United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities
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UNACLA is a committee of local authorities that serves as an advisory body to United Nations System
United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) is a committee of local authorities that serves as an advisory body to United Nations System for the purpose of strengthening the dialogue with local authorities from all over the world involved in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda.

Established in 1999 in the aftermath of Habitat II (1996) by an UN-Habitat Governing Council Resolution, UNACLA brings the local and regional voice and perspectives to the United Nations System to increase awareness of their important role in achieving sustainable development.

President - Ilsur Metshin, UCLG-Eurasia President, Mayor of Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation)

Headquarters are located in Barcelona, Spain and Nairobi, Kenya
Photograph: Marc-Olivier Jodoin / Unsplash
Mission
UNACLA gathers the views and perspectives of local and regional governments and conveys them to the global discussion in an organized and representative method
UNACLA supports the dissemination of key messages to Member states and other partners through advocacy and advisory work
UNACLA advises the Executive Director of UN-Habitat from the local government perspective, on all issues concerning the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and the SDGs
Strategy
Foster the dialogue between national and local governments

Objective: improve the necessary enabling environment for all levels of government to successfully implement the New Urban Agenda, including ensuring appropriate fiscal, political and administrative decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity (New Urban Agenda article 89)

Promote the local dimension of development in the global agendas

Objective: promote the new approach to development that has been established by the SDGs

Bring the UN System closer to local and regional governments

Objective: defend the establishment of wide local partnerships, under the leadership of local governments

History
Since the adoption of the Istanbul Declaration at the HABITAT II Conference in Istanbul in June 1996, it has been widely recognized that local authorities are the closest partners of Governments in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda.
The Governing Council asked the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT in its resolution 17/18 of 1999, "to establish a committee of local authorities as an advisory body that would serve the purpose of strengthening the dialogue with local authorities from all over the world involved in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda."
1999
The Commission on Human Settlements, while in preparations for the Special Session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, noted the important contributions made by local authorities around the world in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. It recognized the urgent need to accelerate international regional and national progress in the adoption of policy measures aimed at strengthening cooperation between central and local governments.
The inaugural meeting of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) was convened and hosted by the City of Venice, Italy.

The invitees represented a wide spectrum of local authority leaders, global and regional associations of cities. The meeting's agenda included the constitution of the Committee and the adoption of its Rules of Procedure. The results of the meeting are summarized in the Venice Declaration.
The inaugural meeting of UNACLA, 2000
2000
2003
UNACLA was invited to contribute to and participate in international dialogues on issues related to effective decentralization and the strengthening of local authorities, including principles and legal frameworks in support of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. The result is The International Guidelines on Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities, which were approved by the Governing Council of UN-HABITAT on 20 April 2007.
International Guidelines on Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities

UN-HABITAT Report 2007
Mayors and local authority representatives from around the world embarked on a new era of international cooperation with the launching in Paris of a new body called the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). UCLG serves a crucial role in promoting local action to achieve global goals, and for coordinating local authorities internationally to improve the lives of urban residents. As part of efforts to cement the relationship between UN-HABITAT and UCLG, the decision was made to make UCLG the primary local authority association partner in UNACLA.
2004
2005
UNACLA became active in international dialogues which resulted in the formulation of The International Guidelines on Access to Basic Services for All. The guidelines were approved by the Governing Council of UN-HABITAT on 3 April 2009. These constitute a broad framework to guide national policy reforms in the provision of basic services which are prerequisites in achieving human dignity, quality of life and sustainable livelihoods.
During its annual meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, UNACLA adopted a number of reforms aimed at strengthening its relevance to the UN system, and in order to genuinely reflect the interests and priorities of local authorities in the face of fast-paced urbanization. The reforms include the expansion of the committee membership, the adoption of yearly working themes, and the decision to make the UCLG President concurrently serve as President of UNACLA.
2011
2012
Local governments participated in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20). The experience of coordinating agendas helped to establish the Global Taskforce (GTF) of local and regional governments for the post-2015 Development Agenda and for Habitat III.
International Guidelines on Access to Basic Services for All
UNACLA meeting in UN House in Nairobi, Kenya, 2011
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20), Brazil, 2012

2015
Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, 13 – 15th July. UN-Habitat, in coordination with UCLG and the United Nations Capital Development Fund co-organized a total of five official side events and a one-day full side event on "Local financing for development: Innovation in municipal finance for inclusive growth" together with the African Union. One of the main outcomes for the local government constituency was the inclusion of Art. 34 in the final Addis Ababa Action Agenda: "Art 34. We further acknowledge that expenditures and investments in sustainable development are being devolved to the subnational level. We therefore commit to scaling up international cooperation to strengthen capacities of municipalities and other local authorities. We will strive to support local governments in their efforts to mobilize revenues as appropriate".
Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa,
13 – 15th July 2015


UNACLA supported the organization of the second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments that took place back to back with Habitat III conference, as noted by the General Assembly in its resolution A/ RES/70/210 "in recognition of the role of local authorities and communities in sustainable urban development and in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda". The World Assembly held three sessions in 2016 (New York, 15th May, Bogota, 14th October and Quito, 16th October). During the Habitat III Conference, members endorsed the "UNACLA Quito Declaration" including recommendations and the local government vision for sustainable cities and territories for all.
2016
Second World Assembly of local and regional governments, Quito, 16th October 2016
2017
Strategic meeting of UNACLA members, 24th April, Istanbul 2017. UNACLA members met in Istanbul under the theme "The global development agendas, implications for local governments" upon the invitation of Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul. This meeting provided inputs for the Local Government Delegation to the Governing Council of UN-Habitat that took place in Nairobi from 8 to 12th May 2017.

