The debates on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda have started

In the context of UNESCO’s World Science Day for Peace and Development, the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona was the venue of the sessions on "Connecting actors for Sustainable Development in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda” last 10 and 11 November. Open to the public, the sessions proved to be a useful exchange of ideas in the elaboration of an action plan at the local and regional level to implement the 2030 Agenda.

 On the 25th September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a new global plan of action consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals cover the fields of health, education, human rights, environment and cities, amongst others, and they shall form the basis for the global development programs over the next fifteen years. It is one of the UN’s most ambitious initiatives and, in adopting it, all member States haev made a strong commitment to its implementation. 

 States are not the only ones to have a major role in this commitment. In fact, the intermediate levels are the ones that have direct access to the citizens and the territories. Consequently, they have more chances of meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda successfully. This is precisely what was discussed at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site. The meeting was divided in two events. An open conference was held on the 10th of November, providing a general overview of the 2030 Agenda and analysing the reasons why local and regional actors should commit to it. ORU’s Secretary General, Carles Llorens, took part in it asserting that “the SDGs can only be met with the local and regional governments’ involvement”. Llorens added that the instruments required for the fulfilment of the goals are decentralisation and territorial balance, two of the issues on which ORU is currently working.

 ORU’s Secretariat also took part in the second part of the meeting, a technical session that opened a dialogue, in a practical manner and engaging the attendees, on the best way of implementing the 2030 Agenda in cities and regions. The session included the participation of Susanna Rivero, responsible for External Affairs and Cooperation at the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainability of the Catalan Government, and also representative of nrg4SD, both members of ORU. In her speech, she expressed the need to prioritize the goals depending on each territorial reality in order to ensure an orderly and efficient implementation of the agenda. She further explained that nrg4SD is drawing up a guide to assist regions in implementing the SDGs.   

To sum up, the sessions helped to define the 2030 Agenda as a road map to improve living standards globally, across the globe. In this respect, regions are not only important, but essential actors. 



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