ciambra • Research Officer at GOLD Observatory at United Cities and Local Governments from Spain

From the Global Observatory of Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD) of UCLG, we would also like to take this opportunity to provide a few more details on the monitoring and reviewing effort that UCLG, the GTF and its members and partners have put together over the last few months and years.

For the last ten years, GOLD has reported on the evolution, main trends, and challenges of decentralization and local governance and democracy around the world. Its flagship reports have studied progress in decentralization trends, the evolution and change of local finance and resources, and the accessibility and quality of basic services. In 2016, GOLD published GOLD IV, an analysis of priorities and trends for local and regional governments of all kinds – be they metropolitan areas, intermediary cities, smaller towns or territories and regions – as they proceeded towards the Habitat III summit and the creation of the New Urban Agenda. This research supported the work and efforts of local governments in all regions of the world, and provided a token of their contribution to the definition of the global agendas and the global goals: the SDGs, the NUA, the Paris Agreement, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai framework, and all the other documents that define today the blueprint to achieve a more sustainable, just and resilient future.

After this strong commitment and effort for the definition of these documents, GOLD has invested a lot in following up on them and review to what extent these agendas are being implemented and translated into reality. For these objectives to be achieved, the contributions of local and regional governments are absolutely essential. For its new strategic phase, and with the support of UCLG, the GTF, their members and network, GOLD has initiated its work on monitoring and reporting the “localization” of the global agendas. Localization does not simply refer to the parachuting of the global goals, their wording and their aim to the local level. Rather than passively accepting these texts, localization supposes full ownership of the agendas by the local authorities in charge of implementing – through their work in their communities and the exercise of their powers, competences and responsibilities – their objectives.

The next GOLD report, to be published in 2019, GOLD V, will study the localization of the SDGs and the other global goals. In order to do so, it will rely on analysis from different regional teams, while also addressing a thematic focus on the most relevant dimensions of the SDGs and the global goals for urban and territorial development, resilience and inclusiveness. GOLD is also eager to contribute to the international community’s work to provide reliable, effective and constructive monitoring and reporting at the global level, especially within the system established by the UN and their agencies. On the one hand, GOLD has taken care – in close partnership with UN-Habitat and UNDP – of an online platform, Localizing the SDGs, in which all stakeholders, local actors and elected representatives from local governance can contribute and share their stories of localization, whether they are positive, negative, illustrative of their context and reality, showing actual policies, consensus, awareness-raising activities, or institutional evolution and change as propelled and facilitated by the adoption of the Goals and the pressure of the international community to implement them.

Moreover, since 2017, GOLD has been reporting from the point of view of local and regional governments on the actual implementation and localization of the SDGs at the High-Level Political Forum which is held in New York every summer. The 2017 report is freely available online at this address. The reports to the HLPF want to bring to the attention of the Forum and the UN member states the invaluable and irreplaceable contribution of local governments to the achievement of the goals, data collection, awareness-raising among the population, and the beginning of the necessary change and evolution of governance and institutional mechanisms of decision-making. The GOLD reports to the HLPF analyse the Voluntary National Reviews that member states present to the Forum through the lens of the involvement, engagement and inclusion of local governments in the process of drafting and in the actual policy-making connected to the agendas. Moreover, the reports collect first-hand information from municipalities, provinces, regions, all local tiers of governance about practices of implementation and awareness-raising at the local level, instances of institutional evolution or change (positive and negative), and the engagement of civil society and community stakeholders in the process.

The report stress that even many progress have been done, there is still so much work to do. In 2017, only 41% of surveyed countries had actually involved their local level of governance in the coordination and follow-up bodies or entities created ad hoc for the achievement of the SDGs. Even in terms of reporting the percentage are worrisome: as few as the 58% of the countries reporting to the HLPF in 2017 had concretely involved local governments in the preparation of their VNR, or at least mentioned them in the document as part of the governance mechanism for the process of implementation. Positive, empowering processes are hindered by inadequate governance mechanisms and structures: decentralization reform remains sheer wishful thinking or is widely incomplete or underfunded in many countries. Many local governments have highlighted how these issues had already compromised the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, and lack of transparency and inclusion is undermining trust and confidence in the new agendas too. There is a mismatch to be solved in terms of data, information and indicators, for local governments to be able to report on their activities and their ability to achieve the SDGs. Disaggregated data is usually unavailable, costly, non-transparent, or difficult to collect due to technological and financial deficiencies. Local governments should be empowered to be direct collectors of refined, co-owned and co-defined data: they are the ultimate analysts and observers of how implementation materially takes place in territories and communities. Their information and data is a priceless source of review and assessment of the SDG process as a whole, and its ability to alter the trajectory of development policies and improve the lives of the communities involved. Ultimately, challenges to be addressed in the near future have to include the empowerment of the local level to raise awareness and commitment; to engage communities and vulnerable and marginalized groups; to invest in peer-to-peer learning to maximize knowledge exchange; to be provided with adequate financial and human resources to actually take on all the competences, tasks and responsibilities that regulations, institutional mechanisms and governance pressure put on them.

GOLD is helping give local stakeholders, partners in the international communities, organized interests and associations, civil society, academia, networks of local actors the platform, voice and instruments they may need in order to be able to assess the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, the NUA and the other global goals, and how they have been achieved so far. GOLD calls for all stakeholders involved in this initiative, in this conversation and in these platforms to provide their grain to the cause, to share their testimony and experience, to tell their stories: sharing knowledge, teaching to and learning from each other, understanding what actions and what initiatives reward those local governments willing to commit to change and innovate their policies in light of the SDGs, these are the instruments that are bringing the constituency of local governments together with the aim to achieve these common, ambitious future.

Edgardo Bilsky • Director of Research at Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization - UCLG from Spain

Local and regional governments have put in place many initiatives to contribute to the localization of the goals. There have been significant advances in terms of awareness-raising: in many countries, local and regional governments have developed fora, outreach campaigns (the Municipalities4GlobalGoals campaign in the Netherlands is mobilizing a growing number of Dutch municipalities under the leadership of VNG, the national local government association), dedicated charters (in Germany, the 2030 Agenda declaration has collected support of tens of municipalities on 13 initiatives that address awareness-raising, networking, and concrete policies for social, economic, political and cultural sustainability), SDG “tours”, initiative-mapping, training and communication resources (even in the small Swedish municipality of Ljungby, an Instagram competition advertised through local channels and connections promoted awareness on the Goals and their impact on the territory and the community; Madagascar developed a communication programme, Madagate, dedicated to the engagement of local governments in the implementation of the SDGs) that have helped mobilize even more local stakeholders and actors, including civil society, associations, private sector and academia.

Many local and regional governments have been institutionally receptive: many have developed tailored strategies and plans at the local level, adapting or aligning local priorities, objectives and action plans to the requirements of the SDGs and the other global agendas. In Latin America, cities like Rio de Janeiro or Barcarena (in the state of Pará) and federal states like the Federal District, Ceará, Paraíba, Paraná, Piauí, São Paulo and Bahia have either integrated the SDGs in their plans, or have committed to. A similar trend can be observed in Mexico, with several states – Nuevo León, Colima, Hidalgo, Zacatecas and Jalisco (which is also working on local indicators) – and cities (e.g., Guadalajara) leading the process of alignment with the SDGs. In Argentina, several provinces – Jujuy, La Rioja, Mendoza, Neuquén, Salta, San Juan, Tierra del Fuego y Tucumán – as well as the city of Buenos Aires have already signed agreements with the national government for the localization of the SDGs. In Africa, eThekwini-Durban has aligned with the 2030 Agenda its own long-term strategy (‘Imagine Durban’), its five-year Integrated Development Plan, and their respective budgets. In Benin, LRGs are revising the current third generation of local plans in order to make the SDGs a condition to access national funding for municipalities (the Fonds d’appui au développement des Communes). In Botswana, the national association of local authorities (BALA) remarks that the recently-developed National Framework for Local Economic Development defines actions in support of the SDGs, and that since April 2017 it has been deployed in four pilot districts and will be soon rolled out to the rest of the country. In Kenya, the Council of Governors is promoting the review of the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs) and is already mobilizing all counties to take the SDGs and the Africa Agenda 2063 into consideration when re-negotiating the Plans’ next iteration for 2018-2022. In turn, this has had positive impact on vertical institutional interactions, stimulating adaptation and alignment also at the national level. Think of Colombia: as of 2017, 32 departments and 31 department capital cities had already adopted local plans that included localized, place-based SDG targets. Many local and regional governments, finally, have used the SDGs and the global goals as the key platform to begin implementing actual policies that adapt locally the targets and requirements of the goal; to collect data to report and review localization and implementation (sometimes complementing the indicators system of the UN); and have used the SDGs as drivers of change for a fairer and more equitable distribution of both resources and political responsibilities. Seoul has adopted its Sustainable Development Vision, with 12 strategies, 28 tasks and 30 dedicated indicators to implement the agendas and review the impact on urban governance and activities. The key initiatives undertaken so far include: economic democratization, youth employment policies (e.g., the creation of the Seoul innovation park), the Sharing City Seoul initiative, reform of welfare administration, the creation of the Seoul Village Community, energy saving and recycling (with the ‘one less nuclear power plant’ initiative), the bike-sharing service Seoul Bike Tra-reung-I for enhanced transit safety and environmental protection, women safety policies, and the diffusion of open public data, as well as a new public participatory budget system. The province of Riau, in Indonesia, in partnership with UNDP, has introduced a provincial SDG Steering Committee, coordinating several workshops and activities with constant engagement of civil society, academia, businesses and other local stakeholders.

