LRGs are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, building back better, climate action, and implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and, thus, they should have a formal seat at the UN table, participants emphasized during the event. In this vein, Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, Sweden, and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Vice-President, proposed the UCLG be given observer status at the UN. Vasu Gounden, Executive Director, African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, suggested the UN create a “second chamber,” so that, by 2045, two UN chambers exist: the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UN General Assembly of Local Governments.
Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn, Germany, and President, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, said LRGs should strengthen their collaboration with the UN through: annual dialogues between the Global Taskforce of LRGs and the UN Sustainable Development Group; collaboration between the UN Regional Commissions, host cities, and regional governments and networks; and engagement with the UN Resident Coordinators in countries.
Fabrizio Hochschild, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Commemoration of the UN's 75th Anniversary, mentioned that UNGA adopted a Declaration on the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations in which it mandated the Secretary-General to come with concrete recommendations on ways to “upgrade the UN.” He explained that the Secretary-General will commence a new consultation for crafting the recommendations, which he will present to UNGA in 2021. Hochschild invited UCLG to advance recommendations discussed during the event related to a more formalized role for LRG in the UN.