[2022-23] INTERNATIONAL MAYORS FORUM

Tuesday, 13 December 2022 - 9:00am to Friday, 16 December 2022 - 6:00pm

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NEW DATES OF THE FORUM IS 25- 28 APRIL, 2023  

Documents

CONCEPT NOTE & AGENDA (updated as of 21 November 2022)

NOTE CONCEPTUELLE & AGENDA (mis à jour le 11 novembre 2022)

INFORMATION NOTE (to be uploaded)

SPEAKERS AND MODERATORS' BIOGRAPHY (to be uploaded)

 

Background

Cities and sustainable development are intrinsically linked. Globally, 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. As the world continues to urbanize, the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals depends increasingly on the successful management of urban growth, especially in the least developed countries and in lower-middle income countries where the most rapid urbanization is expected 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 urban poor and other groups in vulnerable situations. Today, nearly 1 billion urban poor live in informal settlements while conflicts contribute to pressure on cities as 50 per cent of refugees and internally displaced people live in urban areas. Integrated policies are also required in order to improve the lives and livelihoods of both urban and rural dwellers. In addition, rapid urbanization gives heightened urgency to ensure sustainable patterns of production and consumption while also protecting and preserving the environment. Understanding and planning for future urban changes is essential to getting back on track and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Cities are incubators for knowledge generation and production, innovation in science, productivity, and business. They are also innovators in governance and responding to shocks, provision of public goods and services, and foster vibrant arts and culture communities. 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. It is also a matter of major concern knowing that cities and urban areas of developing countries are already accommodating most of the 883 million people living in slums, their number increasing rapidly as in many cases urbanization is taking place mostly informally, through uncontrolled urban expansion, and poor land use planning and management. This uncontrolled growth is contributing to urban sprawl, pollution and environmental degradation. Besides lacking adequate sanitation services, including drainage, waste-water collection and treatment, garbage collection and adequate access to safe water, informal settlements are particularly susceptible to hazards such as floods and landslides.

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. While accommodating more than half of the world’s population on only 1 to 3 per cent of the earth’s land, world’s 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. Rapid urbanization is exacerbating the environmental impact of cities exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health. Figures from 2016 showed that air pollution was affecting 90% of urban dwellers, causing 4.2 million deaths.

Cities and urban settlements are at the core of major global frameworks, starting with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 adopted in March 2015, which calls for supporting cooperation and mutual learning among local governments for disaster risk reduction. Four months later, in mid-July 2015, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda proposed a new global framework aligning all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities. It guides all the financing of the global sustainable development agreements, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted in September 2015 with Goal 11 specifically aiming at making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. While focusing mainly on the national governments, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, adopted in December of the same year, is nevertheless very much interlinked with cities, which are becoming heavily more affected by climate change and will need investment in climate action, particularly with regard to adaptation. The New Urban Agenda adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, on 20 October 2016 placed even more emphasis on the role of cities in achieving the SDGs well beyond Goal 11. Actually, it is today a well-known and recognized fact that that about 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.

Beside the triple planetary crisis that humanity currently faces, namely climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, the COVID-19 pandemic has confronted the world with unprecedented additional challenges, exposing and exacerbating existing inequalities, weaknesses in public service delivery systems, lack of policy coherence and coordination between the different levels/bodies of governments. Women, youth, the poor and other vulnerable groups were among the most severely affected by the pandemic. Urban dwellers have also experienced rising inequality and social exclusion, unemployment, food insecurity and extreme poverty —a situation that the COVID-19 pandemic has not only unveiled but also aggravated in both developed and developing nations. These developments have been worsened by rising cost of living crisis that is being fuelled by rising inflationary pressures and the war in Ukraine.

