Driving Local Actions for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

In line with Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship, the 5th ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) will be held in Bangkok during 26-28 August 2019. Jointly organised by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the United Nations Economic Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), this year’s Forum will contribute to the overarching theme of the Chair country: Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.

Specifically, the 5th AMF will aim at Driving Local Actions for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth to support ASEAN’s efforts to accelerate SDGs achievements while ensuring effective management of urbanisation, protecting environment and inclusive growth. The meeting discussions will be framed by the following sub-themes: Digital ASEAN (future-oriented), Seamless ASEAN (enhanced connectivity), and Sustainable ASEAN (sustainability in all dimensions). Objectives and focus of the discussions take into account the AMF’s relevance, linkages and contributions to other ASEAN cooperation frameworks such as the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN). Outcomes of the 5th AMF meetings and recommendations put forward by ASEAN Mayors will feed into the 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum, which will be held in Penang, Malaysia, from 15-17 October 2019.

The ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) was conceived in 2011 when visionary mayors in Southeast Asia met for the first time in Surabaya, Indonesia, to demonstrate the importance of local contributions to ASEAN’s integration. In recognition of the important roles of ASEAN Mayors, the AMF was accredited as an entity associated with ASEAN in 2018. This status marks a key milestone as it comes with wider opportunities for cities and local governments to reinforce their positions, engagements and cooperation within the ASEAN frameworks.

The particular dynamics of urbanisation in Asia calls for ASEAN mayors’ active work to prevent and mitigate its adverse consequences. The AMF serves as a platform for discussions among ASEAN’s local political leaders, national policy makers, international development partners and other experts, on how cities and local governments can collaborate in the priority areas set forth for ASEAN’s SDG implementation as well as other relevant frameworks including the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), UCLG ASPAC serves as the Secretariat of AMF.