Bogota — New York has said it will become the first city to report its progress towards U.N. global development goals, underscoring the growing importance of urban centres in combating poverty, inequality and climate change.
National governments have made commitments to tackle these problems as part of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted unanimously by member nations in 2015.
But many of the actions required to achieve the SDGS - such as planning, housing, infrastructure and basic services - are the responsibility of local governments.
Addressing urban challenges is also a standalone goal that will have its first review in July at a U.N. forum in New York, when the city will report on its progress.
"New York City is showing how localities across the country can implement the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday.
The city of 8.5 million people is expected to show what has been done to achieve its 2015 pledges, which include lifting 800,000 residents out of poverty, addressing climate change and expanding access to nutritious and affordable food.
More than half of the world's seven billion people live in urban areas, while cities account for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N.
"Cities are key for the achievement of the global goals," said Emilia Saiz, secretary-general of the Barcelona-based cities network United Cities and Local Governments.
"And we are thrilled that New York City is one of the pioneers to report on their contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, improving the lives of New Yorkers and setting an example for thousands of cities around the world."
- Reporting by Anastasia Moloney @anastasiabogota, Editing by Claire Cozens