The independent Swedish think tank Global Utmaning, in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Swedish National Centre for Architecture and Design (Arkdes), hosted the first regional Post-Habitat III conference in December. The conference resulted in a ”Nordic Declaration on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda”, where 400 attendees from research, private sector, civil society, national and local authorities have had the opportunity to actively contribute to the declaration, initiated by the think tank.
The global agendas have clearly underlined that cities – rather than nations – have the basic answers to sustainable development. Cities are where a large part of the implementation, financing and monitoring of these global agreements will take place. Cities provide the platform for economic, social and environmental development. The global agenda is, quite simply, local.
Habitat III resulted in the adoption of a New Urban Agenda by the United Nations member states. This agenda will be the guideline for sustainable urban development for the next generation. The independent Swedish think tank Global Utmaning, together with UN-Habitat, has explored the importance of leadership for sustainable urban development by looking at a selection of Nordic cities, in the report Nordic Urban Ways released at Habitat III in Quito. Our aspiration has been to provide valuable insight on urban systems for leadership, governance and management from Nordic cities in the light of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda.
The global agenda goes local
The regional post-Habitat III conference in Stockholm on December 16th evolved around leadership, governance and management for sustainable urban development in discussions with several Nordic Ministers and Mayors, senior civil servants, researchers, private sector and civil society representatives. Keynotes were delivered on the post-Habitat III and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda by Raf Tuts from UN-Habitat, followed by keynotes on the Nordic implementation on the New Urban Agenda by Peter Eriksson, Minister for Housing and Digital Development Sweden and Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Finland.
– We have been determined to make this conference as a support and a tool for implementation, and a platform for sharing Nordic experience in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda. Therefore, we felt that it was necessary for the conference to result in a “Nordic Declaration on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda”, says Ambassador Inga Björk Klevby, former UN-Habitat Deputy and senior advisor to Global Utmaning.
A useful tool for implementation of 2030 Agenda
Participants had the possibility to provide input to the declaration during the conference, which was initiated by a drafting committee that included the rapporteurs of the conference’s panel discussions. Stakeholders have afterwards provided further constructive and valuable input during a period of time. Over 400 attendees from research, private sector, civil society, national and local authorities have had the opportunity to actively contribute to this joint statement making sure that the declaration reflects perspectives from a wide range of actors involved in urban development. The declaration is an initiative from the think-tank Global Utmaning.
– The New Urban Agenda is not legally binding and some have questioned whether it will really be implemented. The Nordic declaration demonstrate that we take the Agenda seriously.We are a large informal multi-stakeholder network that can show the way and we hope that others will follow. We hope that both the New Urban Agenda and the Nordic declaration can be useful tools in the implementation of Agenda 2030, in the Nordic region as well as globally. We are therefore pleased that actors ranging from municipalities to business community are welcoming the initiative and practically show how they will use this new framework in their daily work, says Elin Andersdotter Fabre, project manager for Sustainable Cities at the think-tank.
Global Utmaning encourage all relevant actors and stakeholders to take collective action and responsibility for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. Our conviction is that the Nordic region holds the potential to fulfil these goals. We therefore commit ourselves to share good examples and lessons learned and move forward at global, national, regional and local level to achieve a sustainable development.
During 2017 and beyond Global Utmaning will continue providing frameworks, platforms and tools for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda.
More about the conference: new-urban-agenda.confetti.events
Elin Andersdotter Fabre
Project Manager at the think tank Global Utmaning
+ 46 70 223 32 47