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UN-Habitat, UNESCWA launch Voluntary Local Review programme in Irbid

By JT - Feb 09,2024 - Last updated at Feb 09,2024

In partnership with Greater Irbid Municipality, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia have launched the multi-stakeholder dialogue for the development of the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) for Irbid City (Photo courtesy of UN-Habitat Jordan)

AMMAN — In partnership with Greater Irbid Municipality and under the umbrella of the global project on “Fostering COVID-19 recovery and SDGs implementation through local action in Asia-Pacific, Arab and African countrie”, funded by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) have launched the multistakeholder dialogue for the development of the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) for Irbid City.

The two-day event served as a forum to discuss the local development priorities of Irbid and mapped these priorities to the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)for the first Voluntary Local Review of the city of Irbid to assess. 

The event also identified channels for collaboration between international, regional, national, and local institutions on sustainable urban development and discussed challenges and opportunities for data collection and analysis, according to a statement to The Jordan Times.

The second day of the event marked the first “VNR-VLR Studio” organised in the Arab region. It served as a platform for strengthening the capacities of national and local governments on the VLR process and on the importance of aligning national and local reviews to support national-local policy coherence dialogue. It also served as a platform to discuss the centrality of partnerships and collaborative data collection to support the progress towards the 2030 Agenda, according to the statement.  

During the opening session of the Irbid VLR National Dialogue launching event, mayor of Greater Irbid Municipality, Nabil Kofahi, emphasised the value of partnership, extending wide horizons with international and local institutions by making people the focal point of our vision, which in turn requires efforts to localise the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

 “In Irbid, we have the necessary competencies and qualifications to make this possible,” he said.

“The VLR is not just a tool to assess the progress of cities towards the Sustainable Development Goals, but it is a transformative methodology that responds to the needs of the population. It emphasises the importance of collaborative work and aligning local and national policies,” explained Nagwa Lachine, programme officer at UN-Habitat Regional Office for the Arab States, according to the statement.

Sukaina Nasrawi, UNESCWA lead of Sustainable Urban Development Portfolio, emphasised, “When considering priorities to address sustainable development challenges, it is difficult to imagine a better place to start than cities. This is evident in Irbid’s dedication to reviewing the progress of sustainable development implementation at the local level and its insistence on monitoring progress through a comprehensive and inclusive mechanism involving all stakeholders.”

National Programme Coordinator for the UN-Habitat Jordan Office Deema Abu Thiab clarified how sustainable development can be achieved through both horizontal and vertical dialogues on sustainable urban development, fostering inclusive community engagement, and ensuring the involvement of multisectoral development entities, stating, “Achieving sustainable development can only be realised through localising the Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing national-local dialogue on policies.”

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