The meeting contributed to advance in the local implementation of the global development agendas and to further explore the real implications for local and regional governments and the role of UNACLA to support these processes. Thirty-five participants from 11 of the 20 UNACLA members were present at the event that was key to approve the new strategic priorities for the 2017 – 2019 period.
2018
Sustainable Cities Dialogue, Strasbourg, 24 – 25th May 2018

Strategic meeting of UNACLA members, 24th April, Istanbul 2017
UNACLA co-organized the "Sustainable Cities Dialogue" that took place in Strasbourg on 24 – 25th May 2018 within the framework of the UCLG Executive Bureau. The Dialogue brought representatives from 25 central governments to debate with ministers and mayors for the first time about joint implementation of Agenda 2030. The final report "Urban governance at the core of the implementation of SDG 11" informed the High-Level Political Forum review of SDG 11 in 2018. This was the first time that central and local governments came together to address SDG 11 jointly in a global event. It was also the first time that central governments from different line ministries were able to participate in a UCLG Executive Bureau. The participants exchanged views over the following themes: Right to the city and inclusive territories, opportunities for all, culture and city diplomacy, multi-level governance, resilience and linking the global goals with the New Urban Agenda implementation.
First local and regional government forum at the HLPF, New York, 16th July 2018
UNACLA supported the first edition of the Local and Regional Government Forum during HLPF in New York New York on 16th July 2018. The event was co-organized together with UNDESA and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments. The meeting gathered 250 representatives from local and regional governments present at HLPF for the first time the same day as member states of the UN started presenting their Voluntary National Reports (VNR). The debate showcased how cities are at the frontline of implementing the SDGs, including monitoring progress and aligning budgets and political priorities with those of Agenda 2030.
UNACLA also supported the organization of the Venice City Solutions – Financing the SDGs at the local level that took place in Venice on 16-17th November 2018. Co-organized by UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNCDF and UCLG with its Italian member, AICCRE. The event brought together representatives from 25 member states to discuss how funding Agenda 2030 at local level is key to achieve it globally. The debate was organized around the following themes: National strategies for financing the achievement of the SDGs at local level; Measuring impact at local level: the importance of data on budget alignment and tracking indicators; City Solutions, how local governments are making the Agenda 2030 a reality at local level; Dynamic local economies to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
Venice City Solutions 2030: Financing the SDGs at local level, Venice, 16-17th November 2018
2019
Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan, Russian Federation (right), elected as President of the UN Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) with Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, Morocco (left), elected as the new President of the UCLG, Durban, November 2019
1st Session of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) with the assistance of UNACLA, UCLG and UN-Habitat, Nairobi, 27-31st May 2019. This event replaces the former governing Council of UN-Habitat and has a universal membership in which all UN members will be represented. The theme of the Assembly was "Innovation to improve the quality of life in cities and communities".
World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments and World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, Durban, South Africa, 11-15th November 2019. Convened by the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Summit was the first to coincide with the implementation phase of global agendas such as the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework, and the UNFCCC Paris Agreement on climate change. During the Congress Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan, was elected as President of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA). For the first time such a high position is held by a representative of the Russian Federation.
1st Session of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in Nairobi, 27-31st May 2019
Panel Speakers during the session 'Localizing sustainable development: gearing up to the implementation decade', Durban, November 2019
Role of UNACLA & Partnership
UNACLA has contributed to raise awareness among local and regional governments about the importance of global agendas for their daily work in improving the quality of life of their citizens. One of the main focuses of UNACLA is the Localization of the Sustainable Development Goals, as a big part of the Agenda 2030 needs to be achieved at local level. Local and regional governments are essential to implement the SDGs, but this won't be possible in the absence of an adequate legal framework; the necessary capacity, resources and local leadership.

The 'Localizing the SDGs' platform www.localizingthesdgs.org is a common effort by UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments. UNACLA is ideally positioned to bridge solutions and commitments from local governments to implement the SDGs, as many are already allocated to them by the appropriate national legal framework. Activities have included collecting and systematizing information about how local governments across the world are implementing the SDGs that are public in the online platform. The initiative has also organized dialogues between central and local governments to establish national strategies to include local governments in the implementation of Agenda 2030.
UNACLA also plays a complementary role to UN-Habitat's mission of collaboration with relevant stakeholders and other United Nations entities to support local authorities to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges of urbanization by providing normative or policy advice on transforming the cities into inclusive centres of vibrant economic growth, social progress and environmental safety.

