Message by Iñaki Susaeta, Secretary General, Regions4

Today, 21 September 2020, we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations with a General Assembly that will celebrate the milestones of this important organisation that for many years has gathered our global leaders to decide on the pathways that will change our world for the better.

However, the current situation of global emergencies not only requires for most events of the UN75 celebrations to be held virtually, but it also calls for a shift to a renewed UN system, where all major stakeholders have a voice and are part of the decision-making to provide a truly impactful and collective response to the most pressing global challenges that we face.

One of the lessons learnt from the current pandemic is that the results of joint action from a multi-level governance and whole-of-society approach can be genuinely transformative. We have also seen that international cooperation remains key to share knowledge and support each other’s efforts to protect our peoples, our ecosystems, and our livelihoods from present and future challenges.

This is why, at Regions4, we strongly believe that by 2045 shared decision-making and meaningful participation of non-state stakeholders should be a reality, for a truly robust international community and a strong United Nations system. Our international multilateral system must have democracy at the core, leave no one behind and include everyone’s perspective.

In addition to the Declaration that Regions4 launched last June for an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery, we have also participated in the Report to the UN75 on How Local and Regional Governments Envision the Global Future launched today.

The future of multilateralism and global cooperation must include regional governments as key actors for sustainable development, as they are:

  1. Key levers to mitigate the current outbreak and its health, economic, environmental and social impacts;
  2. The nexus between the national and local levels of government to ensure policy coherence, territorial cohesion, as well as citizen engagement; and most of all,
  3. Catalysers of action to halt biodiversity loss, raise climate adaptation ambition, and achieve sustainable, inclusive, and resilient societies for a healthy planet.

We will continue to demand a permanent seat at the decision-making table to raise#RegionsVoice. The voice of our territories and the millions of citizens that we represent for the much-needed transformation, for the UN that we need and the future that we want.