Commonwealth Secretary-General to speak at opening session of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network

Date: 12 July, 2016

Venue: Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London

Purpose of the session

This session will be the formal opening session of the second meeting of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cites Network (CSCN) and an opportunity to highlight some key issues in relation the conference theme ‘successful, safe and sustainable cities: making cities fit for the future’, taking into account the adoption in the 2030 Agenda of a dedicated goal (SDG11) on cities and human settlements, the forthcoming Habitat III conference and the work of CLGF more generally. The Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, will discuss the role of local government and sustainable cities in her vision for the Commonwealth’s future.

Background

This is the second meeting of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network. The meeting will determine the future direction and work of the network as well as feeding in to the Habitat III discussions. It is designed to share knowledge and know how on successful urban policies and strategies; develop technical skills and identify key skills gaps; identify key priorities for cities in the Commonwealth in achieving the SDGs; consider different approaches to financing development and infrastructure; and to provide guidance for the future growth and development of CLGF’s CSCN as a mechanism for supporting its city members in contributing effectively to the achievement of the SDGs and other global and national targets.

The meeting will cover four broad policy areas:

Making cities inclusive, resilient and safe; addressing the migrant crisis; encouraging social cohesion;

combatting extremism

Cities as engines of economic growth and centres of finance and innovation
SMART cities and using ICT to implement the sustainable development goals
Sustainable cities, holistic planning and the New Urban Agenda.

The London meeting is taking part in the run-up to the important Habitat III Conference in Quito, October 2016 and the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments and therefore will be of particular value to those cities and local governments planning to attend these global events. CLGF, through its membership of the Global Task Force of Regional and Local Governments will moreover seek to ensure that relevant recommendations are brought to the attention of Habitat III, which is being tasked with agreeing the New Urban Agenda.

Audience

The meeting will bring together 60-70 city leaders, councillors and senior officials, ministers of local government, civil servants, academics, representatives from CSOs, regional/international development organisations, and the private sector from across the Commonwealth.

Background to CLGF

CLGF is a membership organisation, it is unique in bringing together local government, ministries of local government, national associations of local government and individual councils from across the 53 countries of the Commonwealth. It also has research, training and professional organisations as members. Its work focuses on promoting local democracy, exchange of experience and good practice, and capacity building designed to improve policy making, strengthen local government institutions and improve service delivery and democracy/democratic processes at the local level.

Background to the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network

The Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network (CSCN) was established in June 2015 and held its inaugural meeting in Singapore in October 2015, attended by senior mayors and city managers from throughout the Commonwealth.The meeting adopted the Singapore Statement on Commonwealth Cities for implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. The Singapore Statement acknowledges the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its recognition of the role of cities, especially Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, as well as SDG 16 on ‘effective accountable institutions’, and other SDGs, relating to economic growth and employment; infrastructure; and climate change.

Commonwealth Heads of Government, meeting in Malta in November, and the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, at both of which CLGF was represented, have formally acknowledged the important role of local and regional government and of cities in their outcome statements.

Website thecommonwealth. org

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