At this early stage of the SDGs, it is important that we equip ourselves appropriately with as much knowledge and understanding of our roles, responsibilities and potential in finding the right initiatives for meeting the SDGs. This is especially important at local level, where there is tremendous scope for ensuring local people of all ages, backgrounds and experiences, are involved in the search and implementation of initiatives. Tapping into local expertise, resources and creative thinking will help make local initiatives the bedrock of success in meeting SDGs. Partnerships, collaborations, dialogues and sharings will play critical parts in this.
This Conference is framed in this understanding. By bringing together a range of stakeholders from across the region, the Conference will set early standards in highlighting the issues faced at localised levels, and start the process of sharing and developing partnerships that will continue up to and perhaps beyond 2030.
The SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve and sustain our lives and planet for future generations. The Conference will take this as core. The SDGs provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the challenges of the world at large. The Conference will be able to identify exactly what our main concerns are and how we can begin to address them. The SDGs emphasise that they represent an inclusive agenda. The Conference will explore inclusivity and how that might work in a practical way, across the SDGs.
In doing this, the Conference will fulfil the following objectives:
- Share awareness of best practices and lessons learned at sub-national and local government level in the Asia Pacific related to the realisation of the SDGs
- Through such sharing, to build capacity and collaboration for success across the region
- Explore and emphasise the importance of gender equality as fundamental to the attainment of all the SDGs
- Contribute to a better understanding of and between potential partners in the implementation of the SDGs at the sub-national and local government level and to cultivate an environment whereby inter-relationships between state, local government, citizens, academia, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders can result in smart and successful local partnerships.
In particular, the Conference will kick-start the sharing of how we are developing institutional arrangements to promote coordination and policy coherence at localised level, in a way which stresses inclusion. Further, we will be sharing how we are aligning local level development plans and budgets with the SDG targets in a way that is based on appropriate and comprehensive data, assessed and analysed in a way that is relevant to the SDGs and makes monitoring of our performance integral to our governance. The Conference will also address how we are ensuring that the issues related to gender equality are being addressed and met, in the knowledge of the widespread consensus that progress on any and all of the SDGs will be stalled if initiatives related to gender are not prioritised.