UN-Habitat roots for localising the SDGsNew York, July 15 –UN-Habitat is at the forefront of efforts to localise the Sustainable Development Goals. Consequently, the agency recently participated in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the United Nations central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms Yamina Djacta, Director of UN-Habitat NY office presented UN-Habitat’s contribution to the process during the side event “Localizing the SDGs: transforming global goals into local realities”. Along with representatives from Italy, Belgium and Canada, she presented practical tools and approach currently developed by UN-Habitat.

She affirmed that “we have learnt from the MDGs that even though SDGs are global, their implementation depends on our ability to make them a reality in local context“. Indeed, 65 per cent of the SDGs targets are directly related to the responsibilities of local and sub-national governments, particularly in delivering basic services. Localising means taking into account subnational context and it also provides a framework for local development policy. She stated that “in this context, cities and regions are ideally positioned to transform the broad Agenda into a concrete action. SDG 11 is the lynchpin of the localizing process”.

The feedback from local and national representatives shows that localizing the SDGs is crucial. The 2030 development agenda will be implemented where people live, where poverty is tackled, where prosperity is generated and where women and youth are empowered. Thus local governments are best placed to link the global goals with local communities: they are policy makers and catalysts of change.

In order to support this process, UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional governments are elaborating a Toollbox for the Localisation of the SDGs. The Toolbox gathers tools to support local stakeholders and their networks, under the leadership of local and regional governments, in their advocacy activities and in the design and implementation of development policies within their territories. In particular, UN-Habitat introduced to participants the Roadmap for Localising the SDGs. As one of the first tools, it provides a framework to support local and regional governments and their associations to implement and monitor the SDGs and to influence national policy-making. In fact, engaging in localisation addresses the need for (i) an enabling environment, (ii) resource mobilization at the local level (iii) empowered local stakeholders (capacities, resources, authority). Ms Djacta concluded the event declaring that “by responding to these issues, localisation helps accelerate the SDGs. Localising is the way to ensure that no one is left behind”.