Luc Aldon • Research Officer at United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) from Spain

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the participants for their inputs and the co-moderators for this discussion.  We would like to highlight a last point regarding the need for Financing for Development to be more comprehensive of innovative on sustainable instruments to achieve the Global Agendas, in particular the 2030 Agenda. We take some of the previous comments into consideration and we would like to share some of the initiatives taken by local and regional governments concern with enhancing multi-level governance framework and multi-stakeholder discussions such as this one.

In terms of efficiency, stronger municipal finance and sub-national fiscal systems are crucial to foster and spread the values of inclusive and resilient urban development. In terms of local democracy and renewing a bounding trust between citizens and the state, municipal finance is an opportunity for more participatory approaches, building synergies between local public interest and national strategies as well as enhancing transparency. In terms of rising up to the challenge, enhanced local governments finances will be crucial if cities are to host around 1,4 billion new urban dwellers over the next 20-30 years. These rapid urbanization trends will mostly affect Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; nevertheless, already urbanized regions must take this urgent step to make sure that investing in sustainable urban infrastructures and basic services each of these regions are in line with the much needed paradigm shift the 2030 agenda calls on us: Localization.

With regard financing for development, the call to ‘localize the SDGs’ resonates in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda’s pledge to provide financial and institutional means to transform urban development finance strategies (AAAA, paragraph 34). It particularly acknowledges the imbalances between the increasing expenditure responsibilities local government face and the matching funds together with the management capability. Once the global agendas acknowledge the role of local and regional governments, from our perspective, the reforms should include several dimensions.

At national level, multi-level governance reforms and territorial approaches to development should clarify the competences devolved and regulatory frameworks applying to sub-national governments to strengthen their powers, resources and capacities. 

  • Empowered local governments could be in capacity and incentivized to enhance recurrent domestic resources mobilisation. With the support of planning tools and administrative reinforcement, they can strengthen their levying mechanisms and improve targeting of expenditures.
  • The support of national governments through predictable and transparent intergovernmental transfers and enhance financial intermediaries is adamant. It underpins local governments capacity to invest in the realization of the SDGs while sustaining inclusive local strategies such as participatory budgeting, community land-trusts or investments in innovative development patterns such as circular economy.
  • We take this opportunity to encourage all the stakeholders to truly challenge the paradox before us regarding development finance. Global funds are abundant but, only a very small amount is invested in sustainable development in least developing countries. From our perspective, it is necessary to achieve change in the financial sector. The aim should be long-term investment horizons. The Global Taskforce of local and regional governments, that gather the main global networks of local authorities, calls for reconciling financing with sustainability and, at the territorial level, attractively with inclusiveness.

Multilateral and National Development Banks among Multilateral Donors should define innovative and responsible ways to lend more and better to sub-national governments and de-risk worthy initiatives, including climate-compatible transformations. In short, the international community must translate the sustainable agendas into investment criteria and incentives to channel funds towards local sustainable infrastructures and basic services.

Lastly, to be able to ensure the follow-up of the global agendas, and particularly of the means of implementation, local governments need more disaggregated data. With this aim, local governments are involved in several initiatives to monitor and build the capacity of their constituency on public financial management. The OECD, UCLG, UNCDF and the AFD has launched a World Observatory on Sub-national Government Finance and Investments. The objective is for local government, including in Least Developed Countries, to co-own the data that may structure future multi-level discussions on development finance. Likewise, the members of the Global Taskforce are part of the the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance which provides instrumental data and compelling cartographies of local governments initiatives around the world to development climate compatible financial strategies and improve both investment readiness and city creditworthiness to access borrowing.

Esteban Leon • Head of City Resilience Profiling Programme(CRPP)- UN- Habitat at UN HABITAT from Spain

I’d like to add another consideration to the discussion. While there has been lots of emphasis on the role and good practice of local governments (fully in line with the theme), we should remember that the different levels of government must not be pitched against one another. If our vision is for truly sustainable and resilient societies, then there must be fluid flows of information, resources, and authority between local, regional and national governments. I would also suggest that international institutions and UN-Habitat in particular have an important role to play. Given the constraints of this discussion, I will focus on how increased collaboration across all levels stand to benefit the local level, how the voice of the local level stands to increase effective action at the global level and the role international organizations should play.  

Top-down or from global to local. No municipality should have to reinvent the wheel. As already mentioned,  there are countless tools and guidance developed by academics, international organizations, think tanks, NGOs, etc. that can be adopted and adapted by local governments to address their challenges. Increasingly, we are seeing how initiatives such as satellite data can inform local level decision making on anything from climate change to refugee flows. The challenge is often connecting the local level to such global initiatives and this is where communities of practice, associations of LRAs, and UN-Habitat in particular have a connecting role to play through strong advocacy and partnerships.  

A clear examples to illustrate the above is the Gender Equality Enhancer recently launched by UN-Habitat. This Tool provides local authorities with an instrument to integrate a gender perspective into the design and implementation of policies, regulatory measures and spending programmes as well as to monitor how cities perform on gender equality and women empowerment (SDG 5 among other SDGs and frameworks) across sectors. The product of a broad consultation involving academia and expertise from across the globe (including local governments), this tool is a valuable resource for local authorities to take action on gender equality.

Bottom-up or from local to global. We must listen to the local level. The holistic and integrated approach that many of us advocate for in our cities must gain higher institutional buy-in at the central level of governance. In this respect, the need for sound National Urban Policies, already stressed in the New Urban Agenda, constitutes an important way forward to encompass the sectorial plans developed by different Ministries into a harmonised strategy; ensuring that risks, resources and development benefits are equally distributed with a clear territorial vision. Local authorities must be at the table when these policies are written and once again I suggest that bodies such as UN-Habitat can play a role in ensuring this happens.

Munawar Alam • Senior Devolution Adviser at United States Agency for International Development from Kenya

I am grateful to DESA for organizing this discussion. Because of my professional and academic interests in decentralization and local governance, I would like to contribute to the issue of how critical are local governments for the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and what institutional arrangements can facilitate sub-national entities play their role in achieving all of its targets.

The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda, adopted at the Habitat III, are all closely related to the day-to-day responsibilities of sub-national governments. Even though SDG 11 is the only Goal based that explicitly has a sub-national approach, local and regional governments have a part to play in achieving all of its targets. However, I would like to emphasize that notwithstanding this inherent primacy, national government’s role is even more important as it is the central government that not only sets rules of the game by providing a conducive environment for local governments to apply innovations to strengthen their service delivery capabilities but also provide adequate human and financial resources. I would like to highlight three important aspects of this relationship:

1. Intergovernmental Relations: Better partnerships between national and local governments: The relationship between central and local government is contingent on apportionment of functions, responsibilities and resources. A workable and practicable criterion in vogue is that of subsidiarity – i.e. the job should be done as near as possible ‘to source’, and powers must go to or stay at the local level unless they are better performed at a higher level. Kenya is perhaps the first country that has legally recognised inter-governmental partnerships. In 2012, Kenya promulgated the Inter-governmental Relations Act that provides for a National and County Governments Coordinating Summit, an Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee, and a Council of County Governors.

2. Better financing mechanisms: Local governments have to be adequately funded by central government, as devolving responsibilities to local government without matching funds is not fruitful – funds which are timely, predictable and based on agreed formulas. The golden rule is: ‘Finance follows function’. Typically, local governments can exploit local revenue base such as property tax, tax on goods and services, fees, fines and user charges, etc. However, most of the developing countries are heavily reliant on transfers from the higher levels of government also called intergovernmental transfers (IGT). Despite trend of fiscal decentralisation, IGTs still make about 60% of sub-national expenditure in developing countries. Therefore appropriate formula for fiscal transfer is necessary.

