The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF) is a coordination mechanism that brings together the major international networks of local governments to undertake joint advocacy relating to international policy processes, particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New Urban Agenda.
The Local and Regional Government members of the GTF are as follows:
- UCLG - World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments and its Thematic Committees
- ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
- AIMF - International Association of Francophone Mayors
- ATO - Arab Towns Organization
- CLGF - Commonwealth Local Government Forum
- MERCOCIUDADES - Network of cities of Mercosur
- nrg4sd - Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development
- METROPOLIS - Metropolitan Section of UCLG
- UCLG Regions - Forum of Regions of UCLG
- CEMR-CCRE - Council of European Municipalities and Regions
- UCLG-ASPAC - Asia Pacific Section of UCLG
- UCLG-EURASIA - Euro-Asian Section of UCLG
- UCLG-MEWA - Middle East and West Asia Section of UCLG
- UCLG-NORAM - North American Section of UCLG
- FLACMA - Latin American Federation of Municipalities and Local Government Associations
- UCLGA - UCLG Africa
- CUF - Cités Unies France
- ORU FOGAR - United Regions Organization
- FMDV - Global fund for cities development
- PLATFORMA - The European voice of Local and Regional authorities for Development
- C40 - Climate Leadership Group
- UCCI - Unión de Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericana
- AL-LAs - Proyecto AL-Las
- AER – Assembly of European Regional
The Partners of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments include:
- UN-Habitat - United Nations Human Settlements Programme
- UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
- Cities Alliance
- UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- DeLog - Decentralization and Local Government
- SDSN - Sustainable Development Solutions Network
- European Commission
- World Urban Campaign
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France
- Habitat for Humanity
- High Level Panel on the Post 2015 Development Agenda
- Huairou Commission
- ILO - International Labor Organization
- Millennium Campaign
- One UN Secretariat
- Slum Dwellers International
- SUEZ Environment
- UNCDF - United Nations Capital Development Fund
- UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
Find out more on the website of the Global Taskforce: www.gtf2016.org
The role of local governments in sustainable urban development
During the Habitat III process, the GTF advocated that local governments can contribute to sustainable urban development in five main ways:
a) Local governments, as the sphere of government closest to people, are ideally placed to understand local needs, to target.
b) Local governments have unique legitimacy, as a democratically elected sphere of the state, to bring together and balance all sectors and interests in their communities. They can and should play a leading role in developing and implementing a shared vision for the future.
c) Local economic development strategies can harness and protect local cultures, contribute to the empowerment of women and the inclusion of marginalized groups, reduce carbon emissions, and make local economies more resilient to the fluctuations of global economic and financial systems.
d) Local governments can work with our national counterparts to drive national development from the bottom up. All types of local government, from metropolises to peripheral and intermediary cities and small municipalities, have a role to play in creating balanced systems of cities and must have the opportunity to participate in the development of National Urban Policies.
e) Local governments act locally to address global challenges (climate change mitigation, peace-building, development cooperation) and to manage the impact of global phenomena at the local level (climate change adaptation, migration, the mediation of globalizing economic and cultural forces). Local governments can contribute to more effective and accountable international governance if they are recognized as a sphere of government and given a seat at the global table.
The Global Taskforce and the New Urban Agenda
Since 2013, the Global Taskforce worked to bring together and amplify the voices of the major global networks of local governments in international policy processes, building on the long tradition of local government advocacy at the international level.
The GTF then emphasized that the New Urban Agenda must keep in mind other relevant international agendas adopted in recent months, particularly the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The GTF sought specific links and synergies with the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements in terms of financing and monitoring.
As an organized and consolidated constituency that had been collaborating through joint advocacy to ensure local decisionmakers were included in other processes, the GTF was engaged with the negotiation of the New Urban Agenda from the beginning of the Habitat III process.
Representatives from the GTF were present in every negotiation of the New Urban Agenda, delivering statements and providing feedback on new versions of the drafts of the New Urban Agenda.
Find statements and inputs of the GTF to the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda here
The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), in representation of the GTF, co-led the Habitat III Policy Unit 4 on Urban Governance, Capacity and Institutional Development, jointly with the London School of Economics (LSE). The Policy Unit was composed by a maximum of 20 experts, who brought together individual experts from a variety of fields. The Policy Paper produced by the unit was an official input to the drafting of the New Urban Agenda.
Find the Policy Paper on Urban Governance, Capacity and Institutional Development here.
Informal Hearings with Member States and observers
The GTF was invited by the Habitat III Secretariat and the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee to co-organize the two-day Informal Hearings with Local Authorities Associations, which was an historic move towards recognizing the expertise and implementing power of cities and local governments and what they are able to contribute to Member States in this and similar intergovernmental processes.
The New Urban Agenda calls for collaboration with local and subnational governments and notes their importance in several areas. The effort of the GTF in coordinating these governments in events such as the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments is acknowledged in paragraph 8 of the New Urban Agenda, which reads: “We acknowledge the contributions of national governments, as well as the contributions of subnational and local governments, in the definition of the New Urban Agenda and take note of the second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments”.
Paragraph 169 calls for continued collaboration with the World Assembly in the follow-up and review of the New Urban Agenda, noting “the importance of continuing to engage in the follow-up and review of the New Urban Agenda with subnational and local governments associations represented at the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments”.