Tunisia, The Mayor of Tetouan and President of MedCities, Mohamed Idaomar, participated in technical Consultation on SDG 16+, held in Tunisia on 26 and 27 March.

In the framework of the series of regional technical consultations organized in different countries, the Government of Tunisia, UNDP, the he Global Alliance for SDG 16 and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the debates gathered representatives of regional and national local authorities and associations of local authorities, civil society organizations and opinion leaders from countries in the Arab region, Africa, Europe and Latin America, to share good practices and lessons learned on the localization, implementation, monitoring and reporting of SDG 16, particularly on the promotion of Inclusive and Sensitive Institutions at the Infranational level.

In addition, key trends and recommendations were identified to help define National and Regional Priorities in the creation of fairer and more inclusive Institutions, more peaceful societies at the local level and thus inform the global report on SDG 16+. The report will serve as the basis for the UN expert group meeting on SDG 16 in 2019 and the thematic review of SDG 16 during the High Level Forum on Sustainable Development Policy (HLPF) in 2019, which is the main platform for the follow-up and review of the Sustainable Development Programme until 2030 and is held annually at UN headquarters.

The The Mayor of Tetouan and President of MedCities, Mohamed Idaomar, underlined the importance of implementing local plans, which are fundamental to an increasingly inclusive territorial approach to development, reducing inequalities in access to infrastructure and opportunities in cities. However, he reiterated the need to show citizens the human and financial resources available to cities to meet their needs and involve them in strategic planning options.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are still new to many local authorities. Local authorities associations and networks, such as MedCities or UCLG, work to sensitize and disseminate the SDG aiming to incorporate them on the cities’ strategic plans. Among the possible axis of action, it is worth highlighting the need to broaden SDG ownership at local community level and local policies and actions so that they are gradually better aligned with SDG, that local development plans integrate SDG and that instruments are established to monitor the contribution of local authorities to SDG. Also, the need to promote greater coherence between national and local policies and priorities in order to promote more equitable and sustainable territorial development, with the objective of leaving no region or territory behind. This should be better reflected in budgetary efforts at both national and local levels.

MedCities, through the work carried out in several cities on the elaboration of local development strategies in a participatory and bottom-up way, contributes to the establishment of a culture of citizen participation in Mediterranean cities. The recent example of the Madinatouna project, of which our Tunisian colleagues will be able to speak, has made it possible to cross objectives and strategic projects with the SDG to establish a direct relationship between local development planning and Agenda 2030 and to visualise the contribution of cities to the SDG.

Representatives of national and local governments, civil society and the United Nations participated in the technical consultation, sharing and generating new policy ideas and multi-stakeholder partnerships around SDG 16 at the local level. An important part of the debate revolves around the critical importance of using SDG 16 to create a common rights-based discourse to promote effective local governance, meaningful participation and social and territorial cohesion.

“SDG 16 is an opportunity to be optimistic, let us be optimistic and cooperate to ensure a peaceful life for all. We must begin to engage in dialogue and find common spaces. We, the local authorities, are the level closest to the citizens, and the citizens are at the heart of the New Urban Agenda and Agenda 2030. Let us work hand in hand for the SDG, for our future, based on absolute transparency and local participatory democracy” – Mohamed Saadieh, Mayor of Deirnbouh, President of the Union of Dannieh and Co-Chair of the UCLG-MEWA section.

There was also unanimous agreement on the need to improve the way national and local governments work with civil society at the local level, in particular with women and youth. This means that national governments must have a clear legal framework for decentralization and planning processes and that municipalities are better equipped in terms of financial and human resources to improve the sense of satisfaction and trust in public administration.

More info in the following links:

UCGL website

UNDP Tunisia website