Remarks by SRSG Mami Mizutori - UN High Level Political Forum 2021 - Local and Regional Governments Day

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
SRSG Mami Mizutori

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Remarks by SRSG Mami Mizutori

UN High Level Political Forum 2021

Local and Regional Governments Day

Opening Ceremony

9 July 2021

Distinguished participants,

I would like to congratulate members of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments on convening the Local and Regional Governments Day, bringing together delegations of local and regional governments, and presenting the annual Global Task Force Report on Localizing the SDGs.

The presence and voices of local governments is indeed so important for the HLPF process.

As your report focuses on SDG 3 – Health - may I start by saying that the need for innovation and transformation in how urban risk is managed, has been brought home to us all by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millions of lives have been lost, just this week the number of mortality caused by the pandemic has surpassed 4 million people. Many more have fallen ill. There have been $12 trillion in economic losses. And an estimated 100 million people have been pushed back into poverty.

The enormity of this ongoing catastrophe cries out for us to apply the lessons learned, and nowhere else is it so important to tackle this challenge than in cities, because by the year 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be urban. 

Managing urban risk and building urban resilience to disasters, street by street, city by city, is the challenge of this century.

How our cities develop with resilience built or not, will be  key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda.

Over the past decade through the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, more than 4,300 cities and local governments raised their awareness on disaster risk reduction and resilience. 

Now we have to scale up this initiative while moving from advocacy to an action-oriented agenda.

This is why, in October last year, UCLG, ICLEI, the Resilient Cities Network, UN-HABITAT and many others have joined forces to launch the Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative, MCR2030. 

Cities that sign-up to MCR2030, will have access to tools and services provided by a wide range of partners.

The online MCR2030 Dashboard provides the space for interaction between partners and cities.

Since MCR2030 became operational in February this year, 168 cities have joined, representing over 81 million people. We are encouraged by this strong interest of cities and local governments, but we need to pick up the pace during this important time when we need to work together to get out from the pandemic and recover.

So let me conclude by asking you to consider joining up to MCR2030, if you have not yet done so,  in order to build your own resilience, and to also help other cities to build their  resilience through city-to-city exchanges, sharing your experiences and learning.

As the pandemic is showing us we are all in this together and we can only get out of the crisis together. This is also true in the case of climate emergency, and this is what we will be discussing at today’s event, that the achievement of any and all of the global goals requires strong partnerships at all levels.

I look forward to your discussions.

 Thank you very much.

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