Local level action is crucial to achieve the SDGs

Statement delivered by Haoliang Xu at the High-Level Political Forum, Special Event of the Local2030 Coalition, New York City, USA

July 12, 2023

Dear colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme and co-chair agency of the Local2030 Coalition, I am pleased to open this special event calling for actionable solutions and partnerships to accelerate SDG achievement through localization with Ms. Eva del Hoyo, from the Government of Spain, and Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director of UNHABITAT. 

On Monday, the 2023 SDG Progress Report – with a subtitle “Towards a rescue plan for people and the planet” was published. Halfway to the deadline for the 2030 Agenda, the report shows we are leaving more than half the world behind and only 12 percent of the SDG targets thus far have been achieved. 

Now, more than ever, local action is a critical element of this rescue plan for the SDGs. The SDGs have 17 goals and 169 targets.  One hundred ten (110) of these targets require actions at local level. Failure to achieve these ambitious goals may fuel greater instability, increase poverty, fracture economies, and lead to irreversible damage to the natural environment.  

Decisive and coordinated action from the global to the local level will be crucial as we approach 2030. But that kind of action does not happen automatically, particularly at the level and scale necessary to shift directions for the future of the people and the planet. 

The event today will provide us an opportunity to further understand how we can develop sustainable finance architectures that align with the SDGs; and what funding mechanisms, financial instruments, and partnerships can be utilized to support SDG localization. 

The Sustainable Development Goals will continue to be our north star for global development efforts. We need to go back to the basics of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda and mount a campaign to localize the SDGs in all cities and communities, so that we are back on track to achieve the SDGs. The Local2030 Coalition is the right locus for that. 

Thank you for your kind attention and for supporting the Coalition.