Helen Clark highlights crucial role of Local Governments in MDGs progress and the Post 2015 Agenda

May 17, 2013

Helen Clark delivers her Keynote Address at the 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference in Kampala, Uganda. (UNDP/Uganda 2013)


The UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark has highlighted the crucial role of local governments in the accelerating the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.

Delivering her keynote address at the 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference, the administrator added that Local Government would be equally important in shaping the future development agenda for which consultations are already going on.  She said that momentum was building for a post-2015 agenda which can lead to the eradication of extreme poverty, tackle inequalities, and put the world on a sustainable path which does not wreck the ecosystems on which we all depend. 

“With less than 1,000 days remaining to achieve the MDGs before their 2015 target date, it’s important that local government, as a provider of services in a number of critical social sectors, is heavily engaged in shaping the renewed global development agenda,” Helen Clark said.

Already, various consultations have begun on the Post 2015 agenda in various countries Uganda included. These consultations began last year when the UN Secretary-General appointed a High Level Panel to advise him on the on Post-2015 agenda.

A report from the panel will be discussed during a High Level Meeting on the MDGs which will be held at the UN General Assembly in September. It will focus on both MDG progress and on what follows. Rio+20 also called on the UN General Assembly to establish an Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals which will report by September 2014.   Thereafter it is expected that UN Member States will negotiate what the renewed global development agenda will look like, with a view to affirming that at a high level UN meeting in the spring of 2015.

“The need to localise the global development agenda is no longer contested. As ministers in charge of local government and decentralisation, representatives of local government and of associations of local authorities, participants here are champions of turning people’s aspirations for a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world into reality,” she said.

The 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference with the theme “Putting local government at the heart of development” was held in Kampala, Uganda and attracted political and business leaders, mayors, local government authorities, international agencies and civil society groups from among the 54 member nations of the Commonwealth.

During her four- trip to Uganda, Helen Clark also visited an inspiring conservation project on the shores of Lake Victoria and met with key government officials, civil society and development partners, to exchange views on issues ranging from natural resource management and democratic accountability to post-conflict recovery in Northern Uganda.