The BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Forum started on October 19, 2020. One of the first online conferences organized via the Zoom platform was dedicated to the implementation of SDG 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.
Participants of the session included Secretary General of UCLG-Eurasia Rasikh Sagitov, Head of the Executive Committee of the South African Local Government Association (South Africa) Xolile George, Vice-President of Shenzhen Green Construction Association (China) Su Zhigang, President of Birigui Municipal Executive Committee on SDGs (Brazil) Ediel Robson Lemes Ribeiro, Deputy Minister of Buenos Aires (Argentina) for International Affairs Franсisco Resnikoff and others. The session was moderated by Secretary General of UCLG Emilia Saiz.
In his report, Secretary General of UCLG-Eurasia Rasikh Sagitov noted that 65% of all Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without participation of local governments. “One of the priorities of UCLG-Eurasia’s activities is to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of the alignment of urban development policies with SDGs among local and regional governments and their associations,” Rasikh Sagitov said.
On the second day of the Forum, October 20, 2020, the plenary session took place. It was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Rossotrudnishchestvo and mayors of cities – representatives of delegations of BRICS countries. During the opening ceremony of the Forum’s plenary session, President of UCLG-Eurasia, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin highlighted: “We remain committed to the principles of transparency, equality and mutually beneficial partnership, as well as a common goal of building stable and prosperous world. We confirm the importance of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Together we recognize the need to develop joint actions to strengthen cooperation at intermunicipal level between BRICS countries and implement concrete initiatives.”
Secretary General of UCLG Emilia Saiz, Minister of the Government of Moscow, Head of the Department of External Economic and International Relations Sergey Cheremin, Mayor of Izhevsk Oleg Bekmemetyev, Mayor of Kirov Elena Kovaleva, Mayor of Cheboksary Oleg Kortunov, Executive Director of the Brazil Municipalities Association Eduardo Tadeu, Secretary General of UCLG-ASPAC Bernadia Irawati, Mayor of Mumbai (India) Kishori Pednekar, Vice-Mayor of Xi’an Wang Yun and others took part in the discussion.
Finally, the participants adopted the outcome declaration of the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Forum. The declaration highlighted the significance of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs to improve quality of citizens’ life. This document will be presented on the website of Russia’s presidency in BRICS, as well as in mass media.
“We have common goals – we want to see our cities comfortable, safe, cozy and friendly; cities with equal opportunities for all, where one would like to live, study, work and create,” Ilsur Metshin concluded.
As a reminder, the BRICS Friendship Cities and Local Government Forum in Kazan is dedicated to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in modern cities. It was held in the BRICS plus format and was participated by sister cities from all over the world.
Photo credits to kzn.ru