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["Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)"]
 
October 2016
CLGF blog by Secretary-General Dr Greg Munro
 
Key role of local and regional governments at Habitat III
 
With over 36,000 participants from 167 countries, and high levels of security given the presence of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, and other global leaders, the start of Habitat III was always going to be a little chaotic. Umbrella sellers did a brisk business as participants queued for hours in the hot Ecuadorian sun to register for the conference. In the end the detailed preparation, the large teams of enthusiastic young volunteers and the warm welcome from the city and people of Quito meant that the conference was a great success.
 
The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat conference) is held once every twenty years, the first being held in 1976, and the second in Istanbul in 1996. The purpose is to elicit an international commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities and other human settlements. This commitment, together with pledges for action, sets a new strategy to guide sustainable urbanisation over the next 20 years. These commitments are represented in the “New Urban Agenda”, a global politically endorsed document which guides the future of urban development. Given the fact that an estimated two-thirds of the population will be urbanised by the middle of the century, the New Urban Agenda is a very important process, especially when aligned to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Read more
 
CLGF news
 
Calling for increased financing for local governments at Habitat III
 
The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), of which CLGF is a prominent member, is calling on national governments to commit to finance urban infrastructure and development. Speaking at session on localising the SDGs at the third UN Conference of Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, CLGF Secretary-General Dr Greg Munro highlighted the key accomplishments of the GTF around greater recognition of local and regional governments as key partners in the implementation of the SDGs. Read more
 
 
Promoting economic growth in cities
 
CLGF co-hosted a side-event at the Habitat III Conference on the challenges and solutions to increase productivity and job creation in cities on 17 October in Quito. As part of the Cities Alliance Joint Work Programme on Equitable Economic Growth in Cities, the session explored the approaches available to city governments, organisations of informal workers and NGOs on creating a supportive institutional environment. Speaking at the session, CLGF Deputy Secretary-General Lucy Slack emphasised the need to create an enabling environment for equitable economic growth and improve the quality of local government staff in order to professionalise service delivery. Read more
 
 
Local governments need to be inclusive says CLGF SG
 
Local governments can be transparent and accountable only when they are truly and meaningfully inclusive, said CLGF Secretary-General Dr Greg Munro speaking at a policy dialogue on ‘Stronger and transparent local and regional governments’ at the UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bogota on 12 October. Dr Munro highlighted the importance of citizen mobilisation to strengthen local governments, and the role of gender equality in building accountability and transparency at the local level. Read more
 
 
Preparations for CLGF’s 2017 Conference in Malta
 
CLGF Secretary-General Dr Greg Munro visited Malta to meet with the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W Vella, and Local Councils Association President Dr Marc Sant to discuss the preparations for the next Commonwealth Local Government Conference which Malta will host from 21-24 November 2017 in Valletta. The theme of the conference is Fit for the future: capacity and resources for effective local government and the outcomes will be presented to the 2018 CHOGM, which will take place in the UK. Read more

Stop press: bidding now open for the 2019 conference
 
Local government news
 
CALGA strengthening local authorities in the Caribbean
 
The Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) has been praised for strengthening local government authorities through a range of capacity building events for local government practitioners within the region by members attending the CALGA biennial conference in Dominica on 7 October. A new CALGA Executive for 2016-18 was elected at the conference, including Cllr Yoland Jno Jules of Dominica as its President. Find out more
 
 
UK’s first city resilience strategy unveiled in Glasgow
 
Produced as part of Glasgow’s partnership with 100 Resilient Cities, the city resilience strategy examines how individuals, communities, businesses and institutions can continue to grow despite the challenges created by a modern, urban setting. Based on detailed interviews with over 3,500 locals, the strategy details actions intended to create a stronger and more adaptable city. Read more
 
 
Australian councils helping prevent violence against women
 
Australian campaign, Stop it at the Start, is offering opportunities for local councils to get involved in helping to prevent violence against women and create change for generations to come. Stop it at the Start aims to challenge key influencers of young people such as parents, family members, teachers, coaches, community leaders and employers to think about the things they say and do around young people. Read more
 
 
Mandatory mosquito traps in Malaysia
 
Malaysia is to make it mandatory for new housing projects to come installed with mosquito traps, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Noh Omar said, following the announcement of the first case of Zika virus in the country. Read more
 
Local elections roundup
 
Trinidad and Tobago local elections in November
 
Local government elections will be held in Trinidad and Tobago on 28 November and the nomination day is scheduled to be 7 November. The last local government elections were held in the two-island republic in October 2013. Read more
 
 
Mayor Yule re-elected in Hastings New Zealand
 
CLGF’s Immediate-past Chairperson and President of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) Mayor Lawrence Yule has been re-elected as Mayor of Hastings for the sixth and final term. According to LGNZ, a lift in voter turnout in the cities compensated for a drop in rural and provincial areas in the 2016 local elections held on 8 October. Read more
 
Fit for the future #clgc2017
Examples of resourcing for effective local government
 
$96m allocated to Australian councils
 
The Federal Government of Australia has announced investment of more than $96 million towards council projects as part of the third and final round of the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF). The fund aims to support infrastructure and community projects which deliver economic benefit in disadvantaged areas. Read more
 
Commonwealth news
 
New youth index to design smart policies
 
A new worldwide youth development index will help countries make smart investments to improve opportunities for young people. The index measures the state of youth development in 183 countries and looks at 18 indicators including literacy and mental disorder rates, financial inclusion and voter engagement. Read more
 
 
Action to end gender discrimination
 
Women affairs ministers at a high-level Commonwealth meeting have promised to take action to end gender discrimination and violence. The participants at the 11th Women’s Affairs Ministerial Meeting in Apia, Samoa have committed to get more women into leadership, end gender violence, address climate change and boost women’s economic empowerment. Read more
 
Publications and research
 
Improving financial sustainability of local governments
 
A new report titled ‘Giving local governments the reboot: improving the financial sustainability of local governments’ proposes a range of suggestions to address the financial sustainability of local government in Australia. Find out more
 
 
Explore CLGF's Knowledge Hub
 
CLGF's new Knowledge Hub on the website contains summaries of and links to resources from CLGF, its members and partners on a range of local government topics including local democracy, finance, service delivery, women, cities and urbanisation, local economic development, small states and global development agenda. Any suggestions on resources to include are most welcome, please email the URL to knowledgehub@clgf.org.uk
 
Did you know?
 
Renewable energy in Rwanda
 
SIDA, the Swedish aid agency is working together with local partners to roll out a new off-grid renewable energy support programme in Rwanda. The initiative which will run until June 2019 is designed to support government priorities to reduce poverty and increase energy access in rural areas. Read more
 
 
Push for youth leadership
 
The Australian Government and The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) have announced a new funding to promote youth leadership and gender equality in the Commonwealth and train young Commonwealth citizens as skilled advocates for gender equality in local, national and international politics. Read more
 
 
Get in touch: Do you have a news story that would be of interest to others involved in local government? Get in touch with Shraddha Kaul on shraddha.kaul@clgf.org.uk 
 
 
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© 2016 Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF)