Participants Stress Crucial Role of Public Entities in Implementing Sustainable Development Goals, As General Assembly Concludes Debate On Post-2015 Agenda [document] (allAfrica.com)

Parliaments, cities and local authorities could provide a “rich tapestry of opportunities” in the context of sustainable development, said ministers and other senior officials as the General Assembly concluded its High-level Thematic Debate on Means of Implementation for a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda today.
Participants underscored the critical role of public entities in implementing the 17 proposed sustainable development goals, which are slated to be adopted by the Assembly later this year.
In today’s opening remarks, General Assembly President Sam Kutesa (Uganda) said that cities, in particular, provided the social services that affected people’s lives. Those services could raise standards of living in line with the sustainable development agenda, he said.
Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on post-2015 development planning, added that the new agenda would require the appropriate administration of justice, enhancement of institutions and strengthening of the rule of law. Parliaments were critical to creating an enabling environment for those elements.
Experts and Member States also participated in a panel discussion, titled “The Role of Parliaments, Cities and Local Authorities in the Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda”, chaired by Saber Hossain Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Taking part in the discussion were Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey, and President of the United Cities and Local Governments; Nurhayati Ali Assegaf, Member of Parliament of Indonesia; and Parks Tau, Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Also participating were Ernesto Gil, Legislature of Mexico and President, Global Parliamentarians on Habitat; Jennifer Musisi, Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority; and Ana Falu, Women and Habitat Network, civil society representative, Argentina.
Opening that discussion, Mr. Chowdhury called 2015 a “make-or-break year” that provided a unique chance to “set things right”. Panellists emphasized that local, national and regional authorities were critical to ensuring that adequate resources were allocated to development priorities, and that individuals were involved in the sustainable development agenda at the grass-roots level.
Also addressing the Assembly today were ministers or high-ranking officials from Zimbabwe (on behalf of the African Group); Armenia; Venezuela; Iran; Saudi Arabia; Nepal; South Africa; Hungary; Latvia; Italy; Czech Republic; China; and Bangladesh.
A representative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also spoke.