C40 Mayors Support an Urban Sustainable Development Goal

The Paes Letter endorsed by 41 C40 mayors – and counting!

At the C40 2014 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, C40 Chair, Mayor Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro called for a specific urban goal among the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

An urban SDG, he argued, would help concentrate the world’s attention on the unique challenges cities face in developing sustainably, and would help to coordinate the efforts of organisations such as multilateral development banks to work with cities. Moreover, with poverty in the world’s richest countries often concentrated in their inner cities, an urban SDG would reinforce the concept of the SDGs as a global (rather than just a “developing world”) agenda.

“As a global mayor, and one whose city will forever be linked to the global sustainable development agenda, I cannot stress enough the fact that without an urban goal the Sustainable Development Goals will be incomplete,” Mayor Paes said in a letter presented to Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

As a key outcome of the Rio+20 Conference, UN member states launched an inclusive and transparent process to develop the SDGs, welcoming input from all stakeholders.

Dr. Joan Clos of UN Habitat and Mayor Paes of Rio de Janeiro joined by C40 Mayors (and their representatives) endorsing the Paes Letter.  

Underscoring the larger role that cities are now playing in the international dialogue on climate change, Mayor Paes said:

Today we are on the eve of a decisive moment in the fight against climate change. The United Nations debates the adoption of new Sustainable Development Goals and negotiates an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol. We mayors have a prominent role to play in this process. We are engaging in city diplomacy by delivering concrete results and building leadership. We have sent a letter to the UN to acknowledge that urban issues should be a priority.”

The Paes Letter will remain open for additional signatories until the final meeting of the Open Working Group’s “phase two” in September 2014, at which time the OWG will be presenting its recommendations for SDGs.   

Click here to read the Paes letter and see full list of 41 endorsing cities.

To read the full press release announcing the Paes Letter and other developments, click here.