3. Building human resource development at local level: The strategic significance of human resource development is often neglected at local government level. The deficiencies of human resource capacities at local governments are often spurred by lack of organisational arrangements or structures that are conducive to innovation, especially when the process of decentralization is going on. For example, central government tends to appoint its own staff especially at senior level. This does not only create de-motivation in local council cadres but also perpetuate the deficiencies in the local authorities. In view of the human resource capacity issue, many countries have established local government service commissions to appoint staff for local governments, a trend conspicuous in Africa so far (e.g. Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, etc).

In nutshell, following are the key points to strengthen local governments in playing their envisaged role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to ensure that no one is left behind:

(a) Ensure a favourable, enabling and facilitating environment for decentralization in support of local governance and sustainable development in its three dimensions;

(b) Ensure coherence between global agendas, national strategies and priorities, and local and regional strategies and priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals, while universal, are not mandatory. Each country, and within each country each local or regional government, must examine its own needs and priorities in relation to the Goals and in consideration of national sustainable development targets.

(c) Identify roles and responsibilities and allocate the necessary resources to each actor and level of government together with resources;

(d) Strengthen, support and consolidate local and regional governments and their associations and networks, to make them strong, dynamic actors with autonomy, responsibility, skills, powers and resources;

(e) Strengthen local and regional administrations and invest in their human capital;

(f) Retain decentralization, local governance and local public administration as priority areas on the international agenda over the next few years.

1. Intergovernmental Relations: Better partnerships between national and local governments: The relationship between central and local government is contingent on apportionment of functions, responsibilities and resources. A workable and practicable criterion in vogue is that of subsidiarity – i.e. the job should be done as near as possible ‘to source’, and powers must go to or stay at the local level unless they are better performed at a higher level. Kenya is perhaps the first country that has legally recognised inter-governmental partnerships. In 2012, Kenya promulgated the Inter-governmental Relations Act that provides for a National and County Governments Coordinating Summit, an Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee, and a Council of County Governors.

2. Better financing mechanisms: Local governments have to be adequately funded by central government, as devolving responsibilities to local government without matching funds is not fruitful – funds which are timely, predictable and based on agreed formulas. The golden rule is: ‘Finance follows function’. Typically, local governments can exploit local revenue base such as property tax, tax on goods and services, fees, fines and user charges, etc. However, most of the developing countries are heavily reliant on transfers from the higher levels of government also called intergovernmental transfers (IGT). Despite trend of fiscal decentralisation, IGTs still make about 60% of sub-national expenditure in developing countries. Therefore appropriate formula for fiscal transfer is necessary.

3. Building human resource development at local level: The strategic significance of human resource development is often neglected at local government level. The deficiencies of human resource capacities at local governments are often spurred by lack of organisational arrangements or structures that are conducive to innovation, especially when the process of decentralization is going on. For example, central government tends to appoint its own staff especially at senior level. This does not only create de-motivation in local council cadres but also perpetuate the deficiencies in the local authorities. In view of the human resource capacity issue, many countries have established local government service commissions to appoint staff for local governments, a trend conspicuous in Africa so far (e.g. Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, etc).

In nutshell, following are the key points to strengthen local governments in playing their envisaged role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to ensure that no one is left behind:

(a) Ensure a favourable, enabling and facilitating environment for decentralization in support of local governance and sustainable development in its three dimensions;

(b) Ensure coherence between global agendas, national strategies and priorities, and local and regional strategies and priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals, while universal, are not mandatory. Each country, and within each country each local or regional government, must examine its own needs and priorities in relation to the Goals and in consideration of national sustainable development targets.

(c) Identify roles and responsibilities and allocate the necessary resources to each actor and level of government together with resources;

(d) Strengthen, support and consolidate local and regional governments and their associations and networks, to make them strong, dynamic actors with autonomy, responsibility, skills, powers and resources;

(e) Strengthen local and regional administrations and invest in their human capital;

(f) Retain decentralization, local governance and local public administration as priority areas on the international agenda over the next few years.

1. Intergovernmental Relations: Better partnerships between national and local governments: The relationship between central and local government is contingent on apportionment of functions, responsibilities and resources. A workable and practicable criterion in vogue is that of subsidiarity – i.e. the job should be done as near as possible ‘to source’, and powers must go to or stay at the local level unless they are better performed at a higher level. Kenya is perhaps the first country that has legally recognised inter-governmental partnerships. In 2012, Kenya promulgated the Inter-governmental Relations Act that provides for a National and County Governments Coordinating Summit, an Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee, and a Council of County Governors.

2. Better financing mechanisms: Local governments have to be adequately funded by central government, as devolving responsibilities to local government without matching funds is not fruitful – funds which are timely, predictable and based on agreed formulas. The golden rule is: ‘Finance follows function’. Typically, local governments can exploit local revenue base such as property tax, tax on goods and services, fees, fines and user charges, etc. However, most of the developing countries are heavily reliant on transfers from the higher levels of government also called intergovernmental transfers (IGT). Despite trend of fiscal decentralisation, IGTs still make about 60% of sub-national expenditure in developing countries. Therefore appropriate formula for fiscal transfer is necessary.

3. Building human resource development at local level: The strategic significance of human resource development is often neglected at local government level. The deficiencies of human resource capacities at local governments are often spurred by lack of organisational arrangements or structures that are conducive to innovation, especially when the process of decentralization is going on. For example, central government tends to appoint its own staff especially at senior level. This does not only create de-motivation in local council cadres but also perpetuate the deficiencies in the local authorities. In view of the human resource capacity issue, many countries have established local government service commissions to appoint staff for local governments, a trend conspicuous in Africa so far (e.g. Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, etc).

In nutshell, following are the key points to strengthen local governments in playing their envisaged role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to ensure that no one is left behind:

(a) Ensure a favourable, enabling and facilitating environment for decentralization in support of local governance and sustainable development in its three dimensions;

(b) Ensure coherence between global agendas, national strategies and priorities, and local and regional strategies and priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals, while universal, are not mandatory. Each country, and within each country each local or regional government, must examine its own needs and priorities in relation to the Goals and in consideration of national sustainable development targets.

(c) Identify roles and responsibilities and allocate the necessary resources to each actor and level of government together with resources;

(d) Strengthen, support and consolidate local and regional governments and their associations and networks, to make them strong, dynamic actors with autonomy, responsibility, skills, powers and resources;

(e) Strengthen local and regional administrations and invest in their human capital;

(f) Retain decentralization, local governance and local public administration as priority areas on the international agenda over the next few years.

1. Intergovernmental Relations: Better partnerships between national and local governments: The relationship between central and local government is contingent on apportionment of functions, responsibilities and resources. A workable and practicable criterion in vogue is that of subsidiarity – i.e. the job should be done as near as possible ‘to source’, and powers must go to or stay at the local level unless they are better performed at a higher level. Kenya is perhaps the first country that has legally recognised inter-governmental partnerships. In 2012, Kenya promulgated the Inter-governmental Relations Act that provides for a National and County Governments Coordinating Summit, an Inter-governmental Relations Technical Committee, and a Council of County Governors.

2. Better financing mechanisms: Local governments have to be adequately funded by central government, as devolving responsibilities to local government without matching funds is not fruitful – funds which are timely, predictable and based on agreed formulas. The golden rule is: ‘Finance follows function’. Typically, local governments can exploit local revenue base such as property tax, tax on goods and services, fees, fines and user charges, etc. However, most of the developing countries are heavily reliant on transfers from the higher levels of government also called intergovernmental transfers (IGT). Despite trend of fiscal decentralisation, IGTs still make about 60% of sub-national expenditure in developing countries. Therefore appropriate formula for fiscal transfer is necessary.

3. Building human resource development at local level: The strategic significance of human resource development is often neglected at local government level. The deficiencies of human resource capacities at local governments are often spurred by lack of organisational arrangements or structures that are conducive to innovation, especially when the process of decentralization is going on. For example, central government tends to appoint its own staff especially at senior level. This does not only create de-motivation in local council cadres but also perpetuate the deficiencies in the local authorities. In view of the human resource capacity issue, many countries have established local government service commissions to appoint staff for local governments, a trend conspicuous in Africa so far (e.g. Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, etc).

In nutshell, following are the key points to strengthen local governments in playing their envisaged role in implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to ensure that no one is left behind:

(a) Ensure a favourable, enabling and facilitating environment for decentralization in support of local governance and sustainable development in its three dimensions;

(b) Ensure coherence between global agendas, national strategies and priorities, and local and regional strategies and priorities. The Sustainable Development Goals, while universal, are not mandatory. Each country, and within each country each local or regional government, must examine its own needs and priorities in relation to the Goals and in consideration of national sustainable development targets.

