The UN High-level Week taking place in New York and hosted by UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres has gathered world leaders in a series of Summit’s to further boost climate action and accelerate progress on sustainable development.

Here is a summary of some of the main events, and a collection of commitments and messages from our member regional governments.

Main events

The Climate Action Summit held on 23 September has brought together government representatives, civil society and international organisations to showcase solutions to reduce emissions and build climate resilience and adaptation. In his final remarks, Antonio Guterres stated: “the world saw clear ambition and concrete initiatives to stop climate change“.

The SDGs Summit, taking place on 24-25 September, has allowed world leaders and other stakeholders to demonstrate how they intend to accelerate action to transform our societies and economies, as we move towards the five-year anniversary of the SDGs, with just over a decade left to the target date of 2030. In addition, the Summit has seen the launch of the special edition of the Report of the Secretary-General on SDG Progress 2019

Parallel to the SDGs Summit on 24 September, the 2nd Local and Regional Governments Forum has gathered local and regional authorities to discuss the following themes: climate action and links with 2030 Agenda; good practices for localising the SDGs, and Acceleration Commitments for SDG Action.

Regional commitments and actions

The UN High-Level Week has seen regions communicating on their specific commitments and actions for a sustainable future.  

The governments of Gossas and Campeche have joined the World Health Organization’s initiative for air quality and health, pledging to achieve safe air quality in their territories by 2030.

The region of Catalonia is among the 10 regions that support the Climate Ambition Alliance to upscale action by 2020 and achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. 

Lombardy, in its commitment to attaining the 17 SDGs, has signed an agreement with 65 social bodies to involve civil society in the localization and implementation of SDGs. Watch the message of Mr. Raffaelle Cattaneo, Minister for the Environment below:

Finally, Mr. Benoit Charrette, Minister for the Environment of Quebec announced Quebec’s contribution of 3 million Canadian dollars to the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund to boost climate actions on the ground.

#RegionsVoice: messages from regional stakeholders to world leaders

The Regions4 Secretariat, following its commitment to raise the voice of regional governments for inclusion in the international decision-making fora, has launched the campaign #RegionsVoice, which aims to share regional leaders messages and expectations for the UN High-level Week and promote their efforts for climate action and SDGs acceleration.

The regions of Azuay, Campeche, Catalonia, Gossas, Basque Country, Western Province and CONGOPE have called the Member States to foster multi-level governance in the decision-making process.

More specifically, Regions4 President for the South, Azuay, stated: “Global decisions must include all spheres of government and provide recognition mechanisms for local and regional efforts towards the achievement of the SDGs”.

Its counterpart, Basque Country, Regions4 President for the North pointed out that: “It is estimated that over 65% of the SDGs targets are closely related to the delivery of basic service provision in the hands of local and regional governments. Yet, one of the main challenges for localising SDGs remains to address local and regional governments’ access to adequate resources. The acceleration of the 2030 Agenda highly depends on global leaders listening to #RegionsVoice.”

Additionally, other Regions4 partners joined the campaign with messages like the one from the European Committee of the Regions: “Now is the time to show that local and regional governments are serious and committed to climate action, that we are united and act together, across all government levels, while involving citizens to achieve climate neutrality.”

Joining the campaign

We invite all regional stakeholders to learn more about #RegionsVoice, share their messages and join us to spread regional leadership for sustainable development at @Regions4SD!

Check out the pictures of Regions4 at the UN High-level Week here.