Geneva, 20 October 2023 (TDI): United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres has established an Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments to offer recommendations and strategic guidance.

The plan focused on the involvement of local and regional governments in global initiatives related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on topics to be addressed at the 2024 Summit of the Future.

This includes matters like peace and security, global financial system reform, and digital technology governance.

The Advisory Group will seek input from sub-national stakeholders and enhance coordination among cities, regions, national governments, and international processes to find ways to effectively deliver the SDGs at a local level with impact and speed.

The group’s goals include finding ways to get local and regional governments more involved in intergovernmental processes and encouraging cooperation between national and local governments.

Making suggestions for a UN global strategy to help local and regional governments do their part in achieving the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

António Guterres emphasized the local nature of the SDGs and the UN’s commitment to connecting with local and subnational authorities, regardless of the intergovernmental nature of the system.

He stressed the importance of inclusivity and open consultation in shaping the decisions made at the Summit of the Future.

The Advisory Group is composed of 15 representatives from local and regional governments from various countries and is gender-balanced and geographically diverse.

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It will serve for one year and have Pilar Cancela Rodríguez and Fatimetou Mint Abdel Malick as co-chairs, with UN-Habitat providing secretariat services.

During the inaugural meeting, the Secretary-General highlighted the need for local and regional authorities’ perspectives and engagement in addressing global challenges, particularly in areas such as sustainable development, gender equality, climate action, and human rights.

The Advisory Group will work closely with the Secretary-General over the year, informing the preparatory processes for the Summit of the Future.

Their work will encompass enhancing institutional mechanisms for local and regional government engagement in intergovernmental processes and strengthening cooperation with UN country teams.

The group is expected to provide recommendations to support the delivery of the SDGs with impact and speed in the lead-up to the 2024 Summit of the Future.

The Advisory Group will also collaborate with various platforms that advance local government engagement, including those led by local and regional governments, Member States, and UN entities.