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Sustainable territorial and local development

Rio+20 - 27.04.2012

Cities and regions together towards Rio+20

On 23 April 2012, a high-level delegation of local and regional authority representatives presented eight recommendations to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, for developing sustainable cities and regions .

The document, entitled "Joint messages of local and sub-national governments" puts forward proposals to reach a sustainable urbanisation and regionalisation. It was presented in the context of the Rio+20, the United Nations conference on sustainable development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.

In his opening speech,  Ki-moon  addressed local and regional authorities, saying "your support has never been more crucial to delivering practical results that will defeat poverty, protect the natural environment and improve disaster risk reduction".

Kadir Topbas, mayor of Istanbul and president of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), underlined that local and regional governance should be clearly included in the international institutional framework of Rio+20.

The Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Joan Clos, stressed that "nowadays, more than half of the population is living in urban areas and we are living a unique phenomenon of urban population increase. We call to prioritise sustainable urban development through good urban design, urban legislation, economy and governance to face the challenges of the 21st century".

Antonio Costa, mayor of Lisbon, executive president of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and UCLG co-president, underlined the important role that decentralised cooperation has played in the development agenda and in the innovation of governance. Local democracy and governance are an important basis for national and global democratisation and for the sustainability of our planet.

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