The United Nations 75th Anniversary consultation on “The Future We Want, The UN We Need”, is an ambitious UN exercise in crowdsourcing priorities and solutions. The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments facilitated the drafting of a Visioning Report on behalf of the constituency to which the Assembly of European Regions is part of.
On 21st of September, world leaders of the United Nations General Assembly gathered virtually to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the UN. On 8th of October, the constituency of Local and Regional Authorities met to not only celebrate but to also share the future United Nations they envision for 2045. On this occasion, the AER President, Mr Magnus Berntsson, will be representing the Assembly of European Regions.
The year 2020 will mark a turning point for our societies. Local and regional authorities found themselves at the forefront of the health crisis, having to coordinate a quick response to protect their citizens and their economy from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance for a renewed system, “multilateralism is not an option, but a necessity, as we build back better for a more equal, more resilient and more sustainable world”, as claims the statement from the adopted declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary.
At the Assembly of European Regions, we consider this to be the right time to advocate for a new model of governance in which the Local and Regional Authorities have the opportunity to be represented at the global level and are welcomed to seat at the global decision-making table.
In the next forty-five years, the Local and Regional Authorities Constituency hopes to see a structural shift towards a territorially integrated multilateral system, which promotes a bottom-up approach. A structural shift that is achieved through the principle of subsidiarity, collaborative governance and effective decentralization.
Global challenges are also the local and regional challenges, as a matter of fact, we all have interconnected problems, hence we should ensure interrelated solutions. “Think globally, act locally” this should be the concept of the new system.
In 2045 we expect to see Local and Regional Authorities sitting on the same table with global leaders, and confronting together global challenges from a local and regional approach to guarantee the wellbeing of the world citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and widened the profound inequalities that exist among our regions and cities. We have just entered the decade of delivery and we can not let this global crisis undermine our joint efforts and achievements reached so far. The AER envisions a future in which through stronger collaboration and enhanced dialogue across generations are found alternatives to deliver on sustainable development. It is our shared responsibility to advocate for the structural shift towards a community-driven multilateralism, and we should do it hand in hand, unifying forces and coordinating responses and actions to ensure that no one is left behind.
Local and Regional Authorities are in charge of bringing the voice of their citizens to the global level and placing citizens at the core of governance. However, this can only be achieved with the establishment of partnerships and with the support of key stakeholders, such as the Assembly of European Regions. Together we will fight inequalities and ensure that all groups of the population are listened to.
Image credits: The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Authorities