Local authorities were also particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis as cities and urban agglomerations were among the hardest hit at early stages of the crisis. As a matter of fact, it was estimated that 90 per cent of all reported COVID-19 cases during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic were identified in urban areas, where all sectors have been deeply impacted. Local governments are playing a critical role in providing access to basic services in normal times and ensuring that the supply of these public services is continuous and uninterrupted in times of adversity. Given their closeness to the communities concerned and their knowledge of the reality on the ground, they are also very effective frontline responders in crisis response and recovery. Paradoxically, local authorities have too often limited financial and human resources at their disposal to carrying out these responsibilities.

Aside from the challenge of restoring life to normal, local governments who were often already struggling to maintain their services due to limited financial resources before the crisis, are also facing additional challenges on multiple fronts. For instance, cities and urban areas are rapidly becoming more sensitive to environmental problems and vulnerable to weather- and climate-related extreme events, which are getting more frequent and severe with climate change. According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 90 per cent of major disasters over the last two decades have been climate-related disasters. At the same time, they are themselves major contributors to climatic disruption and land and environmental degradation, which are making human settlements and their populations more vulnerable to environmental problems and extreme events.

Established in 2011, the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) is part of the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). UNOSD contributes to building, exchanging, and facilitating the use of knowledge in support of sustainable development.

Over the recent years, UNOSD has organized various capacity building activities and events in support of the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs, including preparatory meetings for international conferences and events such as the United Nations high-level political forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) as well as trainings, expert group meetings and fora where national policymakers could learn from and interact with each other, practitioners, experts, scholars, civil society, the private sector and representatives from regional and international organisations, including the United Nations.

More recently, UNOSD has undertaken a series of activities targeting subnational authorities, including mayors and senior city management officials and supporting the implementation of the SDGs at local level. These include the first International Mayors’ Forum co-organized by UNOSD and the United Nations Office for Regional Development (UNCRD, Nagoya, Japan) that was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR in March 2017, where close to 70 mayors, leaders and representatives of local governments from around the world presented experiences of their cities and discussed key questions and issues related to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11 focusing on Making Cities and Human Settlements Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable.

In May 2018, a second Mayor International Forum took place in Lilongwe, Malawi, where the central role of cities in making societies sustainable and resilient and of local governments in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs was reiterated. Beyond discussing the challenges, the Forum also showcased successful experiences of SDG implementation at local level, such as Incheon City, South Korea, a country that has transitioned from recipient to donor of official development assistance (ODA) and from being predominantly rural to highly urbanized (above 90 per cent urbanised today) over a very short period. The Forum also discussed the importance of sustaining and reinforcing efforts to develop mayors and city leaders’ skills, knowledge and capacity to deliver on Goal 11 in making their cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as well as on the other SDGs at local level.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, subsequent editions of the International Mayors’ Forum were organized virtually in 2020 and in January 2022. The International Mayors’ Forum to be held in Dakar, Senegal is therefore an opportunity for UNOSD to have in person interactions with its traditional international stakeholders while also being accessible to the wider audience through real-time web audio and video conferencing throughout the Forum.

 

Forum Objectives and Contents

The main objective of the International Mayors’ Forum in Dakar is to provide a platform for policy dialogue and knowledge sharing through presentations and discussions on key aspects related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and other international frameworks and agreement such as the Paris Agreement at local level.

In line with the 2023 high-level political forum, the International Mayors’ Forum will strive to support local and regional governments and communities to share experiences, lessons learned and good practices, particularly with regard to the implementation of SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11 and 17 and trigger the in-depth transformation needed to accelerate the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local and regional levels.

 

Methodology

The Forum, taking place in an hybrid (in-person and virtual) format, will consist of several interrelated modules, each covering concepts and issues of Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, particularly SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11 and 17 at local level, and its interlinkages with other related SDGs and other internationally agreed agendas such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the New Urban Agenda.

It will consist of formal presentations by international experts, scholars, mayors, and practitioners followed by Q&A and discussions. A half-day field trip to visit projects that reflect the Senegalese experience in implementing the 2030Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs is foreseen.