(c) Identify roles and responsibilities and allocate the necessary resources to each actor and level of government together with resources;

(d) Strengthen, support and consolidate local and regional governments and their associations and networks, to make them strong, dynamic actors with autonomy, responsibility, skills, powers and resources;

(e) Strengthen local and regional administrations and invest in their human capital;

(f) Retain decentralization, local governance and local public administration as priority areas on the international agenda over the next few years.

Munawar Alam • Senior Devolution Adviser at United States Agency for International Development from Kenya

Urban Versus Rural

Out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 11 explicitly has a sub-national approach but it only talks about cities – “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. There is no doubt that we are living in a rapidly urbanizing world. However, the growing importance of cities should not be at the detriment of the rural areas. I think they need as much attention from policy makers as urban centres do. In fact, because of the language of SDG 11, the importance of rural areas needs to be clearly articulated in policy frameworks. Some food for thought:

  • Many countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are rural.
  • To tackle hunger and poverty, we can’t neglect rural development.
  • Growing urbanization impacts rural population – On the positive side, farmers need to produce more to meet the increasing urban demands, leading to better incomes for the farmers. In this context, peri-urban towns play a major role. This increasing demand on rural regions can lead to challenges such as adequate water and energy.

Nicolas Garrigue • Senior Consultant on Local Governance in Fragile & Crisis-Affected Settings at UNDP from France

Since the goals of sustainability and resilience of local societies are so connected to the theme of disaster risk management, I would like to relay here some of the findings of the 3rd World Reconstruction Conference in Brussels (2017), which had as main goal "to identify effective and forward-looking approaches to achieve resilient post-crisis recovery in which climate and disaster risk reduction, fragility and conflict considerations are mainstreamed" . During that conference, I had the pleasure to prepare and chair a session organized by UNDP and the World Bank on Empowering Local Stakeholders for Resilient Recovery, with a panel of mayors and local government officials from disaster-prone countries. I would like to share with you the main findings of this discussion:

Context

The great majority of disasters (or 97% of recorded events in 2015) are limited in scope, either of low-impact and/or concern a small area. Logically, in such events, local capacities are expected to be mobilized in priority for responding to immediate and longer-term recovery needs. This is particularly true in cities across the world, where the frequency and magnitude of disasters are increasing[1] and where, at the same time, the concentration of political, social and economic powers is happening. In all cases, regardless of the level of impact and location of a disaster, whether urban or rural, achieving demand-driven recovery and decentralized implementation speeds up recovery and is more likely to correspond to actual needs of the affected communities – hence contributing to achieving greater resilience.

Yet, recent disaster cases show that local governments and civil society remain often not equipped technically or financially to play an influential part in recovery. Only few countries have local governments that set aside 1 to 2% of their budgets for disaster risk management (an internationally-accepted ratio) and recovery budgets are still overwhelmingly originating from central sources, which may go against the concept of local empowerment. Many cities are also lagging on their resilience-building agenda as exposed during the HABITAT-III Conference.[2] And repeatedly, after-action reviews of disaster responses show that aid effectiveness has been lowered by insufficient participation and leadership of disaster-affected communities.

Challenges

The main challenges slowing down the empowering local governments, civil society and communities for resilient recovery are:

* Getting the legal and institutional frameworks ready for local disaster risk management: just relying on existing decentralization frameworks to organize the recovery response when a disaster hits has proven to be an error in many countries: specific frameworks and arrangements need to be devised for disaster risk management (DRM) as disaster situations are nothing but 'business-as-usual' for either central or local governments. Therefore, increasingly, countries, following a major disaster, have issued new laws re-organizing the division of responsibilities for DRM between levels of government. This is the case of Chile after the 2009 earthquake, Serbia after the 2014 floods, or again Indonesia following a series of disasters in the year 2000’s.

* Funding for disaster risk management by local governments is often insufficient, not readily available, lacking flexibility and efficiency: local governments, especially in developing countries, face important challenges in accessing and allocating funds to disaster risk reduction and recovery. When existing budgets cannot even cover the maintenant and operations of basic service facilities, it is politically difficult for local leaders to prioritize spending on risk reduction and preparedness. In countries with local fiscal decentralization and/or when local governments depend mostly on state transfers, the latitude that they have to prioritize DRM in their budgets is contingent on national policies that will often not offer the flexibility that they would wish and need in this regard. In the Philippines, for example, the national law obligates local governments to allocate 5% of their development budget to DRM, but it also specifies that only 30% of this budget can be spent on risk reduction (and the rest pre-positioned for early recovery expenditures); many Filipino cities would want to spend more on prevention as this is most cost-effective way to build resilience in the end. Where donor funding cannot be dispensed with, increasing aid effectiveness in supporting local recovery can never be too much emphasized. Multi-donor trust funds are only now starting to consider the need to cover risk reduction and not just recovery but these funds are rarely easily accessible by local governments. Finally, a major obstacle to increasing funding to local actors for disaster recovery preparedness remain the real (or perceived) high level of fiduciary risks involved with local budget execution. Concomitant efforts to improve public financial management and accountability at the local level remains therefore essential to see more fiscal resources devolved to local stakeholders for building resilience.

* Capacity-building of local stakeholders for disaster risk reduction takes time and is insufficiently prioritized: Countries that have taken important legal steps to transfer DRM functions to the local level often face challenges in building fast enough local capacities including for risk mapping and early warning, developing local disaster recovery frameworks, identifying risk reduction investments, building recovery preparedness, conducting post-disaster needs assessments, as well as for multi-stakeholder crisis coordination, community engagement, strategic communications and operational readiness. For example, In Serbia, following the 2014 floods and given the total inadequacy of most municipal risk reduction plans with the scale of the flooding, the government realized the urgency to fast-track a rapid training and certification approach for municipal staff on risk assessments for complex hazards. Capacity-building for DRM at the local level is also sometimes limited to institutions, while the best way to build resilience of local communities is to invest in educating their members on risk identification and reduction as well as first response to disaster events. In this regard, more and more countries understand the value of building strong civil protection capacities among the general population and at the most grassroots level.

* Partial mainstreaming of a people-centered approach throughout the DRM cycle: post-disaster periods often see tensions between the necessity to act fast and decisively and the necessity to ensure that early and long-term recovery efforts are demand-driven, inclusive and transparent, even if at the cost of rapidity.[4] The risks of unfair access to recovery assistance, marginalization of vulnerable groups and misuse of recovery funds in post-disaster situations is also high. Without a prior strong commitment by national and local actors to a people-centered approach in DRM, underpinned by relevant legal provisions, methodological tools and effective capacities in public institutions, civil society and communities, it is difficult to implement a people-centered approach in the heat of the action. Post-disaster periods also heighten public expectations for efficient, accountable and inclusive use of recovery resources; if these goals are not met, the impact on the local social contract can be devastating and induce conflict in fragile settings. Civil society can play a lead role in promoting strong social accountability over the DRM cycle, but for this it needs a conducive legal framework (including media freedom), capacity-building and funds, things that are also rarely prioritized in a recovery period and should be taken care of before a disaster hits. Finally, citizen participation in DRM tends at time to be mostly instrumental, rather than transformative: communities are involved for assessments and that's it; while they should be involved all the way through to rebuilding and it often takes strong political will among decision-makers to understand local needs and aspirations in all their complexity and constant evolution. 

Recommendations

1) Empowering local stakeholders for resilience-building must be coupled with a broader effort at strengthening core systems of local governance & local development. Major catastrophes can easily overwhelm local institutions by the impact and subsequent demands placed on them and uncover organizational flaws and fractures and expose serious gaps in national and local disaster recovery frameworks. The often-found limitations, after a disaster, in balancing the roles and resources of national and local actors for resilient recovery are first of all related to the lack of empowerment of local stakeholders in achieving more sustainable local development results.  

2) People should be at the centre of the recovery processes: making a strong commitment to the principle of community-led recovery (and not just community-based assessment) is, in the longer-term, the best guarantee of building resilience at the local level. Indeed, Recovery must be inclusive, fair and equitable, non-discriminatory, and address the needs of all disadvantaged groups. It should be built on the needs of the affected people, driven by their development goals and ambitions, and informed by their knowledge and experiences. In particular, women should have a special space in recovery as both participants and leaders in the process.

3) Government and donors needs to increase financing made available to local stakeholders for disaster risk reduction and resilient recovery. Combined with recovery policies and institutional arrangements, sufficient and predictable decentralized funding can accelerate recovery, reconstruction and resilience-building. Governments must identify funding sources (national and external) for supporting the recovery preparedness needs of local actors (with emphasis on capacity-building and not just the pre-positioning of equipment and first-response items), and also enable them legally to mobilize their own resources for DRM. At the same time, local governments must also prioritize more the allocation of regular budget resources towards DRM and adhere to accountable and transparent financial management; both commitments will create the necessary confidence with central governments and donors to entrust more of the resilience-building agenda to local stakeholders.

