UNDP, UN-HABITAT, UN-DESA, and the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments co-organized an event on 12-13 July 2021 within the framework of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).

Among the participants of the session “Achieving Planetary, Social and Economic Resilience” held on July 13, 2021 were Izmir Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey), the first metropolitan municipality from the MEWA region to prepare its Voluntary Local Review (VLR), and Greater Amman Municipality (Jordan), UCLG-MEWA Co-President.

Youssef Al Shawarbeh, Mayor of Amman and Co-President of UCLG-MEWA, joined the panel sesssion moderated by Lotta Tahtinen, Chief of Outreach and Partnerships at Division for SDGs of the UN DESA. “We need to reinforce the SDGs through partnerships and cooperation for cities to be more resilient in a world where we face unprecedented challenges.” said Al Shawarbeh.

He also added: “We need to revisit development and find a model based on indicators, creating a database to support projects for our city to become more resilient and sustainable.” Al Shawarbeh also highlighted that Amman is the first Arab city to launch VLR preparations.

Later on, Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir, the first city to launch Voluntary Local Review (VLR) preparations at metropolitan level in the MEWA Region, took the floor, stating that the most important feature of Izmir’s VLR was the identification of local targets and indicators of Izmir based on the outcomes of the workshops held with all stakeholders.


“We need to act together with all actors for a future that is more resilient and sustainable,” added Mayor Soyer. He also informed the participants of the UCLG Culture Summit to be held on 9-11 October 2021 under the auspices of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality.

Many more agenda-setting matters concerning local governments were addressed by experts during the Forum held on 12-13 July, 2021.

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