Plenary session

Presentation by Deputy Mayor of Kitakyushu

Panel Discussion

Endeavour of the Kitakyushu City’s Voluntary Local Review (VLR)

~Demonstrated as a vertical coordination tool to integrate the local actions with the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD 6)~

The City of Kitakyushu, Japan shared the experience of formulation of one of the world’s first Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) 1, Kitakyushu City the Sustainable Development Report 2018, at the plenary session on Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the Sixth Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD6)2, organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok on 28th March 2019. 

16 countries from the Asia-Pacific regions are preparing the VNRs towards the upcoming High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2019, New York. It was essential to address the local initiatives of VLRs among the state-level speakers engaging in VNRs process to reaffirm the significance of vertical integration and multi-stakeholder engagement in the review mechanisms of SDGs.

Kitakyushu City called for the importance of multi-level collaboration, which was nodded by many other participants and reflected in the chair’s summary of APFSD 6. Concreate examples of mechanisms were presented: vertical coordination between Kitakyushu and the Japanese Government under the SDGs Future City framework; horizontal structures within Kitakyushu (the SDGs Promotion Headquarters of the city hall, the SDGs Club open to the public, and the SDGs Council by experts); and international initiative with the OECD for developing comparable indicators among model cities.

Deputy-Mayor Umemoto also emphasized the partnership as critical factor to leverage the local action into global recognition, saying collaboration with academic institution such as the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) was a key driver to develop the Kitakyushu VLR, and he recommended other local governments stepping up to create international prototypes to maximize synergies among local and national governments as well as other multi-stakeholder engagement.

1 VLRs:  Local governments’ report based on the UN Handbook for Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) to review the implementation status of SDGs, initiated by the three Japanese municipalities (Kitakyushu City, Toyama City, Shimokawa Town), and New York City, and all launched at HLPF 2018.

2 APFSD6:  Over 850 participants from over 50 member states of ESCAP gathered in Bangkok for 27-29 March 2019 to track progress of the implementation of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region and address regional perspectives to the upcoming High-Level Political Forum in New York in July 2019.


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