Urban Journalism Institute


Towards cities, governments
and a multilateral system that care for people,
democracy and our planet

1. Greater recognition of cities, regions, territories, and networks as political actors in the multilateral system.

There is a need to renew multilateralism and to include governments in decision-making at all levels.

The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF)

It is the coordination and consultation mechanism bringing together the major international networks of local and regional governments worldwide to undertake joint advocacy related to global policy processes and amplify the voice of local governments in international policy-making processes. Its very existence represents a landmark achievement for the international municipal movement. Local and regional governments are the only UN non-state stakeholders to have a mechanism, such as the GTF, to develop and coordinate inputs into global policy processes. The GTF convenes elected local and regional leaders from around the world in the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, and the review and follow-up mechanism of the New Urban Agenda is acknowledged within the Quito Outcome document itself. 

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2. Advance a feminist agenda that guarantees equal rights for all and puts care of people and planet at the centre of policy and action.

The Global Alliance for Care

Launched by the National Institute of Women in Mexico (INMUJERES) and UN-Women in the context of the 2021 Generation Equality Forum, the Global Alliance for Care is an urgent call to action within the broader framework of the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Economic Justice and Rights. Seeking to address the historical and structural inequalities in the distribution of domestic and care work, the Alliance promotes inclusive gender equality and urges governments at all levels, as well as international organisations, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders, to take joint action to achieve equality by advancing a cultural transformation based on the recognition, reduction, remuneration and redistribution of domestic and care work among women and men, and all actors in our societies.

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3. Expand access to quality and equitable public services, adequate housing, infrastructures and livelihoods, including the residents of informal settlements, through more sustainable and inclusive urban planning. 

Cities Alliance

It is a global partnership fighting urban poverty and supporting cities to deliver sustainable development and improve the urban poor’s well-being, health and livelihoods through access to basic services. Cities Alliance delivers innovative and multi-sectoral solutions to urban poverty, improving the lives of local communities across 200 cities in 20 countries by 2030. It supports and implements comprehensive programmes worldwide, leveraging multistakeholder partnerships’ collective expertise to catalyse global urban transformation. 

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Global Observatory on Sustainable Proximities (GOSP)

It was initiated by the Entrepreneurship, Territory, Innovation (ETI) Chair, UCLG, C40 and UN-Habitat at the World Urban Forum in 2022. The Observatory serves as a global go-to knowledge and capacity-building platform to collect information about local initiatives while supporting and promoting urban proximities worldwide, including by developing a globally applicable concept based on proximity, official measures and indicators, and a global centre for knowledge-sharing and capacity building.

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4. With human rights and peace as a horizon make human mobility work for all, fostering social inclusion with dignity at the centre.

Call to Local Action for Migrants and Refugees

The Call-to-Action platform bridges practice policy coherence gaps by spurring knowledge transfer and cross-fertilisation of the bold, people-centred local actions showcased, conducting peer learning on relevant governance challenges, expanding political endorsement of the Marrakech Mayors Declaration and funding concrete actions that strengthen local migration governance. Benefitting a population of over 100 million people, more than 80 actions have been collected, and more than 25 of them have been funded all over the world, accounting for over 23 million dollars. Furthermore, more than 100 cities have benefited from capacity building and peer-to-peer learning on crisis management, climate change-related mobility, access to services and more. 

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5. Promote accessibility in urban policies and plans to forge an equitable future based on human rights and dignity.

Cities for All Global Initiative and Campaign

The Cities for All Global Initiative advances the implementation of the principles of universal design and accessibility in urban development through a multi-year Global Campaign with many cities worldwide. This global call for action to address equity and inclusion lies at the core of the Cities For All Campaign. UCLG, together with World Enabled and the Cities for All Network, has taken a leading role in promoting this campaign, working closely with UN-Habitat, the German National Development Agencies, the UN Special Envoy on Accessibility and the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability. Today, more than 20 cities are part of the campaign, including Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, Kisumu, Villa Carlos Paz, Dubai and Mersin, and many more. A key outcome of the coalition is the creation of the UCLG Community of Practice on Inclusive and Accessible Cities and Territories, which serves as a mechanism for implementing the campaign. 