I attach the full Discussion Paper for this panel for those interested to read more about this topic. 

[1] The World Bank (2013) projects that, in cities in developing countries, the number of people exposed to cyclone and earthquake risks will more than double from 2000 to 2050.

[2] More than 2,500 cities have signed up to the ‘Making Cities Resilient Campaign’ initiated in 2011, which addresses issues of local governance and urban risks, only about 300 of these have reported actual progress on reducing disaster risks by 2015.

[3] As achieved by Indonesia since 2009.

[4] Research has shown that people affected by disasters want to be involved in their own recovery, even if it takes longer (ALNAP, 2008).

Margarita Korkhmazyan • from Armenia

Korkhmazyan  Margarita

Board member

NGO Association  For Sustainable Human Development

What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies and what actions can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?

At present, national values (accumulated in centuries) give way to caste, political and financial priorities. High-class modern information technologies are used for disintegration and disunion of people, moreover, cruelty, destruction, hopelessness, etc. are promoted. Moral, cultural and ethical values suffer from the pop culture. Large-scale exploitation of natural resources, critical pollution of the environment with toxic waste undermine the basis for sustainable development of mankind.

The modern world is pragmatic and it is necessary to return to it kindness and hope for the highest predestination of man. Without this it is difficult to move towards a sustainable society.

Within the framework of the proposed topic, and taking into account the global challenges for SD I'll try  to share some considerations which refers also to  the problems and realities of my country.

Nowadays the markets are full by cheap food which undoubtedly contribute to tackling the problem of fighting hunger, but do not meet the health standards. In countries that have a rich diversity of valuable cultivated plants and livestock  (like my country), it is necessary to create favorable conditions for supporting and developing local agriculture, preserving local varieties. If necessary, it is appropriate to introduce modern technologies without violating local genetic resources. This will also contribute to improving the living standards of rural regions (SDG-2,8,17).

Taking into account local geological and climatic conditions, it is of high importance to develop alternative energy (solar, wind etc.) In addition to reducing the negative impact on the environment, this will ensure energy security (SDG-7,13). The scientific and technical developments in this field should be supported.

 Freshwater is the most valuable vital natural resource of our  planet, and international economic and political mechanisms are needed to support development of the regions, in particular the mountain regions, where water sources are formed (SDG-15,17).

National (governmental) development plans must necessarily take into account the needs and interests of individual regions (economic, environmental, cultural, etc.), and local authorities (communities) should be fully involved in the decision-making process on the development of the region, on measures taken. It is inadmissible to reach  global development through the degradation (destruction) of individual regions. (SDG-8,9,10,15+)

Urbanization is the reality of our time, and cities must be a place of residence, but not survival in extreme conditions. Provided that almost half of humanity lives in industrial cities, it is necessary to toughen the ecological and health standards of cities. (SDG-11)

How are national and subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions? What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are required, and how can they be built?

Perhaps the most appropriate structure for coordinating national action for sustainable development are the NCSDs, interdepartmental commissions. Undoubtedly civil society, the university sector should have great contribution, and these institutions need to be strengthened.

The principles of SD are reflected in international conventions. National legislation is being improved taking into account international SD requirements, but along with positive changes, the situation is deteriorating in many spheres (health, environmental, cultural, others). Undoubtedly, the lack of political will and corruption in the power structures are serious obstacles in achieving the SDG.

AMEENA AL RASHEED • GENDER EXPERT at UN Consultant from United Kingdom

Dr Ameena Al Rasheed

In my opinion the most appropriate structure that caters for community engagement and for effective implementation of sustainable development goals, will evolve once a planned economic system is imposed, and less opportunities were given to the rise of private sectors, SDGs are about provision of services, and urgent needs for communities and countries living under the grip of poverty, it is significant not the overlook the fact that the countries in question whom we call poor are in reality rich and impoverished by either the repatriation of profits, the escalation of wars that used very sophisticated weapons not made by them, drain of their wealth, and the international circles interest in lasting wars to service the military industry. An economy that regulates its resources and expenditure and that invest in people by providing their basic needs, of education health care, and transportation, would get the message of expanding these provisions and sustaining it,  I believe that many actions need to be taken, allowing communities to be take part in the process, and have decision making power, apart from the fact that policies followed should reflect on the priorities of the communities. without breaking the chain that links the developing economies from the metropolitan capitalist economics, the gap between the poor and the rich globally will continue to widening. Global value chain and neo liberal finance, privatisation and structural adjustment programme all have done enough harm to poor and developing economies, hence alternative approach towards lifting developing nations from the grip of poverty, extortion of wealth, land grabbing and other ill functioning economic practices imposed by international donors and affluent and powerful nations, need to be invented and followed, despite the hegemonic nature of the neo liberal economy. 

Elif Yasemin Azaz • Urban Planner at IND Software and Information Technologies from Turkey

Hello all,

I thank the moderators for inviting me to this discussion. I think the biggest current challenge for building sustainable and resilient societies is the peaceful environmental conditions that are very sensitive. Many people think that they should gain the peaceful conditions again. But at the same time, it has been very common to come across hate speeches, aggressive attitudes, etc. My latest blogposts are about such issues. You may review them here: https://ceotudent.com/unutulmaya-yuz-tutan-bariscil-cevre-kosullari, https://ceotudent.com/ozlenen-bariscil-cevre-kosullari-nasil-geri-kazan… They are in Turkish.

To sum up, I see 3 major reasons for degenerated peaceful environmental conditions: 1) Terror, fatal violence, 2) Intolerance, hate speech, violent attitudes, human rights violations, 3) Information and perception contamination about current events either in the media or social environment.

Also I conclude them with suggestions like taking in hand common issues with mutual respect and latitude, the requirement for efficient the state and civil society corporations. So I am happy to be contributing here.

Moreover, to prevent human rights violations, some of my suggestions are to act as personal and mass action including working/volunteering for civil society organizations. Some of the major civil society organizations from Turkey to participate and contribute are Society Volunteers Foundation, Education Volunteers Foundation, Social Me Foundation.

Thank you.

IRMGARD RADEFELDT • President at FIADASEC from Dominican Republic

We have worked for more than 30 years in marginal neighborhoods of the Dominican Republic, focusing on children and adolescents, educating them in values, where they have learned to value themselves, to know another way of life, respectful of themselves, others and the environment, and they have achieved important changes in their communities, which are now more secure, orderly, reforested and clean. If we educate in values, we can achieve a real change, that both, people and communities, to be resilient to whatever is presented in their lifes.

FIADASEC, Irmgard Radefeldt/President

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Peaceful referendums not necessarily bring peace of a region in each country.Many families feels they were cheated in a society.So also world wide,including in developed countries the risk of living alone is being more often preferred,[Be it Brexit,Catalonian,or the Indian,or the African countries].

The feeling of ego,the feeling of left over among equals,that is not driving innovation[psychologically it can act either way].The data collection can aid the governments to plan,but in democracy the parties need it to get elected.

Hence the system of equal opportunities,and reservations to such who could not catch up with others are needed.Communities of practice are to be encouraged to work collectively and live collectively.

These local problems needs to be addressed.At a place a community was living in a slum.Very big after years of negotiation they vacated place and construction of 42 sq.m.,houses were done.They paid around 10% cost of houses,while the states have subsidized urban poor housing to an extent of 60%.Remaining to be paid after occupation on yearly instalments.

At one place they let out the houses on rent and stayed on the temporary housing.At another they refused to occupy because they felt a hall or 550 sft.,or 50 sq,m area is their justifiable living requirement.Negotiations and bring them in one umbrella is a time consuming social leaders job.

Saudi Arabian Desalination plants at Al-khobar were modified several times since 1990,but principally it was supplying water for living.The Governments in starved south Indian states are not catching up with technology,in flow irrigation,water treatment,storage and supply,to meet the growing population demands.

We are failing to spend money for direct human benefits in living.But we are trying to dole out each of the individuals to get their democratic votes.Thus systems generated gets diluted.

Eugeni Villalbí • Metropolis Observatory at Metropolis from Spain

The world is emerging in a more urbanized place. During the first years of the 21st century, we have witnessed an accelerated expansion of cities and metropolitan regions. Whereas in 1990 less than 40% of the world's population lived in a metropolitan area, only 20 years later, in 2010, more than 50% of the population lived in urban areas. And it has been estimated that by 2050 7 out of 10 people will be living in cities. This increase reflects the importance that urban areas are becoming; everyone - politicians, institutions, local and national governments, civil society, among others - should be aware that there is a new process of territorial reorganisation. Although nation states remain the main actors in governance, urban areas are taking on a new and more important role than in the past.

