From the XXIV Summit of the Latin American Platform of Cities Mercociudades in Asuncion, Paraguay, to the Urban Basque Agenda, Bulzatu 2050 in Spain, our Head of Local Engagement, Javier Cortes has been supporting cities to mobilise the Local 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Beginning last month, Javier attended the release of Bulzatu 2050, the Urban Basque Agenda in San Sebastian-Donostia, Spain. The event run by the Basque Government and UN-Habitat was opened by Mr Inaki Arriola Lopez, Counsellor of Environment, Territorial and Housing Planning and Shipra Narang-Suri, Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design Branch at UN-Habitat. What followed was a round table discussion on cities as a catalyst of economy, with OECD Head of Sustainable Development and Global Relations, Mr Tadashi Matsumoto; Ms.  Estibaliz Hernaez Laviña, Vice-Counsellor of Technology, Innovation and Competitiveness of the Basque Government; Mr Xavier Otxandiano, Counsellor of Economy of the City Hall of Bilbao and Mr. Roberto San Salvador del Valle, Director of Deusto CIties Lab Katedra, as well as city and region representatives and SMEs.

Only two days later, Javier presented a keynote address in Asuncion, Paraguay as part of the XXIV Summit of the Latin American Platform of Cities Mercociudades (a member of the Global Task Force for the Localisation of the SDGs), on the importance of building convergent narratives of how cities are fostering public-private collaboration to co-create and advance long-term SDG city plans and policies.

This was followed by two city workshops and a lecture at the University Autonoma of Encarnacion, “Identifying opportunities within the SDGs and their impact on our society” in partnership with the UN Global Compact Local Network – Paraguay. The first workshop was on “SDG localisation in Cities and Territories” in Encarnacion was at the request of the Regional Government of Itapua and in partnership with the UN Global Compact Local Network, to support local collaboration and to help advance the SDGs in the region.

The second workshop held with the City Hall of Asuncion, “Making Asuncion a Sustainable City” was opened by the Mayor and the Vice President of the UN Global Compact Local Network, Ms. Marite Rasmussen. The event was attended by more than 100 Officials from different areas of the city government, including topic areas such as mobility and transportation, gender, procurement, urban sustainable planning, environment, consumption, security, human rights and more.

On 4th December, Javier Cortes participated in a panel on sustainable cities at the regional “Making Global Goals, Local Business” event in Cancun, facilitated by the UN Global Compact Local Network – Mexico. Initiated by the President of the UN Global Compact Network, the event aimed to encourage public-private collaboration between Global Compact companies and cities to achieve shared value on the SDGs throughout the territories of Mexico, and to feed into national level policies.

The panel was moderated Ana Paula del Castillo, Director of Venture Capital and Mezzanine of Fund of Funds Mexico, alongside Jesus Ruiz Velasco, Director of the Council of Nuevo Leon State; Ruy Perez, Senior Manager of Sustainability of Arca Continental; Fiona Alfaro, Specialist in CSR and Sustainability of DELSUR (El Salvador) and Luis Martin del Campo, Director of International relations of Intelligent World Organisation.  

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