 

Target Audience

The Forum will bring together an international audience composed of mayors and other leaders of local governments from developing and developed countries, representatives of regional and international organizations, including the United Nations, international experts and other stakeholders who will discuss successes and challenges, policy options, programmes, practices, initiatives as well as actions undertaken at local level helping in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11 and 17, the interlinkages between them and with other SDGs, and their interlinkages and complementarities with other adopted international agreements.

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 Dakar, Senegal from 25 to 28 April 2023.The venue will be announced as soon as it is confirmed.

 

Language

The Forum will be conducted in English and French. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in these two languages.

 

Outputs and Follow-up

The Forum will result in a declaration ―the Dakar Declaration― summarizing the key messages which participants would like to convey to the international community regarding the successes, lessons learned and good practices they identified in relation to the implementation of the selected SDGs as well as the main theme of the Forum, i.e., accelerating the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at local level.

As well, a Forum report documenting the presentations and discussions on the entire integrated agenda will be produced.

Both the Dakar Declaration and the 2022 International Mayors' Forum report will be published and posted on UNOSD’s Website. 

 

Programme and Agenda

 

Day 1 (25 April 2023)

Opening of the Forum 

Moderator: Mr. Jean D'Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD

Welcome Remarks:  

  • Mr. Li Junhua, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs – (video remarks, tbc)

Opening Remarks:  

  • Mr. Chun Kyoo Park, Head of Office, United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)
  • Mr. Kazushige Endo, Director, United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)

Special Addresses:  

  • Welcome Statement (Mr. Siaka Coulibaly, UN Resident Coordinator, Senegal) – (tbc) 
  • Mr. Mamadou Talla, Ministre des Collectivités territoriales, de l’Aménagement et du Développement des territoires, Senegal – (tbc)
  • Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments – Africa (UCLG-Africa) – (tbc)

Official Opening:

  • Mr. Barthélémy Dias, Mayor of Dakar – (tbc)

Keynote Speech:

  • Mr. Serigne Gueye Diop, Mayor of Sandiara, Senegal, Special Advisor to the President of Senegal on Agriculture and Industry

Outline of Mayors' Forum:

  • TBD, Facilitator of the Forum; and Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD

 

Session 2: Implementing the SDGs at the subnational levels

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Amson Sibanda, Chief, National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
    • Local and Regional implementation of SDGs: An introduction to Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) 
  • TBD
    • Countries/cities/regional experiences: Developing VLRs in Latin America and Africa: the experiences of Argentina,The Gambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe
  • Ms. Nana Urakami, Researcher, UNCRD
    • Regional/local experiences: SDG monitoring and evaluation tools to accelerate actions at local level
  • Ms. Masako Izukawa, Researcher, UNCRD (online)
    • Local experience of implementing the SDGs: Toyota City 

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Session 3: Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Raymond Saner, Professor Titular, Organisation and International Management, Basle University
    • Water as a Public Good  
  • Mr. Carlos Carrion-Crespo, Sectoral Specialist, Public Services and Utilities, Sectoral Policies Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) – (tbc) 
    • Implementing Goal 6 in Cities
  • Ms. Julie Perkins, Officer-in-Charge, Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance, UN-Habitat
    • Peer Support Partnerships Between Water and Sanitation Utilities  
  • Mr. Kalanidhi Devkota,Executive Secretary, Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN) 
    • Country/City Experience: Delivering Clean Water and Sanitation in Nepal  

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Session 4: Goal 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Speakers:  

  • Ms. Radia Sedaoui, Chief of the Energy Section, Climate Change and Natural Resource Sustainability Cluster, UN Economic Social Commission West Asia – UN ESCWA  – (tbc)
    • Enabling the Just and Inclusive Energy Transition in the Arab region  
  • Ms. Jacqueline Cottrell, Green fiscal policy consultant, Freelance Associate, Green Budget Germany  – (tbc) 
    • Mobilizing revenue through environmentally related taxes: The example of fossil fuel extraction in Senegal  
  • Mr. Yong-Chil Seo, Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea  – (tbc)
    • Experience of waste-to-energy partnering with local communities in South Korea  
  • TBD 
    • Country/city experience: Sustainable energy as part of TBD Sustainable COVID-19 Recovery Plan  