The process of urbanization is complex because it happens at the same time as that of metropolization. Within the urban population, more and more people are living in urban territories (GOLD-IV: 41.2% of the urban population lives in metropolitan areas). This reality reinforces the need for local authorities to play a leading role in building more inclusive, resilient and sustainable territories. But it further reinforces the need to introduce metropolitan areas as the appropriate territorial scale to face these challenges we are talking about. Since the resolution of problems such as mobility, sustainability, housing, gentrification, etc.... (Issue Paper - 3, Metropolis Observatory) are no longer only addressable from the administrative areas of cities.   

The metropolitan territory is the ideal space to approach these problems, but not only, it is also the lever to promote vertical and horizontal cooperation. It is a facilitating element of multi-level governance, and of cooperation between the different actors: public, private, social, etc. The emergence of local challenges, in addition to global challenges, complicates the task of governance. Issues such as climate change, sustainable mobility or public health, among others, must be addressed locally, but with coordinated vertical and horizontal policies: horizontally coordinated metropolitan governments and vertically coordinated local and national governments. Areas of governance at various levels should be promoted, with the collaboration of the nation states. The recognition of metropolitan governments by national governments is important. 

In order to achieve greater cooperation, there is a new generation of global agendas such as Agenda 2030, the New Urban Agenda, Addis Ababa, the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement, among others, which provide a framework for the promotion of public policies. We believe it would be beneficial for local and metropolitan governments to integrate these global agendas into their strategies so that they can address the challenges of inclusion, resilience and sustainability in a coordinated manner (Issue Paper - 2 Metropolis Observatory).

There are different models of metropolitan governance. There is no single reality and therefore no single model of metropolitan governance (Issue Paper 1, Metropolis Observatory). But the existence of a governance with a metropolitan perspective in a territory is key to tackling its problems and building a more inclusive, secure, sustainable and resilient society. We believe that there are four common points that any strategy must take into account: leadership and political will, short- and long-term vision of the territory, cross-cutting and integrated legal and institutional frameworks, and technical and financial resources and capacities.

Patricia Menezes • from Brazil

For the City of Barcarena - Brazil, 2030 Agenda is an important governmental planning tool, facilitating the prioritization of government actions, the optimization of public spending and the interaction between government agencies.

Therefore, all your plans, programs, projects and actions are aligned with this Agenda.

The city became a national and international reference in the location of 2030 Agenda.

Here are some examples:

http://www.localizingthesdgs.org/story/view/100

https://twitter.com/UCLGLearning/status/932555968642273280?s=08

https://twitter.com/UCLGLearning/status/953292144852205569

http://localizingthesdgs.org/story/view/167

http://localizingthesdgs.org/story/view/168

The City Hall also participates in the Rede ODS Brasil, an important tool for articulating local actors in the country.

In 2017, the City Hall published a report that presents its experience in government planning aligned with the UN Development Agendas, highlighting some of the MDG results (from 2013 to 2015) and SDG (from 2016).

Sylvia Briggs • Executive Director at Women Educators Association of Nigeria from Nigeria

Recognizing that most communities in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria would in the long run “be left to live with” carbon footprints, degradation and pollution of the environment;

Knowing that this would negatively affecet the sustainable development of the region;

Women Educators Association of Nigeria (WEAN) in 2017 carried out a “Creek to Green” Campaign (a local initiative supporting sustainable and resilient societies in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria) within 12 communities of the South-South geopolitical zone of the region. 

This intervention intends to:

1). Promote a shift in the way the youths of the Niger Delta region carry out economic activities which enhance the merchantability of violence such as thuggery of different shades, for monetary gain;

A shift from activities that distort the safety and security of the people including kidnapping, assassination, ritual killings, and perpetration of all forms of violence;

A shift from activities that distort natural habitation/marine life, enhanced by the use of explosives for fishing, pipeline vandalism and its attendant oil spillage, illegal bunkering/refining of crude oil, communal clashes and other activities that hamper the protection of the environment and peaceful coexistence in the region. 

2) Enhance crop farming in the riverine communities of the region, such as Krakrama; known for fish farming. 

3) Disseminate SDGs in the process (Creek to Green Campaign) particularly Goals 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, and 16.

Kadidia • Teacher at IB from United States

Reaching a sustainable and resilient society implies that human rights are respected and that opportunities are available in an equitable way for all citizens.

Unfortunately, this goal seems idealistic.

In a country like the Ivory Coast, in West Africa, that experienced a post-election civil war in 2011, the reconciliation process never happened, the economy seems to do much better. But people are surviving, in such a situation the government needs to ensure that:

-Access to school is available for all, in such a poor country and that, teachers are properly trained

-Human rights violations in police stations, or the arrest of people who are protesting peacefully and sent to jails for months without appearing to court, need  stop

Challenges are what helps governments to improve and to offer a better quality of life to the people. That is possible when the wealth is equally shared, when civil rights are respected, where the respect of the environment is a reality and when every citizen may trust the judicial system.

A government ought to have a vision for its population. It is the first step to sustainable social atmosphere

Dosse • Executive director at ONG: Amis des Etrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

What is municipal committee ?

1 representative of traditionaliste authorities

1 of religions

1 of local CSOs

1 of  local developpement groupesThe Major

What is the SDG composed? 

1coordinator

1accounting

1secretary

1 social development manager

1 economic  development manager

1 environmental development manager

Gouvernement is obliged to work together with country team the planification of municipal committees.

Dosse • Executive director at ONG: Amis des Etrangers au Togo: ADET from Togo

Subnational committees are needed for subnational coordination

Local recruitment for local awareness raising in local language.

Local decisions will engage national develop decision  and political orientation.

Constantine Palicarsky • Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer at UNODC from Austria

Building sustainable and resilient societies is a historical challenge – and an important element of the development policy.

Ability to adapt to the challenges of the environment, in response to external and internal threats is directly dependent on the capacity of the society to form institutions – both formal and informal structures, which would work coherently for the common good.

The institutions are the tools all societies use to respond to challenges. As demonstrated by history, societies are different – some, with higher level of intrinsic trust, are more capable of forming successful, effective institutions; some are less capable. To complicate matters even more, the ability to form effective institutions is different in the different historical periods – this is why countries appear and disappear, empires are forged and fall apart.

There is – more or less- a consensus that the level of trust in the society is a good predictor of the ability of the society to form institutions. Probably other factors come into play too. One such factor is the availability of resources. There is a direct link between the levels of GDP per capita, the resources spent on the public sector in a given country and the effectiveness of its institutions.

Well funded institutions at both central and local levels and strong, established education systems which provide a vast pool of educated candidates for public service positions are important prerequisites for effectiveness of the public sector organizations.

Third, the integrity of the institutions matters. Integrity is a universal precondition for the effectiveness of every institution – at central or local level.

Corrupt institutions are ineffective by default. While individual cases of corruption could happen in every society and in any institution, when the frequency of corruption reaches a certain threshold, institutions become ineffective - they function in an unpredictable and unreliable manner. Often they promote and defend private interests, which go against the public interest – destroying the environment, undermining rule of law and destroying trust. A vicious circle is formed where ineffectiveness breeds corruption, and corruption causes further ineffectiveness. In such an environment, the availability of resources becomes irrelevant for the effectiveness of the institutions, as the resources are effectively stolen or misspent.

The UN Convention against Corruption, the sole universal anti-corruption legal instrument provides a useful framework to address corruption. One of the challenges in its implementation is the transmission of the anti-corruption policies, adopted at national level, to the sub-national and local level, at the institutions of the local government.

Local level organizations often suffer from weaker capacity, lack of networking often because of misconceptions of “independence” and insufficient resources – along with multiple vested interests. In the small communities, conflicts of interest are frequent and often unavoidable; the conflict between the duty to perform in public interest and the potential or actual private interest could easily turn into corruption and destroy the all-important trust of the people in the local leaders and local institutions.

To promote the implementation of SDG 16 – and by extension of all other SDGs – it is important to recognize, that addressing corruption in a country requires the establishment of a policy coordination, implementation and monitoring and evaluation system, which works at both national and sub-national and local levels and engages all institutions to promote integrity.

Smaller communities cannot be sustainable and resilient in isolation. They need to be a part of a system; they have to exchange information among themselves and coordinate with the central government to ensure that the pro-integrity policies of the central government are implemented in an effective manner throughout the country.

