Joburg Mayor endorses UN development goals

Pretoria - City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Parks Tau is expected to join mayors from across the globe in the endorsement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in New York, United States, today.

Mayor Tau said the move is in line with the Johannesburg Growth and Development Strategy 2040’s vision to realise sustainable socio-economic transformation for the people of the City – just as urbanisation increasingly becomes a trend in cities around the world.

“The UN SDGs engagement is a follow up to the recent meeting of mayors with Pope Francis at the Vatican City. This time we will be emphasising the centrality of local governments to addressing social ills, and also to formally commit to the implementation of the UN SDGs in our respective cities,” said Mayor Tau.

The gathering of mayors coincides with the three-day UN SDG Summit taking place in New York from 25 September 2015.

Mayor Tau pointed out that the inclusion of Goal 11 in the 17 SDGs commits to making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

"It is for this reason that cities must seize the opportunity to lead on the SDGs agenda and capitalize on their density, networks and income-producing potential to drive transformative change.

"Goal 11 specifically calls on cities and local governments working with all partners to intensify action to ensure that we build cities that are socially inclusive, economically competitive and environmentally sustainable and resilient,” Mayor Tau highlighted.

Forging a roadmap to realise the new UN SDGs will also feature prominently during the engagement.

“This will also take into consideration the challenges of social inclusion, economic development and environmental preservation, including the cities’ carbon commitments.”

Mayor Tau is also the Co-President of the Metropolis, a global network of 138 metropolitan cities responsible for advocacy for access to basic services and social inclusion in cities.

His participation at the mayors' alliance gathering comes just before Johannesburg hosts the 7th AfriCities Summit in November 2015. The summit is expected to be attended by local government leaders from across the African continent.

This will be shortly after the city has hosted another sustainability driven event, the EcoMobility World Festival in October 2015.