Mayor Heads to New York to Formally Endorse UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Mayor Hodges’ Answers Pope’s Call to Lead on Climate Change
September 24, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS)—This afternoon Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is headed to New York to formally endorse the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals on the eve of their adoption. At this evening’s summit the Mayor will be joining fellow participants from the Pope Francis’ summer convening on climate change as they launch an alliance to support the implementation of the UN’s goals.
This summer the Pope invited over sixty leaders to the Vatican, including Mayor Hodges, where he called on them to lead the way in the fight against climate change and toward global sustainability. The Mayor and her fellow leaders will also sign a declaration tonight that commits them to 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. You can read the full declaration below.
“For mayors to weigh in on matters before the United Nations is somewhat unprecedented, but the Pope has called on us to commit to sustainability in our cities and to use our power to influence global efforts,” said Mayor Hodges. “The fact that mayoral support is being highlighted in advance of the critical UN climate summit in December is another foundational sign that cities are increasingly at the forefront leading on national and global issues. We have made significant strides on sustainability in Minneapolis and I am honored to help lead the way as we work toward achieving the ambitious goals laid out by the UN.” 
The declaration, along with the formal endorsement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,will create a groundbreaking international network of Mayors committed to implementing policies in line with sustainable principles. These efforts build on the pledges Mayor Hodges and her peers made at the Vatican to “work towards the success of the SDGs in our own cities and respective areas of endeavor, and to partner with others across the globe to help all cities to achieve the new SDGs with success.”
You can livestream the event here:
Read declaration below:
We, Mayors, local and subnational government leaders of the world’s cities, understand our profound responsibility at this pivotal moment in history. Tomorrow, the leaders of 193 countries will usher in a new era of sustainable development, in which the dignity and value of every person will be affirmed and respected; in which all people will have the capability to flourish and to define their own life narratives; in which our planet and its precious ecosystems will be protected and valued. These new Sustainable Development Goals speak to the common good of all humanity, and reflect our most basic human urges for harmonious cooperation and peaceful coexistence. We particularly welcome the inclusion of SDG 11, on sustainable cities and human settlements, as a powerful driver of transformation of the Urban World between now and 2030.
The Summit and the SDGs come at a time when our world and communities are facing numerous, social and ecological crises, bringing us close to a point of no-return, with the high risk of nullifying all the social and economic progress achieved over the past decades. In order to ensure full, rapid and accelerated transformation, these SDGs should be the “floor”, not the “ceiling”.
We, Mayors and subnational leaders, will play a defining role in embracing, endorsing, implementing, and monitoring these goals, pursuant to our role as governmental stakeholders of our communities, and representatives in the global governance system. Our responsibility reflects our position on the front line of sustainable development, with the power to affect transformative change. Our cities are home to half of the world’s people and three quarters of its economic output, and this will rise by 2030, the target year of SDGs. We therefore encourage the international community, as well as our national governments, to ensure full synergy and integration between the global and national goals, and ambitious local plans and programs.
In support of the 2030 sustainable development agenda we make the following commitments:
·         We commit to develop an integrated and holistic sustainable development strategy, by 2017 [the latest by 2020], to ensure achievement of the SDGs in our cities and territories by 2030;
·         We commit that this strategy will be crafted with the engagement of all relevant stakeholders in our cities and regions, across sectors and communities and encompassing public and private actors, and that we will pursue participatory and integrated approaches for the sustainable planning and management of our cities and territories henceforth;
·         We commit that our decisions and actions will ensure that our cities and territories will be safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable;
·         We commit to eradicating extreme poverty and dramatically reducing relative poverty within our cities and territories;
·         We commit to promote equality of opportunity and cultural diversity in our cities, through universal access to health, education and employment opportunities, regardless of gender, age or class;
·         We commit to ensure the fulfillment of the basic needs and rights of all of our citizens, including access to clean water, sanitation and green public space, affordable and sustainable housing, mobility, energy, waste management, protection from extreme weather events, including natural and man-made disasters through ecosystem and community-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures;
·         We commit to pursue sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, and to build quality, reliable infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being;
·         We commit to deep decarbonization and to transition to a low carbon and climate-resilient economy;
·         We commit to use the planet’s resources in an efficient and sustainable manger and to contribute to the conservation of natural capital and ecosystem services.
To achieve these ends, we call upon national governments and the UN to strongly advocate for the localization of The 2030 Agenda, including crafting relevant sets of global and national monitoring indicators that respond to local and subnational circumstances. We encourage countries to establish environments that unlock the development potential of local and regional governments, and local stakeholders, by creating an enabling institutional framework at all levels and localizing resources. Related to which, we call on international and regional financial institutions and the private sector to jointly explore adequate financing mechanisms to address the increasing investment needs of urban areas, particularly in developing countries.
We recognize and applaud the enormous efforts and achievements of global networks of local and subnational governments in particular including UCLG, ICLEI, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and others in Global Task Force, with their partners in the Urban SDG Campaign, including the SDSN as its Secretariat, the Cities Alliance, Slum Dwellers International, the World Urban Campaign, WEIGO, Communitas Coalition, as well as the UN-Habitat and other UN-wide entities. We also express our gratitude for the strong support of the Friends of Sustainable Cities consisting of the Member States of the UN.
Today, we pledge to all the partners mentioned above to work together cooperatively and actively across cities and sectors to coalesce in an “Urban Partnership for the SDGs”. This Partnership will be open, voluntary and participatory, aiming to support the fulfillment of the commitments articulated above, by;
·         Encouraging the development of plans and programs in support of the SDGs, the sharing of best practices, and collective action around the means of the implementation, creating new channels for urban and subnational financing and long-term planning;
·         Supporting local and subnational governments to work with national governments, multilateral organizations and international financial institutions, to ensure cities and regions are empowered to fulfill the responsibilities associated with the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including through appropriate devolution of powers and finances;
·         Promoting the prioritization of sustainable urban development within the new SDG framework, as well as in the design of an inclusive and ambitious climate regime expected to be adopted at the UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), and in Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda;
·         Supporting the initiatives of local and regional governments to implement the SDGs and develop tools to contribute to the localization of Post-2015 Agenda.

Published Sep 24, 2015



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