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On 25 September, ICLEI witnessed the adoption of Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at the United Nations General Assembly during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York. 

A delegation of more than 20 city officials and executive members of ICLEI attended the Summit to represent the ambitions and achievements of cities and regions from the Global North and South. 


ICLEI welcomes the SDGs as a substantial achievement and commends all advocacy partners for their extensive collaboration in ensuring the voices, concerns, visions and proposals of local and subnational governments were reflected to the greatest possible extent.

ICLEI particularly applauds the adoption of Goal 11, a dedicated Urban SDG that aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” This goal is one of the most powerful mechanisms to transform our Urban World by 2030. 

To ensure a full transformation of the Urban World towards sustainability, ICLEI encouraged all participants to:
  • leave no one behind, and let everyone be inspired by pioneers, particularly those advancing Agenda 21 since 1992;
  • mainstream the ambitions of today to become the norms of tomorrow in every community and jurisdiction; and
  • use the SDGs as the floor, not the ceiling.
ICLEI also urged all participants to get inspired by the examples of pioneering local and subnational governments. To help with this, ICLEI compiled 52 case studies from 48 cities, showing how they have taken action that aligns with the SDGs. These examples were shared on social media with the hashtag #GetInspired.

To read the examples, please visit our Sustainable Development Summit web page or download a PDF list

The ICLEI delegation had a full schedule in New York, working alongside our Partners to organize a number of strategic events that placed the interests of local and subnational actors into primary focus. In this special newsletter, we offer the following highlights from our agenda.
Thursday 24 September
Compact of Mayors: One Year of Progress

An ICLEI delegation, along with other Compact of Mayors partners, was invited by Michael Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, to a special event to celebrate one year of progress on the Compact of Mayors. The event coincided with an announcement that 10 new cities have met Compact of Mayors planning and reporting requirements.
Youth and Mayors Forum

At this event, ICLEI Member Cities from five continents met with representatives of the United Nations Children and Youth Major Group at the New School to discuss the potential of youth and ambitious local leaders in developing innovative solutions for sustainability with the potential to transform communities.
Cities Driving Sustainable Development

Urban leaders gathered to endorse the SDGs at this event featuring presentations by mayors of a number of cities, including ICLEI Members Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Copenhagen (Denmark), Johannesburg (South Africa), Dakar (Senegal), and New York City (USA). Governor Jerry Brown of California (USA) announced new signatories for Under 2 MOU, and the event culminated with the virtual signing of A Declaration of Cities’ Commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Friday 25 September
Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals - New York City, USA
Adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals

ICLEI witnessed the adoption of the 17 universal SDGs at the United Nations General Assembly and captured a video recording of the historic moment.

Saturday 26 September
A Call for Joint Action Beyond 2015

Held at the UN, and co-organized by UNEP, ICLEI and partners, this forum focused on the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen the environmental dimension of the SDGs. ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin and Mayor Troy Pickard of Joondalup, Australia respectively participated as a panelist and respondent. The forum concluded with the adoption of the Call for Joint Action.
Sunday 27 September
Implementing SDG 7 -  Energy in the 2030 Agenda

Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver, Canada participated as a panelist at this SE4ALL event within the scope of SE4ALL District Energy in Cities, in which ICLEI and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) were among the lead partners.
Meetings of Global Task Force, Cities Alliance and UNACLA

Local and regional governments gathered to discuss the way towards Habitat III, with presentations by mayors and representatives of cities and regions including ICLEI Members Bogota (Colombia), Tshwane (South Africa), Nantes (France), Dakar (Senegal), Santa Monica (USA) and the Rhône-Alpes region (France).
Mobilizing Climate Finance for Sustainable Cities

Mayor Kgosiento Ramokgopa of Tshwane, South Africa participated as a panelist within the scope of the Transformative Action Program (TAP) at this climate finance event convened by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in which participants discussed the acceleration of capital flows to cities, investments in low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure, and closing the investment gap in urban areas.
Monday 28 September
Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century

ICLEI joined the global community of urban practitioners, including the Global Task Force, World Urban Campaign, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), Cities Alliance and Communitas Coalition at the Ford Foundation to celebrate the adoption of SDG 11. Participants examined the fundamental transformations required for sustainable urban development and multi-stakeholder engagement in preparatory processes towards Habitat III.
To see a selection of ICLEI's photos from the Sustainable Development Summit, visit our Flickr page by clicking the photo above.
ICLEI is the world’s leading network of over 1,000 cities, towns and metropolises committed to building​ a sustainable future. By helping our M​embers to make their cities sustainable,​ low-carbon, resilient, biodiverse, resource-efficient, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 20% of the global urban population.
Copyright © October 2015, ICLEI. All rights reserved.

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