Hüseyin Keskin, Mayor of Sultanbeyli (Istanbul, Turkey), participated in the panel session “Towards a New Generation of VLRs: Exploring the Local National Link” organized by UN-HABITAT and UCLG under the auspices of the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) as one of the speakers on 14 July 2021.

During the virtual session, Keskin informed the participants about Sultanbeyli’s VLR, which is one of the first Voluntary Local Reviews of the MEWA Region being prepared by Sultanbeyli Municipality in cooperation with UCLG-MEWA.

“The national review was taken as a reference point during the preparations of Sultanbeyli’s VLR, importance was given to participation and the principle of leaving no one behind, and under each target, the UN’s goal, Turkey’s goal and Sultanbeyli’s local goal were aligned.” highlighted Mayor Keskin.

(You can view the summary of Sultanbeyli’s VLR, which is planned to be published in full in October 2021, by clicking here.)

Mayor Keskin also highlighted that the VLR process can be managed effectively by developing data retention and data-based decision-making methods of local governments. He also listed a number of  important steps that can be taken in this field such as establishing R&D units, employing experts in relevant fields, using latest software and programs, embedding participatory approach and transparency into the organizational culture of the municipality, and creating open city data portals.

UCLG-MEWA Secretary-General Mehmet Duman took the floor and delivered his closing remarks, underlining that the VLRs have the capacity to open up and consolidate dialogue at the national level, in turn ensuring that local realities and local voices feed into the national monitoring.

Lastly, Duman mentioned that the VLRs have a tremendous potential to strengthen the coherence of actions between local, regional, and national governments, with the key support of international organizations.

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