Created in 2004 United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) represents and defends the interests of local governments on the world stage, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. Headquartered in Barcelona, the organization's stated mission is to be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community.
UCLG's work programme focuses on:
Increasing the role and influence of local government and its representative organizations in global governance
Becoming the main source of support for democratic, effective, innovative local government close to the citizen
Ensuring an effective and democratic global organization
Partnership between UCLG and UNACLA serves to strengthen local authorities representation in processes of the UN, with UNACLA as convenor on the one hand and UCLG as the most representative global organization of local authorities on the other. UN-Habitat and UCLG signed a formal agreement in 2006 focusing the collaboration on good governance, international dialogue on decentralisation, global observatory of local democracy and decentralisation, localising the MDGs and revitalisation of UNACLA.

The Global Task Force (GTF) brings together global organizations and networks to promote and highlight the role of local governments. GTF is the umbrella network of 20 global organizations (including the UNACLA) with the objective of bringing together the local government efforts to be recognized and empowered by the future UN Development Agendas, and to ensure the complementarity between the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Habitat III processes.
Outside the GTF there are other prominent local organizations working towards the same mandate as well. One such example is CITYNET that was created in response to the needs of growing cities in the Asia Pacific and is focused in technical cooperation amongst its city membership.

Structure & Membership
UNACLA works in a representative manner, where the members deliver the messages that have been previously endorsed by their respective networks, which have democratic decision-making mechanisms. Each of the 20 seats is now assigned to a local government network, in contrast to the previous modus operandi where individual mayors were represented in their individual capacity - 10 members represent the metropolitan and regional sections of UCLG, other 10 members are appointed within the membership of the Global Taskforce of local and regional governments and the other most representative networks that remain.
This new membership structure was approved by UNACLA in September 2015 to improve representation and decision making. In this capacity, UNACLA today represents approximately 323,000 institutions.

This new structure has been key to ensuring the presence of mayors and political representatives in UNACLA. It is worth mentioning that all UNACLA members must respond to their own governing structures, where decisions and messages are generated by consensus or by vote. In this way, the mayors or governors sitting in UNACLA meetings no longer represent their own city or territory but instead represent all members of their own network.
Current members
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
Ilsur Metshin
UCLG-Eurasia
Mayor of Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation), President of UNACLA, President of UCLG-Eurasia
Emilia Saiz
World Organization of UCLG
Secretary-General of the World Organization of UCLG
Léandre Nzue
UCLG-Africa
Mayor of Libreville (Gabon), President of UCLG-Africa
Tri Rismaharini
UCLG-ASPAC
Mayor of Surabaya (Indonesia), President of UCLG-ASPAC
Stefano Bonaccini
UCLG-CEMR
President of Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), President of UCLG-CEMR
Mohamed Saadie
UCLG-MEWA
President of Union of Municipalities of Dannieh (Lebanon), Co-President of UCLG-MEWA
Iván Arciénega
UCLG-FLACMA
Mayor of Sucre (Bolivia), President of UCLG-FLACMA
Bill Karsten
UCLG-NORAM
Councillor of Halifax Regional Municipality (Canada), President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, President of UCLG-NORAM
Pablo Jurado Moreno
UCLG-Regions
President of the Consortium of Provincial Autonomous Governments of Ecuador (CONGOPE), President of the Forum of Regions
Michael Müller
Metropolis
Mayor of Berlin, President of Metropolis
Global Taskforce (GTF)
Roland Ries
Cités Unies France (CUF)
Mayor of Strasbourg (France)
Anne Hidalgo
Association internationale des maires francophones (AIMF)
Mayor of Paris (France)
Ahmed Al-Subeeh
The Arab Towns Organization (ATO)
ATO Secretary General
Ashok Sridharan
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
Mayor of Bonn (Germany), President of Global Executive Committee of ICLEI
Rev Mpho Moruakgomo
Southern Africa Regional Conference (CLGF)
President of Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA), President of CLGF
Non-GTF
Li Xiaolin
Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC)
President of CPAFFC
Park Won Soon
CityNet
Mayor of Seoul (South Korea),
President of CityNet
Max Holden
All India Institute of Local Self-Government (AIILSG)
President of AIILSG
Mario Ferreiro
Mercociudades
Mayor of Asunción (Paraguay),
President of Mercociudades
Anne Hidalgo
UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality
Mayor of Paris (France) Chair of UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality
Presidency
Ilsur Metshin
Since 2019 – Present
Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan, was elected as President of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) at the VI UCLG World Congress, which was held on November 11-15 in Durban, South Africa. For the first time such a high position is held by a representative of the Russian Federation
Mpho Parks Tau
2017 — 2019
Mayor of the City of Johannesburg
Kadir Topbaş
2010 — 2017
Mayor of Istanbul
Bertrand Delanoë
2004 — 2010
Mayor of Paris

Joan Clos
1999 — 2004
Mayor of Barcelona