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GAM launches first Voluntary Local Review in Arab Region

By JT - Oct 12,2022 - Last updated at Oct 12,2022

AMMAN — The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Thursday launched the first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) in the Arab Region for the City of Amman.

Developed in partnership with UN Habitat, UN ESCWA, and UCLG-MEWA, this VLR discusses the city’s actions and performance against the selected Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets based on available data, and analyses the consequent implications on policy and practice to improve Amman’s performance against SDGs, according to a statement from UN Jordan.

Speaking at the VLR launching ceremony, the Minister of Public Works and Housing Yahya Kisbi congratulated GAM and other partners for this achievement, which is considered a source of inspiration for other Arab cities to present similar reports.

Yousef Al Shawarbeh, Amman Mayor, indicated that, under the guidance of His Majesty King Abdullah, the modern, sustainable and flexible smart-city of Amman has joined cities around the world in integrating SDGs in its strategies, evident in the GAM Strategic Plan for 2022-2026.

“Amman’s experience in preparing its report adopted an evidence-based, comprehensive, participatory and implementable methodology that included more than 60 participating stakeholders, representing government agencies, civil society, academia, the local community, and others,” commented Erfan Ali, UN Habitat Regional Representative for the Arab States.

Dominik Bartsch, UN Jordan Resident Coordinator ad interim said, “Municipalities are at the forefront of providing services to people, of improving infrastructures, of making cities more liveable and of ensuring the well-being of the people and achieving the Urban Agenda 2030.” 

He added that this report is a roadmap unifying joint efforts towards achieving sustainable development in Amman, "the city of light", which has embraced refugees and worked to include them into the local community.

Sukaina Al Nasrawi, UNESCWA Lead of Sustainable Urban Development Portfolio, emphasised the importance of working together and of reinforcing national-local policy coherence to advance the achievements of the SDGs, whereby the goal of the VLR is to “provide evidence on the efforts made in the city to achieve the SDGs while also proposing recommendations for improving sustainable development.”

Deema Abu Thiab, National Programme Coordinator for the UN-Habitat Jordan Office, said: “This VLR represents the long-standing commitment of the GAM and the UN to continuously work together towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and leave no one —and no place behind.”

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