[2024] 2024 International Mayors Forum

Tuesday, 02 July 2024 - 9:00am to Thursday, 04 July 2024 - 5:00pm

Documents

 

Background

As the world continues to urbanize, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demands a focus on accelerating progress locally. Over 50 per cent of the population lives in urban areas. By 2050, 68 per cent of the world’s population is projected to be urban.

SDG localization is the process of transforming the SDGs into reality at the local level, in coherence with national development frameworks and in line with local communities’ priorities. With 65% of SDG targets linked to the work and mandates of local and regional governments, localization has always been a pre-condition for their achievement. In recent years, the role of local governments has gained prominence and visibility at the international level, recognized by Member States in General Assembly resolutions and HLPF Political Declarations, and by the Secretary-General in his report on Our Common Agenda and on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: towards a rescue plan for people and planet. In the face of multiple global crises that have slowed, and in some cases reversed progress on SDG implementation, localization has become more important than ever. It was therefore identified, in the context of the SDG Summit, as one of the high impact initiatives that can drive SDG progress.

Following the Summit, the Secretary-General launched a UN Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments, underscoring the vital role of local leaders for global solutions emphasizing, for example, that “[t]he fight against climate breakdown will be lost or won in cities.” 

Localizing the SDGs is of special focus in least developed countries and in lower-middle income countries where rapid urbanization rates are expected most between now and 2050. The rapid rate of urbanization poses significant challenges to progress in social and economic development, particularly the need for sustained investments in urban infrastructure and services such as quality and affordable housing, education, health care, decent work and a safe environment, focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable. As of 2022, nearly 1.1 billion people lived in slums or slum-like conditions in urban areas, with an additional 2 billion expected to live in slums or slum-like conditions over the next 30 years. The growing number of slum population is a manifestation of the housing crisis, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of conflicts. Improved planning for these mega-trends from national to local level is essential to accelerate global progress on sustainable development.

Cities also play a leading role in the economic development of countries, contributing as much as 80 per cent to the global gross domestic product (GDP). However, the current trend of urbanization is also often accompanied by significant social and environmental challenges, such as the lack of access to adequate, affordable urban land and housing options, urban infrastructure and basic services for a growing number of citizens, who suffer from rising inequality and exclusion, unemployment, food insecurity and extreme poverty. This is particularly true in developing countries, where 95% of urban expansion will take place over the next decades.

Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are found to a large extent in cities, which are also main contributors to climate change and environmental degradation. Cities nonetheless account for 60-80 per cent of global energy consumption and generate as much as 75 per cent of the energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Despite the closeness of local governments to the needs and realities of sustainable development, local authorities have too often limited financial and human resources at their disposal to fully achieve the SDGs. With an estimated gap of some US$ 4.2 trillion per year, the SDGs require a quantum leap in finance flows – from billions to trillions – and a focus on ensuring financing delivers results locally. 

Greater resources, capacity and innovation is required through strengthened national to local coordination and multi-level governance for the 2030 Agenda. Nearly 70 per cent of the 169 SDG targets can only be achieved through the substantial involvement of local actors, particularly those in urban areas, hence the need for localizing the SDGs, where local governments and local stakeholders play an essential role in adapting and implementing those SDG targets in cities and human settlements. This background presents the focus for the 2024 International Mayors Forum to be hosted in June 2024 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

Forum Objectives and Contents

The broader goal of the International Mayors’ Forum is to provide an annual platform for policy dialogue and knowledge sharing on key aspects related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. Building on the outcomes of the 2023 International Mayors Forum in Senegal, the specific objective of the 2024 International Mayors Forum is to achieve common dialogue on how to practically accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda through localization of the SDGs in the six remaining years.

The Forum will focus on accelerating action at the local level on transformative entry points – or the Six Key Transitions: Investment Pathways to Achieve the SDGs - that can have catalytic and multiplier effects across the SDGs, as identified in the context of the 2023 SDG Summit to ensure transformative and accelerated progress. These transformative entry points or investment pathways include (1) food systems; (2) energy access and affordability; (3) digital connectivity; (4) education; (5) jobs and social protection; and (6) climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

In line with the 2024 High-level Political Forum, the International Mayors’ Forum will strive to support local and regional governments to share experiences, lessons learned and good practices, focusing on accelerated implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local and regional levels. This will include presentation of local progress through Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs), including the Jakarta’s 2024 VLR, as well as that of other sub-national governments presenting their VLRs.

 

Target Audience

Mayors and local leaders sub-national government entities from developing and developed countries, countries in special situations (least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States) and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations and countries with economies in transition, representatives of UN agencies, international experts and other stakeholders will discuss successes and challenges, policy options, initiatives as well as actions undertaken at local level helping in achieving the SDGs.

The Forum will particularly promote and encourage participation of representatives from countries in special situation, particularly African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and countries in conflict and post-conflict situations, most of which also being part of UNOSD’s priorities.

 

Dates and Venue

The Forum will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2 to 4 July 2024.The venue will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.

 

Language

The Forum will be conducted in English. Simultaneous interpretation in French and Bahasa will be provided.

 

Programme and Agenda

To be updated

 

Organisers

The 2024 International Mayors Forum is organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) mainly by the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), under the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) of UN DESA in partnership with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), Special Region of Jakarta, and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Asia-Pacific from 2 to 4 July 2024 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

Contact Information