New York, 28 January 2020 - Local leaders are crucial actors in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In July of 2018, the City of New York created the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) as a tool for subnational governments to directly report their progress on achieving the SDGs to the United Nations.  Most importantly the VLR creates a platform for the exchange of best practices amongst local government representatives to accelerate impact on issues ranging from climate to education in their communities.  Subnational governments participating the VLR include Freetown, Sierra Leone, Helsinki Finland and dozens more. 

During a launch event at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat endorsed the Voluntary Local Review Declaration, an official document of the City of New York that allows subnational governments worldwide to formally commit to reporting and supporting the SDGs. Subnational governments signed onto the Declaration with more to come.

The Declaration calls upon local governments to sign on to the following commitments:

Commitment 1: To identify how existing strategies, programs, data, and targets align with the Sustainable Development Goals

Commitment 2: To provide at least one forum where stakeholders can come together to share experiences, lessons learned, and information gathered using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals

Commitment 3: To submit a Voluntary Local Review to the United Nations during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum

UN-Habitat and the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs will co-host a Special Session during the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi (WUF 10) to share a progress update on the VLRs and to encourage cities to join the movement and commit to take action on the SDGs. The event will take place on Monday, 10 February from 14:00 – 16:00. For the list of current signatories to the VLRs, please visit this site.

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