- Federation Of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
Local governments around the world deliver critical services that are fundamental to reducing poverty and improving the quality of life of its citizens. However, many are struggling to keep their citizens healthy and safe and ensure their livelihoods in urban areas. While these issues are common to most local governments, they are particularly acute in the developing world. As urbanization and decentralization increase, local governments are ideally positioned to understand and respond to the needs and challenges facing citizens and their communities. However, they frequently lack the resources to do so. Local governments associations can help local governments address these issues by expanding the national understanding and support of the role local governments play in meeting national objectives. Associations also contribute to shaping the national agenda by advocating on behalf of local governments to decision-makers and opinion-leaders, to ensure needs and priorities are recognized. Further, local governments associations share their knowledge and experience on the world stage, in order to learn from one another, encourage innovation, and help each other rise to the challenges they face. This session will explore the role of local government associations as useful intermediaries and facilitators that connect member municipalities to relevant global urban networks to discuss challenges and exchange good practices. It will also delve into what the new urban agenda means for national local government associations, who will help inform national policies and promote decentralization. Through local and national perspectives, participants will discuss whether the new urban agenda provides ground to build consensus at home within the municipal movement and the application and promotion of the universality of the framework.