Exploring areas of cooperation with UNCTAD SG Rebeca Grynspan

On 9 February 2024, we had an inspiring discussion with SG Rebeca Grynspan on the activities of UNCTAD and the potential areas of connecting LRGs to the work of the organization. Localizing SDGs and linking investment to SDGs are key to advance socio-economic development and achieve our goals set in Agenda 2030.

UNCTAD Member States supported in the past several important programs and activities which could be expended to LRGs in order to support their capacity building efforts in achieving the SDGs. With global population growth in the coming decades primarily occurring in cities, achieving the SDGs will depend to a large extent on meeting them in urban areas. LRGs should strategize investment promotion in sustainable city development for attracting and facilitating SDG related projects.

Global cities are important players in trade and development and as such they can contribute to sustainable development, economic growth, employment and decent work for all. Digitalization if rolled out in an appropriate manner can contribute to reducing inequalities. An assessment of digital gap is necessary to launch effective programs in urban areas. Creative megacities are natural targets for FDI, however LRGs often lack the capacity or the specialized knowledge to enable them to attract significant investment for their activities and future development plans.

Coastal cities and communities are at the heart of the blue economy. Implementing a blue economic approach is the very reflection of implementing the SDGs. UNCTAD has identified the pillars of such an approach: economic growth, conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, inclusive social development, science and innovation, as well as sound ocean governance. Better operationalizing SDGs at the local level might become part of one of those pillars.

GCH believes that the work and experience by UNCTAD on digital gap assessment, on plastic pollution reduction, on SDG-related investment, or on port-management should be more focused on LRGs to strengthen the multistakeholder approach of advancing sustainable development. Assistance programs to help linking investment projects to SDGs could generate more resources. Sharing south-south experiences and supporting triangular cooperation could bring replicable and scalable solutions. An inclusive multilateral approach linking LRGs and UNCTAD could strengthen the impacts of these efforts on the ground. We are very much looking forward to exploring these different options for a long-lasting and meaningful cooperation.

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