2020, a key year

Abdessamad Sekkal

President of ORU Fogar

2019 was a year of social demands all over the world: from France to Spain, from Iraq to Lebanon, passing through several Latin American countries including Ecuador, Colombia and Chile. Several waves of protests have been launched to express the expectations of the populations with regard to public policies or to demonstrate the growing aspirations regarding the institutions and the political class in general.

This continued increase in expectations of local populations has prompted changes in the annual programming of ORU Fogar events, whether in Argentina which was to host the Vth Local Economic Development Forum in Cordoba or the General Assembly of our organization which was cancelled due to social events in Chile, which was to host our event on the sidelines of COP 25.

That said, we will continue to look to the future ahead by embarking on a new year which is a key year in terms of development policies and international meetings. Indeed, September 25 will mark five years since the approval of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, with its 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. 2020 is also the target year for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and of the firm implication in the implementation of the Paris Agreement for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases.

The results to date remain very mixed. Indeed, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals seems increasingly difficult to achieve. For example, Goal 1 relating to "poverty reduction" is hampered by numerous wars, social crises and climate change itself .... Similarly, Goal 2 "Zero Hunger", to which ORU Fogar has made a strong commitment, brings out a fairly discouraging assessment. The latest FAO annual report clearly indicates that over the past three years hunger has increased, amounting to more than 821 million people affected worldwide.

In addition, the balance sheet relating to the application of the Paris Agreement is marked by a negative connotation. The exploitation of fossil resources remains essential and the figures indicate that in 2018, the consumption of oil, gas and coal was higher than ever. The alarm bell sounded by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not seem to provoke any reaction.

Likewise, the slowdown in climate ambition was confirmed at COP 25. Indeed, despite two weeks of negotiations, States have not succeeded in agreeing to raise their ambitions before COP 26 and to define the carbon market rules.

If the achievement of the objectives of these major global agendas remains limited by the numerous conflicts and political and social upheavals, we firmly believe in ORU Fogar, that one of the main reasons for this slowdown is the mode of governance adopted in several countries. It is therefore essential today to go beyond the centralized structure of the States and to adopt a governance based on the principle of subsidiarity to allow regional and local authorities to have effective skills and the means necessary to ensure effective local action and close to the reality on the ground.

This must be our challenge for 2020.

Happy New Year to all the members of ORU Fogar with our most sincere wishes that this year will be favourable for all of you!  

 


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