European Week of Regions and Cities
7-10 OCTOBER 2019 Brussels

Over to Regions! Regional Governments action for SDG Localization

October 9, 2018 from 16:30 to 18:00

How can the SDGs be localized? What is the specific role and potential of regional governments? With the aim of sharing knowledge and stimulating constructive discussion, the debate will review what European Regions and their counterparts from around the globe are doing in this regard, paying particular attention to institutional frameworks, specific mechanisms and public policies to support the achievement of the Global Goals from a regional perspective. This session will also build on the preliminary results of the study promoted by UNDP and ACCD on the role of regional governments in localizing the SDGs.

Johannes Krassnitzer
Francisco Granados, Andrea Norferini, Javier Sanchez Cano, Carles LLORENS
Territorial development (regional, urban, rural)
United Nations Development Programme , ACCD
english (en), español (es), français (fr)
Building SQUARE - Brussels Convention Centre, Room Silver hall

Session summary

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organised with the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) on the 9th of October 2019 a session entitled “Over to Regions! Regional Government’s action for SDG Localisation”. The event offered a space for dialogue to review regional actions from around the world, with a focus on the necessary institutional frameworks, concrete mechanisms and public policies to achieve the 2030 Agenda.


Dora lo Giudice, representing the Regional Legislative Assembly of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy) and member of the European Committee of the Regions, outlined the key role of local and regional governments in the localisation of the SDGs. She highlighted the need to consider local policy makers not merely as beneficiaries, but as active leaders that can make cities and regions more resilient and sustainable. 


These remarks were echoed by Carles Llorens, Secretary General of ORU-Fogar, who stated that most of the achievements related to the implementation of the SDGs would depend on the capacities of the intermediate governments and their having the required financial resources to act. He focused on institutional frameworks and mechanisms that can enable SDG achievement and shared some of the most innovative experiences of ORU Fogar’s members.


Similarly, Javier Sanchez Cano, Head of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of DG Development Cooperation, Government of Catalonia (Spain), affirmed that the SDGs can provide the Catalan cooperation with the opportunity to ensure global accountability, facilitate multi-level coordination and prepare guidelines towards the localisation of the SDGs. He stated that the Agenda 2030 is enabling Catalonia to identify priorities and to articulate an appropriate strategy, thus ensuring a good contribution from the region towards achieving the SDGs.


Finally, Alcidia Alfam, SDGs National Focal Point of the Government of Cabo Verde within the Ministry of Finances, commented on the latest developments in the process of national decentralisation by evaluating the creation of regions as intermediate levels of government. Through this multi-level and multi-stakeholder participation in SDGs implementation is encouraged through facilitating participatory processes to draw up the municipal strategic plans for sustainable development, in line with the national plan for SDGs implementation. Through the UNDP Cabo Verde programme “Local platforms to achieve the 2030 Agenda”, the government is indeed using the SDGs as a bridge to link national policies to integrated local strategies.


In the closing remarks, Francisco Granados and Andrea Norferini, researchers from IBEI, presented the preliminary results of the study promoted by UNDP and ACCD on the role of regional governments in localising the SDGs. Among their findings, they stated that the SDGs represent an opportunity for regional governments to strengthen and deepen decentralisation and democratic-participatory processes, as well as to improve the effectiveness of their public policies.

Take away message

Regional governments are resourceful and very well positioned actors to ensure the harmonisation of national frameworks and strategies with the development priorities of their territories. By promoting horizontal and vertical policy coherence, supporting multi-level coordination and multi-stakeholder partnerships, regional governments can bridge the gap between citizens demands and public service, and thus, promote inclusive and sustainable development in their territories. Therefore, regional governments can play a catalytic role in localising the SDGs and implementing the 2030 Agenda. 



Additional information

“Cabo Verde is promoting decentralisation by bringing power and decision to the local governments, the ones that are closer to the reality and able to respond in an appropriate and rapid way.”

Alcidia ALFAMA, National Planning, Ministry of Finances and SDGs National Focal Point of the Government of Cabo Verde.

“Most of the achievements related to SDGs implementation will depend on the capacities of the intermediate governments to act. Regions are vital actors for putting the national development agenda framework into practice.”

Carles LLORENS, Secretary-General of the United Regions Organization (ORU-Fogar).

“Planning using the Sustainable Development Goals principles, is already a way to analyse what we are doing to implement the Agenda 2030.”

Javier SÁNCHEZ, Head of the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of DG Development Cooperation, Government of Catalonia, Spain

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