Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to welcome the opening of the Local2030 global coalition secretariat in Bilbao, Spain. This is an important occasion to draw attention to the centrality of local actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In 2020, ESCAP, along with the Penang Platform for Sustainable Urbanization members, was the first regional commission to issue regional guidelines for Voluntary Local Reviews.
We are pleased that cities in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand have since undertaken VLRs, and many more are working to localize the SDGs.
Working with the Local2030 Coalition, we look forward to scaling up this work to many more cities, and I wish the coalition every success.