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6. Culture is the fourth pillar of sustainable development, connecting culture, creativity, and transformation and supporting global advocacy for a cultural goal.

Culture 2030 Goal Campaign

The Culture 2030 Goal Campaign was initiated several years ago, building on the #Culture2015Goal campaign that united in 2013 to call for culture to be included in the UN 2030 Agenda adopted in 2015. It is led by seven global actors, including the UCLG Culture Committee, Arterial Network, Culture Action Europe, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the International Music Council (IMC). Different publications have been released in the framework of the campaign, including reports analysing the VNRs and VLRs, as well as a concrete proposal on a stand-alone Culture Goal with ten targets. 

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7. By renaturing urbanisation and promoting health, cities reinsert themselves into natural systems, restoring the vitality of both.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM)

The largest global alliance for city climate leadership, built upon the commitment of over 10,000 local and regional governments. It aims to support local governments in aligning with and advancing globally coherent and regionally tailored climate solutions in alliance with city networks. The cities and partners of the GCoM focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation and increased access to clean and affordable energy. Based on a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, the GCoM supports ambitious, locally relevant solutions in sectors where cities can have the most significant impact. 

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8. Redefine production and consumption patterns by supporting the restructuring of food systems to make them more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable.

Urban Food Systems (UFS) Coalition

Supports sustainable and inclusive transformation of urban food systems to advance equitable access to safe and nutritious food for all. The coalition emerged from the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit in recognition of the importance of the urban food agenda at the local, national and international levels. UCLG is one of the leading organisations participating in it and supports the Coalition’s secretariat, which comprises FAO, ICLEI, and GAIN. The coalition offers a platform to better connect small, intermediary and larger metropolitan cities with national governments to promote coherent food policy and coordinated action. Fostering dialogue between various actors, the coalition leverages expertise and facilitates knowledge and experience exchange, strengthening multilevel and multistakeholder governance.  

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9. Building trust between citizens, communities and governments for human rights and to safeguard local democracy.

International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD)

An international network open to all cities, organisations and research centres interested in learning about, exchanging and applying participatory democracy experiences at the local level. Founded in 2001 within the European Commission’s URB-AL program for decentralised cooperation, the IOPD has worked with UCLG since 2006. Articulating an annual conference, an award on citizen participation, 

working groups and different publications, the IOPD aims at creating synergies between cities, organisations and research centres, producing knowledge and sharing experiences and innovations in the local participatory democracy field around the world, and define political recommendations with and for local and regional governments. 

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10. Strengthen capacities and resources to create redistributive and supportive subnational financial environments and systems and advocate for accelerating the localisation of financing.

Malaga Global Coalition for Municipal Finance

It brings together diverse stakeholders, led by UNCDF, UCLG, the FMDV and the City of Malaga, to discuss and provide innovative solutions to redefine finances and economy and advocate for open, accessible and verifiable information and data, to make the international financial ecosystem more fit to the needs of local and regional governments. The Coalition aims to ensure financial resilience for sustainable, transformative investments and local public service provision for citizens’ well-being, promoting participatory processes with a gender-responsive perspective. Priority is given to funding transformative projects that positively contribute to the SDGs and are led by intermediary or secondary cities in developing countries.

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Global Commission for Urban SDG Finance

Launched in Paris in June 2023 on the occasion of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact, the Global Commission for Urban SDG Finance aims to address the challenge of financing development and climate goals and develop innovative policies to secure urban climate finance. The Commission will include around 20 members, including scholars, international organisations, practitioners and local government representatives. Also, it will focus on incorporating local and regional governments in reshaping global finance architecture. These financing mechanisms work effectively for local governments and the mobilisation of new capital. Further, the Commission will analyse barriers to urban SDG finance, evaluate proposals to improve urban finance access and develop new strategies and mechanisms to align the global finance architecture with urban needs. 

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Cofounded by the European Union This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of UCLG and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.