27 – 29 March 2019 | BANGKOK, Thailand – UCLG ASPAC strengthened the representation of local governments in the recently concluded 6th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) during 27-29 March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was attended by more than 850 participants, including representatives of National Governments, intergovernmental organisations, United Nations bodies, UN Major Groups, including Local Governments, civil society organisations and other entities.

APFSD is an intergovernmental forum that serves as a regional preparatory meeting for the High-Level Political Forum in July 2019.  The 6th edition of the Forum focused on SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), and SDG 17 (partnerships for the Goals) which is reviewed each year. The Forum supported the presentation of voluntary national reviews (VNRs) by the countries that are submitting them to HLPF 2019, and took stock of the progress made with regard to the regional road map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

In preparation for the Forum, UCLG ASPAC coordinated with local political leaders and worked together with various institutions in conducting a regional survey to identify progress on SDGs and preparing a local government statement. UCLG ASPAC’s participation allowed the elevation of local government issues and perspective at the UN level.

During the Forum, Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Local Government Body (APLG) delivered the Local Authorities Statement which emphasised the need to institutionalise vertical coherence between national and local governments in order to achieve the Goals. The Statement further noted that there was unbalanced access to financing at the local level and significant differences among countries in involving local governments in the 2030 Agenda. APLG has been established to consolidate the voices of local governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Parallel to the APFSD, UCLG ASPAC held the ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) Stakeholder Consultation in preparation for the 5th AMF tentatively scheduled in August 2019 to be hosted in Bangkok.  The events on Inclusive Climate Action for Sustainable Cities held within the framework of Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCOM) and the International Urban Cooperation (IUC), an EU-funded programme, Promoting Enabling Environment for Inclusiveness by Localizing SDGs and Waves to Action: From Transformative Migration to Socially-Inclusive Development in Cities” focused on priority areas of UCLG ASPAC and highlighted relevant issues and best practices of local government.

UCLG ASPAC brought a delegation of local leaders including Seberang Perai Municipal Council President Dato’ Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud, Naga City Mayor John Bongat, Banda Aceh Secretary Ir Bahagia, and League of Cities of the Philippines Executive Director Atty. Shereen Gail Yu-Pamintuan. A total of 135 delegates joined the UCLG ASPAC events out of the 850 delegates who attended the APFSD.

For the full report of the 6th APFSD, please click here