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At the Urban Summit, local and regional governments deliver key messages prior to the Earth Summit

posted Jun 20, 2012, 8:35 AM by Natalene Poisson

Building on the preparatory meetings held in New York in April, UCLG and UN-Habitat with the support of Cities Alliance and UNACLA under the auspices of the City of Rio brought together over 300 Local and Regional Governments representatives to discuss their contributions to a sustainable planet.

In his opening address, Kadir Topbas, President of UCLG and Mayor of Istanbul, expressed that "our reasoning to be active internationally has always been the conviction that the International Development Targets will not be achieved without the full involvement of local and regional governments".


Joan Clos, UN Deputy Secretary General and UN Habitat Executive Director, recalled that "urbanisation is development, and that governments need to be aware of urbanization and growth of population in cities as an unavoidable but manageble process". 

Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio and host of the Summit, stated that the world will change only if we act all together at all levels and with all actors, with the citizens at the hart of our actions. 

Six High-Level Round-Tables took place around key topics where local and regional governments play a key role: Basic Services at the core of Sustainable Development Goals, Multilevel Governance: The fair place of Local and Regional Authorities, Cohesion among territories: key to combating poverty, Enabling environments: legal and financial frameworks, Green Growth/Urban Design.

The Mayor of Dakar and Vice-President of UCLG, Khalifa Sall, said that local and regional governments key role is to take care of  the dignity of the people  and this needs to be at the core of sustainable development policies, including education and culture.

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