Mario Gonzales • Director Departamento Academico UNMSM at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos from Peru

The theme "From global to local: support for sustainable and resilient societies in urban and rural communities" is a great challenge that needs to be implemented in developing countries. I believe that the current system has considered regulatory aspects of sustainability but sustainability and resilience in those local areas that require their development have not yet materialized. An example is to assess the areas that by their nature provide the world with natural resources and that their environment should be referents for our current society making them sustainable and resilient.

Professor Mario Gonzales / UNMSM

Relaciones Institucionales • from Argentina

Desde la Dirección de Relaciones Institucional de la Municipalidad de Córdoba, compartimos con ustedes el mensaje de nuestro intendente municipal, Ramón J. Mestre:

“En primer lugar, deseo congratular la iniciativa de abrir este espacio para pronunciarnos sobre el tema De lo mundial a lo local: apoyo sostenible y sociedades resilientes en comunidades urbanas y rurales.

Como Intendente de la Ciudad de Córdoba (Argentina) y Presidente en ejercicio de la Red de Mercociudades, quisiera expresar que la localización de los grandes temas globales a las agendas locales es una tarea desafiante, que nos interpela y nos invita día a día a repensar nuestras ciudades de manera integral, innovar los procesos de formulación y gestión de las políticas públicas y gobernar desde nuevos marcos de gobernanza.

Desde mi experiencia en la gestión local, como intendente municipal de Córdoba, paso a compartir a continuación las respuestas a las preguntas disparadoras de este foro.

1) ¿Cuáles son los desafíos actuales y emergentes para construir sociedades sostenibles y resilientes y qué acciones se pueden tomar, especialmente a nivel local para enfrentar estos desafíos?

Con la adopción del ODS 11, la comunidad internacional reconoció el rol de los gobiernos locales en la Agenda 2030, así como también, tomamos consciencia de que el futuro que queremos incluye a ciudades de oportunidades, de acceso a servicios básicos, energía, vivienda, transporte y con más facilidades para todos.

Uno de los desafíos actuales para lograr, entonces, que las ciudades y los asentamientos humanos sean inclusivos, seguros, resilientes y sostenibles es articular el ODS 11 a la Nueva Agenda Urbana (NAU) y localizarlos en nuestras realidades.

La localización de los ODS y la NAU a nuestras prioridades y metas de gobierno nos invita a promover la integración y la re-consolidación del tejido urbano, mejorando la conectividad, garantizando el acceso a los servicios básicos y promoviendo el derecho a la ciudad. Localizar resulta entonces un proceso por medio del cual apoyamos el cumplimiento de los objetivos y metas de desarrollo, fortaleciendo así la relación directa entre los ODS y el abordaje territorial.

La localización supone también un trabajo de gobernanza de abajo hacia arriba con los poderes intermedios y centrales, y allí yace el segundo gran desafío: coordinar políticas inter-gubernamentales de distintos niveles que en conjunto contribuyan al logro de las metas de desarrollo priorizadas tanto a nivel subnacional como nacional.

Como gobierno local, el municipio de la Ciudad de Córdoba, trabaja en una propuesta de gestión municipal de mejoramiento integral del hábitat, a partir de proyectos y programas locales, que articula con la Política Nacional de Hábitat del Gobierno argentino. Este trabajo articulado con Nación ha favorecido el fortalecimiento de las capacidades estatales del gobierno local para dar respuestas completas, integrales en lugar de aisladas y sostenibles en el tiempo.

También desde el gobierno municipal trabajamos la gestión del hábitat urbano desde un enfoque de abajo hacia arriba, promoviendo la expresión y participación activa de la ciudadanía  y fomentando el sentido de pertenencia en los barrios. Son nuestros vecinos y vecinas quienes mejor conocen el lugar donde habitan y los problemas que vivencian día a día.

A su vez, trabajamos en la implementación de un sistema de registro de demanda habitacional, mapeo y sistematización de sectores vulnerables prioritarios en coordinación con los demás niveles de gobierno (provincial y nacional) para llevar adelante gestiones articuladas que contribuyan al mejoramiento integral de nuestra ciudad. Asimismo, a instancia local promovemos el trabajo coordinado entre las distintas áreas del municipio (social, ambiental, económica y de infraestructura) para abarcar los desafíos de la integración urbano-territorial con rostro humano.

Si bien hemos avanzado en el ODS 11 y en la NAU somos conscientes que aún resta mucho por hacer para localizar el resto de los ODS y adaptarlos a nuestros planes y metas de gobierno. Entre las dificultades para hacerlo, encontramos: la falta de sensibilización de los funcionarios públicos sobre la Agenda 2030, la NAU y el Acuerdo de París sobre Cambio Climático; la escasa integración de estas agendas globales a toda la administración pública promoviendo su comprensión e importancia y apropiación; la débil coordinación interna (inter-áreas) que conduce a la superposición de acciones y el desconocimiento  de que, en muchos casos, dichas acciones contribuyen a la consecución de los objetivos de desarrollo; la ausencia de una evaluación de resultados y la falta de medición y seguimiento de los indicadores definidos localmente; y la escasa coordinación con el nivel intermedio (gobierno provincial) para producir datos confiables y desagregados por nivel territorial.

2) ¿De qué manera las instituciones nacionales y subnacionales traducen los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible en acciones concretas? ¿Qué marcos institucionales para el desarrollo sostenible se requieren y cómo se pueden construir?

Los gobiernos de nivel nacional o local traducen los objetivos y metas de desarrollo en acciones concretas a partir de una estrategia de adaptación de los ODS a las prioridades y metas de gobierno, integrando tales objetivos a los ejes estratégicos de la política gubernamental. A partir de allí, las acciones, proyectos, programas y políticas públicas se permean de los objetivos de desarrollo y encuentran en ellos una guía que los orienta.

En esta tarea que nos convoca, como gobiernos locales debemos trabajar en conjunto con los demás niveles de gobierno, en tanto somos parte del diálogo nacional de adaptación de la Agenda 2030 al aportar información de primera mano sobre necesidades, intereses y demandas de los actores que operan en el territorio.

Respecto de los marcos institucionales para el desarrollo sostenible es fundamental la implementación de la estrategia de adaptación y localización de manera transversal, la coherencia de políticas públicas, un sistema estadístico confiable que permita medir  la evolución de los indicadores de desarrollo, la transparencia de datos y la rendición de cuentas.

Los gobiernos locales tenemos la responsabilidad compartida de traducir y trasladar la agenda global de desarrollo a nuestras realidades locales. Debemos asumir dicha responsabilidad y trabajar arduamente para el futuro que todos queremos”.

Urszula Marchlewicz

Dear Global Development Hub,

I would like to inform that there is already available model which solves the problem reliably and holistic. I built 2016 science and fundamental law based operational model of equal effective sustainable development by grid-like managed coordinated regions, which shows precisely human development with precising actual method/model of functioning of countries by corporate and national accounts&GDP&budget (NAM) and would be used for implementing sustainable development by the 2030 Agenda, by and for all individuals, with leaving no one behind, also for imbuing into it other UN agendas and processes.I built it provoked directly by inability to involve responsibly regional stakeholders in the EU R&D Program (at my parallel administrative work in regional university) despite my knowledge on it from editing monographs on it (of P.Wensierski), availability of EU strategy and policies, my previous experience in introducing development in/by regional companies in international cooperation, but no available rules of development and roles of institutions, and people. I built it by precise analyzing of human development, in two steps, as core institutional (2004) and completed (2016) model, with showing development as bottom-up driven process which should be managed and coordinated and necessity of knowing its rules and roles of all by all to secure its effective realizing. The core model was verified scientifically, I implemented it pilot-wise at EU regional level 2000-10 at extensive information&promotion including by education, completed one needs extended verification but even core model as basic one would be very useful. I plan to forward full model to a disposal of the UN and support initiating its introducing, since 2017 promote at the UN level its utility and use for the 2030 Agenda, also for integrating into it New Urban Agenda and emerging UN Global Compact for Migration.

  1. is general model which should be precised by further executive specific details, based on it. Its implementing would need and be preceded by wide top-down information&promotion.

I will describe it generally and give recommendation.

