Cities have the power to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their work at the local level. Examples of this will be presented and discussed at the H22 +50 Session (31 May 2022), and Dialogue of Eminent Experts on smart, sustainable, and inclusive cities (1 June 2022) organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in collaboration with the City of Helsingborg and other partners.
H22 is a major innovation initiative by the City of Helsingborg, Sweden, aimed at developing solutions that improve quality of life in cities. H22 City Expo (30 May - 3 July 2022) will be an arena to explore approaches and practices that address shared global challenges that cities face on their paths to become smarter and more sustainable. The 35-day long Expo will include an exciting mix of high-level conferences, workshops, concerts, and other cultural events.
The H22 +50 Session – a clear nod to the international environmental meeting Stockholm+50 – will focus on partnerships: how cities engage with diverse stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and academia to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
The Dialogue of Eminent Experts will provide a platform for leading experts from different cities, countries and sectors, and representatives of international organizations to discuss the most effective innovative approaches to accelerate achieving the SDGs at the city level related to data collection, governance and fostering of innovative urban financing.
In October 2021, the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management endorsed the Guidelines for the Development of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs). Since then, UNECE has been working with its partner organizations and cities on implementing the guidelines. The VLRs complement Voluntary National Reviews, ensuring a more detailed and nuanced assessment of progress toward implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Experiences with developing the VLRs and promoting multi-level governance for implementing the 2030 Agenda will be showcased by the partners.
“We are incredibly proud to announce the joint organization of the two-day event with UNECE as part of H22 City Expo. The H22 +50 Session and Dialogue will be an important platform for highlighting the power and the responsibility of cities to push for positive change at the local level. With H22 City Expo, Helsingborg is showing its commitment to building a more sustainable future together with different stakeholders, including international organizations, businesses, academia, and civil society,” underlined Peter Danielsson, Mayor of Helsingborg.
Prior to H22 City Expo, UNECE will convene the Second Forum of Mayors (4-5 April 2022, Geneva, Switzerland) under the theme “Recovering from COVID-19 while advancing the implementation of the SDGs” – an event where Mayors from around the world will share the importance of involving cities in COVID-19 recovery action plans, to build smart, sustainable, and inclusive cities. Peter Danielsson, Mayor of Helsingborg, will also participate and speak in the Forum.
From the Forum of Mayors in Geneva to H22 City Expo in Helsingborg, the discussion on how cities work individually and together on accelerating achieving the SDGs will continue and will eventually feed into important discussions at the UN High-level Political Forum in New York which will take place in July 2022.