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Day 2 (26 April 2023)

Session 5: Goal 9 - Resilient Infrastructure, Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization, and Innovation

Speakers:  

  • Ms. Fatima Denton, Director of the UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa – (tbc) 
    • How to make our cities, industries and infrastructure more resilient to shocks and crises  
  • Mr. Kazushige Endo, Director, UN Centre for Regional Development, Nagoya, Japan  
    • Water-related Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change in Cities  
  • Mr. Stelios Grafakos, Principal Economist, Climate Action and Inclusive Development Unit, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)  
    • Countries/Regions/Cities Experience: Urban Climate Policies and Practices in Europe, Latin America and Korea  
  • Ms. Lichia Saner-Yiu, Professor, Organisation Development & Institutional Learning, President of the Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development – CSEND) 
    • Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR): Pathway to Achieve Inclusive and Sustained industrialization in cities of LDCs   

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur   

 

Session 6: Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments - Africa – UCLG-Africa – (tbc) 
    • Making African cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable  
  • Mr. Laszlo Pinter, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University (CEU), Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) – (online)  
    • Integrated planning and nature-based solutions for sustainable urban development  
  • Mr. Oumar Cissé, Maire de Rufisque, Sénégal – (tbc)  
    • Country/city experience: Profil du secteur du logement au Sénégal (Senegal Housing Sector Profile)  
  • Ms. Kerstin Sommer, Programme Manager, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme – PSUP, UN-Habitat 
    • Regional, Countries/cities experiences: Upgrading urban slums through participatory planning   

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Session 7: Challenges and solutions to reduce the adverse environmental impacts of cities, reducing disaster risks and building resilience

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Kazushige Endo, Director, United Nations Centre for Regional Development – UNCRD 
    • Water-related disaster risk reduction and climate change
  • Mr. Samuel Danaa, Associate Capacity Development Expert, UN Project Office on Governance, DPIDG, UN DESA 
    • Disaster risk reduction through risk informed development and governance   
  • Mr. Stelios Grafakos, Global Green Growth Institute – (tbc)  
    • Green growth as a driver for an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive recovery at national and subnational levels  
  • Ms. Florencia Almansi, Participatory Urban PLanning Expert, Instituto Internacional de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo - America Latina – IIED - AL  
    • Climate resilience in intermediary cities of Latin America  

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Session 8: Sustainable Mobility

Speakers:  

  • Ms. Nancy Vandycke, Economic Advisor of the Transport Global Practice at the World Bank Group; Founder and Manager, Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) Initiative, World Bank  – (online, tbc) 
    • Sustainable Mobility: New Policy Approaches  
  • Ms. Nancy Vandycke, Economic Advisor of the Transport Global Practice at the World Bank Group; Founder and Manager, Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) Initiative, World Bank  – (online, tbc) 
    • Sustainable Mobility: New Policy Approaches (contd.)
  • Ms. Nancy Vandycke, Economic Advisor of the Transport Global Practice at the World Bank Group; Founder and Manager, Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) Initiative, World Bank – (online, tbc) 
    • Sustainable Mobility: New Policy Approaches (contd.)
  • Ms. Cassilde Muhoza, Research Fellow, Sustainable Urbanisation Programme, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Africa) – (tbc)  
    • Regional/Countries/cities experiences: Inclusive low-carbon and climate-resilient transport In Africa  

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Day 3 (27 April 2023)

Field Visit

Sites:  

  • The Mbeubeus Landfill – (tbc)  
  • Pôle urbain de DIamniadio (DIamniadio urban centre) – (tbc)

Session 9: Enhancing infrastructure asset management at national and local government levels for Improved service delivery and sustainable Development

