A new door open to the United Nations?

On February 24th, the annual meeting of the Global Working Group of Local and Regional Governments was held in Barcelona to assess options for a new relationship between local and regional governments and the United Nations system. With the presence (virtual or face-to-face) of networks of regions such as Regions4, the Assembly of European Regions and ORU Fogar, but also many networks of local governments led by UCLG and various UN agencies, the Global Taskforce assessed the options opened up by the Secretary-General's report on "Our Common Agenda",  Antonio Guterres. 

The report "Our Common Agenda", written on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN (UN75) and presented to the UN General Assembly on 10 September 2021, is a landmark report that aims to strengthen multilateralism and global governance for future generations. This is a key report for local and regional governments. It calls for a global consultation process involving subnational governments. Specifically, Antonio Guterres pledged to create an "Advisory Committee of Local and Regional Governments".

The Global Taskforce meeting saw how, with this will, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has already established the "United Nations Taskforce on the Future of Cities". It is an inter-agency body chaired by UN-Habitat and supported by the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, whose mandate is to identify possible scenarios for the institutional strengthening of local and regional governments with UN intergovernmental processes.

Natalia Uribe, Secretary General of Regions4, and Carles Llorens, General Secretary of ORU Fogar, are in favour of a strong commitment to this open option at the United Nations. Both also defended the need for local and regional governments to have a balanced presence in the spaces to be created.



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