Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message to the Global Forum of Local Governments (Ii Foro Global De Gobiernos Locales), being held in Sevilla, Spain, from 24 to 26 January:
I am pleased to greet the Global Forum of Local Governments.
I commend the participating cities and local authorities for their efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, advance the New Urban Agenda and implement the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Having been involved in local government for many years in my home country, Portugal, I know that local governments and authorities can — and must — be powerful engines of economic, social and environmental transformation. Indeed, local government networks around the world are already taking important steps to bring the 2030 Agenda closer to the people.
We need greater ambition to fight climate change, the defining issue of our time — ambition on mitigation, adaptation and innovation. And we need more concerted efforts to reduce poverty and inequality, build a fair globalization and deliver robust and inclusive economies while safeguarding the environment.
Achieving all of these goals will require mobilizing additional finance. And much of that finance will need to be localized, to ensure that those taking action on the ground have the means to do so.
Your actions and solutions will be front and centre at several high-level events this year, including the Local2030 high-level event on localizing the Sustainable Development Goals, which will also take place in Seville; the Local Action for Commitments Forum; the Local and Regional Governments’ Forum and the Climate Summit I am convening in September.
Let us use these occasions to strengthen our partnership as we strive together to build peaceful, prosperous and inclusive societies for all on a healthy planet. Please accept my best wishes for fruitful discussions.