Delegation of the European Committee of the Regions, led by Vasco Alves Cordeiro, participates in the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals.
The European Committee of the Regions' willingness to participate actively in the UN-led processes for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2024 European Summit of Regions and Cities were the main themes of the meeting between President Vasco Alves Cordeiro and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.
The meeting, held on 17 July in the United Nations Headquarters, took place on the margins of the participation of the President of the European Committee of the Regions in the UN High-Level Political Forum, which runs until 19 July and was also attended by two other members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR): Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga, as rapporteur for the Committee's opinion on Progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in February; and Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw and Chair of the CoR's Committee on the Environment, Climate Change and Energy.
At his meeting with the UN Secretary General and using also the example of his own region, the Azores islands, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), Vasco Alves Cordeiro stressed that regions and cities play a key role in the implementation of the SDGs and that recent estimates suggest that 65% of targets under the SDGs cannot be achieved without the coordination or involvement of local and regional authorities. In this context, he advocated for a strengthening of multi-level governance in all UN processes as one of the core values for the implementation of the SDGs under the 2030 Agenda.
Following the meeting, President Vasco Alves Cordeiro stated: "I was very pleased and grateful for this inspiring exchange of views with António Guterres on the occasion of my participation in the High Level Political Forum at UN Headquarters.
"Cities and regions around the world are crucial stakeholders in implementing the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a key force in the implementation of the SDGs, local and regional authorities should be better included in the governance of these processes that have a global dimension.
"Our commitment must never cease – this challenge is a challenge for decades to come. Most Sustainable Development Goals can be better addressed at local and regional level by strong communities, aware of their overall impact. The more we deepen local partnerships between cities and regions around the world, the better we can learn from each other how to make our communities sustainable.
"As stated in the Secretary-General's priorities for this crucial year of the UN SDG Summit, it is our duty towards future generations to achieve these goals at all levels. At the meeting, I expressed my deepest respect for António Guterres' work for sustainable peace and promotion of the 2030 Agenda and reiterated the European Committee of the Regions' commitment to making sustainability a tangible reality and a real=life change for the people we represent."
The participation of the CoR delegation led by Vasco Alves Cordeiro from 17 to 19 July in the High Level Political Forum is integrated into the wider representation of the European Union in the event and in the presentation, for the first time, of the European Union's Voluntary Review on the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda. Its main focus is to highlight the role and contribution that the Union's cities and regions make to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN High Level Political Forum meets annually, at Ministerial level, under the aegis of the UN Economic and Social Council and, every four years, at Heads of State and Government level to assess the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The UN 2030 Agenda is an action plan focused on people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships (5 Ps), with the ultimate goals of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development, where all states and other stakeholders assume their own responsibilities for its implementation, emphasising that no one should be left behind.
In addition to the meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the President of the Committee of the Regions has a meeting on 18 July with the Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, and is also scheduled to speak at the event presenting the European Union Voluntary Review on 19 July, together with: the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen; the European Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni; Pilar Cancela Rodriguez, Spain's Secretary of State for International Cooperation and representative of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU; Tomas Tobé, Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Development; and Oliver Röpke, President of the European Economic and Social Committee.
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