20 May 2018
Our High Level Forum for the SDGs in Latin America

A capacity crowd filled the auditorium of the Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba, Brazil on 17 and 18 May 2018 for the High Level Regional Forum – Reaching for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Latin America – Atingindo os ODS na América Latina.

The forum featured successful private sector and city practices, examples for other Latin American countries to facilitate the achievement of the SDG targets and to amplify the importance of integrating the public, private and civil society sectors in the Global Goals, working to improve the quality of life for the world’s populations.

The High Level Regional Forum was held in conjunction with the United Nations Global Compact and its sister initiatives: the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme and the Principles for Responsible Executive Education (PRME) – and a number of leading Paraná organisations. It was sponsored by the Companhia Paranaense de Energia (Copel) and supported by ISAE – Business School, Paraná Government, the Autonomous Social Service (Paranacidade), State Council for Economic and Social Development (CEDES), Celepar and Curitiba City Hall.

Javier Cortes, Head of United Nations Global Compact Latin America and Caribbean Networks, travelled from the United Nations Global Compact headquarters in New York for the High Level Forum. He spoke of the critical importance of engaging the private sector in collaborative action at the local level to advance the 2030 Global Agenda and commended the Forum organisers and participants.

“Those (organisations) that go upfront and create the lead in organising the societies in the environments that they are operating in are going to create the trust thats needed more than ever…”

Paraná Secretary of Urban Development and Superintendent of the Autonomous Social Service, Paranacidade, Silvio Barros, opened the Forum, representing the newly appointed Governor of Paraná, Cida Borghetti. Secretary Barros spoke of his experience as the Mayor of the city of Maringá, one of the first municipalities to join the Cities Programme in Paraná (2013) and a major city with a large number of Brazil private sector companies participating in the United Nations Global Compact. He said that now having the position of leading the Paraná State’s Urban Development Secretariat, opens the way to use the investments of the State Government in the 399 municipalities using public works to effectively contribute to making the planet sustainable.

Barros added that Governor Cida Borghetti shares these views and is conscious of that planet’s challenges:

“Today, we are no longer able to stop the damage of global warming and environmental degradation. We’ve crossed over. What we can do is prepare ourselves for the consequences “.

Prefeito Rafael Greca, Mayor of Curitiba, the capital of Paraná, participated in the High Level Forum for the SDGs and said that Curitiba’s education is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals:

“We are the first city in Brazil with a curriculum based on SDGs for the first nine years of public education”.

Cities Programme Brazil Country Contact Point and Co-Director of the Brazil Regional Office, Rosane de Souza, presented on the remarkable growth in recent years of Latin American state and municipal governments participating the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme  – the highest of all the world regions. She attributed the growth to the will of municipalities to overcome local challenges, their willingness to work in partnership and the active support of private sector and civil society organisations.

The Cities Programme International Secretariat was represented by Director, Michael Nolan who presented on the City Partnerships Challenge.  His first trip to Curitiba, Michael was impressed by the passion and enthusiasm for global and local sustainability and the interest in the City Partnerships Challenge. He commended all of the Paraná partners for their support and activity of many years and acknowledged Ms de Souza’s sustained leadership.

Vania Gonçalves de Souza represented long standing Cities Programme Innovating City, Porto Alegre at the High Level Forum. She presented on the highly successful cross-sectoral task force model to overcome urban poverty and exclusion, the Porto Alegre Sustainability and Citizenship Networks which was influenced by the Melbourne Model and is set to support other cities working to address urban inequity. She explains that the Sustainability and Citizenship Networks seek to achieve the goals of sustainable development, with a focus on poverty eradication, sustainable cities and communities and partnerships as a means of implementation:

“These are collaborative and supra-party networks based on cooperation between government and non-governmental institutions and citizens who are voluntarily willing to confront, mitigate and solve a challenging problem of urban reality”.

“The idea is to foster a culture of democratic cooperation at the base of society and citizens’ daily lives, through multi-sectoral partnerships, promoting the harmonious, inclusive, sustainable and resilient development of the city”.

Secretary Silvio Barros presented SEDU’s Interactive Paranacidade. The tool is a database in the most diverse areas, which covers all 399 municipalities of the State, fundamental to facilitate the municipality’s urban planning. It guides the mayors or managers and indicates where and what public facilities meet the appropriate need of the population – including health, education and security. Secretary Barros reported that for financing, all types of works are associated with the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals. He referred to a strong partnership with Renault and Nissan where the companies have given electric cars to be tested in Paraná in order to collect information that will support the state’s entry into electromobility.

Acknowledgements and Further Information

This report drew on content from the related Paranacidade article.

See further media coverage and information on the High Level Forum for the SGS in Latin America from the following partners:

Parana government

FPAA – Panamerican Federation of Architects Association

Prefeitura de Porto Alegre