22 Sep 2017
Brazil partners for first regional office
The first Regional Office of the Cities Programme is set to be hosted by the University of São Paulo, opening the door to new opportunities and sustainable urban development projects in Brazil and Latin America. It builds on and will be supported by strong partnerships across Brazil, particularly in the southern state of Paraná.
The Rector and President of the University of São Paulo (USP), Professor Dr Marco Antonio Zago and the Chair of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, Michael Nolan sealed the new partnership with a Memorandum of Understanding, signed on the week of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.
“We want to help the municipalities in our country – and across the continent – not just survive, but thrive”, said Rector Marco Antonio Zago.
“Our academics want to contribute their expertise to urban projects and work in partnership with citizens, municipal governments, the private sector and civil society. Brazil needs this platform for partnerships to affect real change”.
The landmark USP – Cities Programme – RMIT collaboration was marked at the United Nations Global Compact Headquarters on 22 September 2017, bringing together leaders from the United Nations Global Compact (New York and Brazil), Paraná state government and state energy providor, Copel, industry and international organisations such as UN-Habitat and the World Economic Forum.
The regional office will be co-led by USP Head of Environmental Affairs, Professor Patricia Iglecias and Rosane de Souza, the Cities Programme Brazil Country Contact Point for the past four years. They will be supported and guided from Australia by Cities Programme Deputy Director, Elizabeth Ryan.
The office will reach out to municipalities, states and partners to develop partnerships and projects to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.
Among targeted services offered to Brazilian municipalities and states is facilitating multi-sector task forces for sustainable urban development projects.
Cities Programme Chair Michael Nolan trusts this collaboration with USP will lead to new opportunities to advance the SDGs in Brazil.
“We believe the new regional office based at the University of São Paulo will be a great foundation to scale up partnerships and projects to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.”
“In 2018 we will be working with USP and our other partners to rollout our City Partnerships offer across Brazil – the first country following its current pilot in Australia”.
This new office will build on and incorporate the work and partnerships across Brazil developed under the leadership of Rosane de Souza over four years.
“We have excellent partnerships and high impact projects in the states of Paraná, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Maranhão, Rio Grande do Sul and in many of Brazil’s UN Ten principle signatory cities. This is an exciting moment for the Cities Programme in Brazil” says Rosane.
Professor Patricia Iglecias, who visited Australia earlier this year, could see an excellent fit for USP to engage in the UN’s New Urban Agenda through supporting the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. Renata Welinski da Silva, former EO of the Global Compact Local Network Brazil helped bring the two organisations together.
Speaking about what USP brings to the partnership, Patricia said:
” The idea of the UN 2030 agenda is to have the public and private sector and academia working together. And to do this based at a university, with a more neutral, scientific aspect, it is easier to unite these focuses of interest”.
RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond welcomes this collaboration. The international secretariat of the United Nations Global Compact – Cities Programme has been hosted by RMIT University in Melbourne Australia since 2007 and has engaged many academics in valuable urban projects.
“We welcome this partnership and look forward to hosting our new Brazilian partners from the University of São Paulo and industry and government here in Melbourne. I believe this partnership will also strengthen ties between Brazil and Australia”.
Regional clusters for Brazilian sustainable cities
The new office already has strong support from local and global partners. This includes the State of Paraná. Governor Carlos ‘Beto’ Richa, through a formal letter and representation, expressed his commitment to continue the state’s collaboration with the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. The State of Paraná has been a lead partner of the Cities Programme since 2012, establishing and launching Aliança Paraná Sustentavel at Rio+20 and hosting Rosane de Souza, which has fostered the participation of many municipalities and other states in the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, new projects and partnerships. Recent achievements in Paraná include the multi-government regional economic development innovation with the state of São Paulo and 15 municipalities, Angra Doce.
Governor Beto Richa wants to support the development of a UN Global Compact regional cluster of municipalities and states in the southern region of Brazil and sees this as part of Paraná’s ongoing commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The Governor nominated Copel (Companhia Paranaense de Energia), CEDES (State Council for Economic and Societal Development of Paraná) and Paranacidade (State Body for Municipalities Development) as parties to support this regional cluster. The Governor was represented at the meeting by Keli Cristina de Souza Gali Guimarães, Vice-President of CEDES (pictured right with Michael Nolan).
The President of Copel, Antonio Sergio de Souza Guetter attended the meeting and expressed Copel’s commitment and support for a southern cluster of Brazilian municipalities and states and the new Regional office. Copel delivers the state of Paraná’s power generation, transmission, distribution and trading – and telecommunications. It is one of the lead and founding organisations of the Brazil Global Compact Local Network. Antonio Sergio de Souza Guetter is pictured in the video below presenting a gift from the Paraná government and Copel. He is also pictured to the left with the Copel team.
The Global Compact Local Network Brazil was also represented at the partnership event with President, Denise Hills and Executive Secretary, Carlo Pereira in attendance and expressing commitment to this collaboration that supports Brazilian municipalities and communities.
UN Global Compact Head of the Americas, Javier Cortes is delighted with what he sees as a cross-sectoral task force for local action to realise the SDGs in cities:
“This is exactly what we want to see in Brazil – and in other countries across the Global Compact. The private sector, represented through our Local Networks, has much to offer cities and communities through their corporate responsibility actions and their expertise. The only way to overcome our global challenges is in partnership”.
This collaborative action in Brazil will draw support from the private sector, international organisations and funding bodies. Also in attendance at this partnership event were: Patricia Holly-Purcell, Adviser to the Executive Director UN-Habitat; Dean Amhaus, President and CEO of The Water Council (from our Innovating city, Milwaukee); and Marcio Roberto Lemos, Strategic Sourcing Manager Latin America for Intel.
Above: President of the Paraná energy company, Copel, Antonio Sergio de Souza Guetter presenting a gift from the State of Paraná with Keli Cristina de Souza Gali Guimarães (representing the Paraná Governor and CEDES).
To find out more about recent Brazil action and projects, see the Brazil 2016 highlights report.
For more information on becoming part of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme network, visit our Cities and Regions page.