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Daniel Platz, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Leader for the DCF/Team Leader of the UN Infrastructure Asset Management, Financing for Sustainable Development Office, UN DESA - (online) 
    • A Diagnostic Tool to Assess Asset Management Needs of Local Governments  
  • Mr. Gustavo Goy Garcia, Infrastructure and Project Management Specialist, The United Nations Office for Project Services – UNOPS  – (tbc)  
    • How to Design an Asset Management Action Plan 
  • TBD 
    • Country/city experience: Asset Management Profile and Assessment of Needs in City of Mwanza, Tanzania 
  • TBD  
    • Country/city experience: Asset Management Action Plan (AMAP), Dhulikhel, Nepal 
  • Mr. Kazushige Endo, Director, United Nations Centre for Regional Development – UNCRD  
    • Road Geohazard Risk Management Framework with insights from Brazil and Serbia  

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur

 

Session 10: Means of Implementation and the Global Partnership

Speakers:  

  • Mr. David Horan, Assistant Professor, Trinity Business School, Trinity College, Dublin, Fellow of the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future 
    • A framework to harness effective partnerships for the sustainable development goals  
  • Mr. Raymond Saner, Professor Titular, Organisation and International Management, Basle University 
    • Impact Investment in Cities – Innovative Finance for SDGs Implementation at Local Level 
  • Mr. Darian Stibbe, Executive Director, The Partnering Initiative - (tbc)
    • The Partnership Accelerator - 2030 Agenda 
  • Mr. Rami Ahmad Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group Special Envoy on Sustainable Development Goals - (tbc)
    • Effective Partnerships for the 2030 Agenda

Discussion and short summary by Rapporteur  

 

Day 4 (28 April 2023)

Session 11: Governance

Speakers:  

  • Ms. Lichia Saner-Yiu, Professor, Organisation Development & Institutional Learning, President of the Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development – CSEND
    • Good Governance to Accelerate SDG Implementation at all Levels  
  • Mr. Samuel Danaa, Associate Capacity Development Expert, UN Project Office on Governance, DPIDG, UN DESA
    • Introduction to the Whole-of-Government Approach
  • Mr. Kazushige Endo, Director, United Nations Centre for Regional Development – UNCRD 
    • Smart cities supporting an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient society 
  • Ms. Abiodun Essiet, Director, WeGO Africa Regional Office, Abuja, Nigeria – (tbc)  
    • Countries/cities experiences: Smart cities in Africa

Discussion and short summary by Moderator

 

Session 12: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

Speakers:  

  • Rapporteurs of the sessions (TBD)  
    • Reporting on the different sessions of the International Mayors’ Forum  
  • TBD, Co-facilitator of the Forum; and Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD  
    • The way forward: The Dakar Declaration  
  • Moderators: TBD, Co-facilitator of the Forum; and Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD  
    • Breakout session: Group discussion on the Dakar Declaration  
  • Moderators: TBD, Facilitator of the Forum; and Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD  
    • Discussion - Groups reporting on their discussion related to the Dakar Declaration in plenary   

 

Session 13: Closing

Speakers:  

  • Mr. Malal Camara, Directeur Général, Association des Maires du Sénégal – AMS) – (tbc)  
    • Closing Keynote  
  • Mr. Amson Sibanda, Chief, National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch, Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)  
    • Closing Remarks  
  • Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD  
    • Farewell Remarks  
  • H.W. Mr. Barthélémy Dias, Mayor of Dakar – (tbc)  
    • Formal Closing of the Forum  

 

Organisers

The 2022 International Mayors' Forum is co-organized by the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) and the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) of UN DESA, Division for Sustainable Development Goals (UN DESA-DSDG).

 

Contact Information

For any questions or comments about the forum, please contact Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Senior Sustainable Development Expert, UNOSD at daragon@un.org and/or Mr. JinHyun Lee, Team Assistant, UNOSD at jinhyun.lee@un.org and Ms. Nana Urakami, Researcher, UNCRD at nurakami@uncrd.or.jp