I built the core model as aimed at support EU development exactly by its R&D program, to enable responsible involvement in it regional stakeholders. I built it by identification of development as process of fulfilling defined set of human needs, with continuous improvement, with use of natural resources and people themselves, realized as a mechanism by precisely identified universal knowledge-referred leveled measurable closed institutional system, as generally regarded by NAM, with applying to it management of set of economic and social needs (at its co-relation as in NAM) securing equality and effectiveness also at intermediate levels, forming grid like structure, with hand management of individuals and incomplete of territory, with followed improvement by more precise knowledge; managed by regions to secure the best use of territorial resources and individuals with overall global coordination. It is shown by X-Y model as realizing the needs by set of parallel managed regional institutional structures, interlinked and equalized horizontally by equivalent institutional grid levels, coordinated overall so globally, at common strategy of equal and effective realizing set of needs, by common policies responding to particular needs, then improvement of managed realizing by whole system. Realizing is planned, improvement is done by identification of results and realizing fulfilling with introducing more precise knowledge into the system. Coordination could have intermediate territorial levels as of countries, their groups as the EU, dependent on management. Managed realizing is in-built in construction of the model, visible and easy to understand and implementing. The model precises and orders logic and accuracy of NAM, with making it universal closed precisely measurably managed system and structure, applicable at any management level. To support development of the EU I attributed to it its Lisbon Strategy and policies, also R&D, education and regional programs as universal ones supporting intermediate horizontal equalizing levels.

I built the model with regard and use of findings of Maslov, Kotler, Kline&Rosenberg, Authors of NAM, at assumed equality as called by the EU, UN, Christian Church, also accuracy and effectiveness as called by OECD.

I implemented with its use, through regional university, EU regional pilot as support of the EU development, with my region as elementary EU development module, by EU programs projects accepted by Polish and EU Authorities – development of my region with other EU regions at extensive EU information&promotion through projects of regional contact point of EU R&D program belonging to national and EU network, 2000-06, combined with regional university education on EU also model-based development at EU information&promotion&cooperation including also support of EU employability of graduates, through projects of EU education Program, 2004-10; and submitted it to (positive) scientific verification by global higher education conferences involving UNESCO.

It was appreciated by Professor Rosenberg, E&Y, and European Commission itself also Its National Agency (I served as Its expert at assessment of EU R&D and education Programs projects, 2004-11). I promoted its use by the EU (also through PL) then for the UN led global sustainable development process.

I completed core institutional model 2016 as aimed at support UN led development, exactly by the 2030 Agenda, by clearing different aspects as equality, role of environment, interlinks of institutions with individuals and environment, by identified rules of human existence in the Earth environment. I précised its logic by identification of development as way of human existence precisely co-related with closed Earth environment&climate system, occurring at set of defined conditions including Earth environment&climate equilibrium, equality and effectiveness as determining ones.

Completed model precises core institutional system by presenting it as way of conditioned existence/development with extending its management by environment and clear identification of individuals and full of environment as interrelated closed systems. It shows human development as to be realized as by core institutional system/model, by NAM, by managed coordinated regions, with common précised strategy of equality, effectiveness, Earth environment&climate equilibrium, by common policies and supporting equalizing as the EU R&D-education-regional programs, with full management of individuals and environment&climate. Anyway core institutional model with hand management of individuals and incomplete of territory remains the basic one and very useful for general understanding and initiating implementing managed equal effective institutional development.

I identified rules of human existence with use of known facts, fundamental findings and key finding of H. Marchlewicz on keeping Earth environment&climate equilibrium found as consistent with fundamental ones. The completed model was not verified yet, its verification would concerns mainly Earth environment&climate equilibrium, easy for urban and climate professionals.

The model showing visibly and clearly ideal realizing of sustainable development by universally applicable précised corporate and national accounts&GDP&budget method/model used now by all countries, with imbued fundamental rules of development, would be used for necessary information&promotion and reliable integral implementing sustainable development, by the 2030 Agenda, by and for all, with leaving no one behind, just as attachment to it.

Since 2017 I promote its use for leading sustainable development by the UN, by the 2030 Agenda, also for integrating into it other agendas and processes, joined with its verification, with declared forwarding to the UN disposal (with licensing required because of necessity of measuring development, the fees would support urgent development needs), next to the Pope.

I promoted its utility for the 2030 Agenda, by proposals of its presenting at 2017 High-level SDGs Events on Peace, Climate, Financing, Education, and on Peace 2018, of the President of the UN General Assembly; short presenting in Side Event at 2017 SDGs High-level Political Forum of Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation being invited by it; at E-Consultation for the UN Development System Review Process on the UN Country Teams of the UN Secretary-General; by proposing side event on verification of model at COP23; by contributing to OECD Webinar on OECD Principles on Blended Finance; recommendation to overview of existing models to Sustainability Declaration of World Water Forum 8 2018 with enclosed leaflet of my one. I promoted its utility for New Urban Agenda integrated with the 2030 Agenda – at contributing invited by moderators to sessions and plenary meeting at World Urban Forum 9 2018, also by leaflet on model (also by proposal of side event on model verification), and similar for the UN Global Compact for Migration under Preparatory Process - by proposals of speaking on international cooperation and at stocktaking, at received consultative status.

I continue promotion. I just submitted a request for presenting full model at my Side Event at ECOSOC 2018 Development Cooperation Forum as useful for the subject, with similar recommendation for It as I give hereby.

My recommendation is to inform ECOSOC on availability of that holistic science and fundamental law based model of globally managed sustainable development by coordinated regions allowing to solve problem considered by the e-Discussion, and ask It for arranging presenting it (with eventual verification), and if recognized as relevant, for initiating steps leading to its use by the UN for support integrated implementing and continuing the 2030 Agenda.

I enclose leaflet on the model with presented core one, which I distributed at World Urban Forum 9 in February 2018.

I wish You full success at Your superb work on global development,

Kind regards,

Urszula Marchlewicz

Marchlewicz Marketing Management Agency, Poland

Priscilla

Dear Team, in the region i am in , the following issues have had an effect on sustainability and resilience strengthening programming;

Priority setting and Consistency in all programming levels, has been the major challenge and would require to be addressed. While the set global initiatives are well managed (adequate resources, programming frameworks) these capacities have not adequately translated into the lower levels.  Capacity development processes to enable an effective programming at local levels require improvement, in that even in similar locations harmonized approaches and especially on the outcomes differ, as society resilience has been biased towards a particular sector, or defined by forces out of that locality. The Setting up of local priorities remains a challenge and especially when those implementing/policy makers are not well informed and have their own priorities to address. Capacity to monitor and evaluate ongoing developments , timelines to enable effective reviews require to be well planned, and should whenever possible be organized from a multi-sector point of view, due to the inter-linkages that exists of the various sectors( i.e. the health sector is connected to water/shelter/food etc. and vice versa). The monitoring aspects should look beyond the actual project implementations, and extend to all areas that influence the targeted locality (leaders, policies). The education sector remains a crucial institution to support sustainable and resilience agenda and has remained untapped in most countries/regions. The inadequate capacity to address chronic risks(conflicts, drought), has been a major challenge to moving forward, as programmes being implemented are at times short lived, and not embedded/linked to a long term vision. The social protection programmes(cast transfers, in kind support), targeting various vulnerable populations have been a positive move however more need to be planned with consideration of aspects that may weaken the resilience of communities, thus being responsive to the various risks that may weaken the resilience building process and  thus have an impact on sustainability.

Emi Shitara • from Japan

Dear organizers,

I would sincerely appreciate this wonderful opportunity and your kindness to expand the deadline to make a comment.

Since I’ve met Ms. Amina J. Mohammed in 2015 at UNDP NY office, as a SDGs researcher and an accelerator living in Tokyo, so I would make a comment for the questions below to contribute we progress better societies:

  • What are the current and emerging challenges to building sustainable and resilient societies and what actions can be taken, especially at the local level to address these challenges?

On SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10,

It is still hard for women living in Japan to have the dignity on their professionals including wages and job opportunities as the decent work. Currently the government supports are mainly for married-women or who have a child, however single women including LGBTQ over 35 years old who works in vulnerable contract situation still faced tough situation. About the half of local working women is consist of such a vulnerable contract situation.

Japan is changing better, but this area is still under success. 

  • How are national and subnational institutions translating the sustainable development goals into concrete actions? What institutional frameworks for sustainable development are required, and how can they be built?

Support to build new industry and lifestyle, increase minimum wage, arrange safety net for those who wishes to be independent with dignity to lead positive change in local culture. Those safety net for single woman is not efficient in Japan because traditionally it has been seemed to be managed in a family. We have good higher education for girls in Japan, however, the issue is after education to take the decent work in life. Without it, we have hard stress on our mind.

Thank you for having me on the valuable discussion. Hope it helps to the people who faces on tough situation to make a change.

Saripalli Suryanarayana • from India

Some aspects of development mechanism are dealt as fiction in my books,which are free.If some one had problems in down loading they can send a mail to me,and i will send a PDF.In fact in another discussion i enclosed the PDF...They are available on Amazon KDP also.They are issue related books.

1.2025-Diamond Treasure Islands;https://www.scribd.com/document/329201844/2025-Diamond-Treasure-Islands

2.9202020;https://www.scribd.com/doc/284539534/9202020