About 100 mayors are expected in Malawi's administrative capital Lilongwe from May 16 to 18 where they will attend the international Mayors' forum, Lilongwe City Mayor, Desmond Bikoko, has announced.
The three-day meeting is aimed at enhancing participants' understanding of the interlinkages between SDG 11 and other SDGs, and other international agenda, such as the Paris Agreement and New Urban Agenda.
According to Bikoko, the meeting is also aimed at expanding the network of mayors and other leaders of local governments working towards achievement of the SDGs at local level.
"We also want to share experiences and peer-to-peer collaboration amongst mayors, local government leaders, experts and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of SDG 11 and other related SDGs at local level as well as learning from best practices and pitfalls in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in cities and human settlements," said Bikoko.
Speaking during the same press Conference United Nations Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres congratulated the Government of Malawi and, the Mayor of the City of Lilongwe for hosting the Forum.
Torres said she was happy that it is the first to take place in Africa.
"Indeed, it is an honour for Malawi to be the first African host country. Mayors are key to advancing SDGs implementation at the local level," said Torres.
Torres said Mayors play a crucial role in development.
The forum acts as an international platform for mayors to discuss and share knowledge on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local levels, she said.
It is also a platform to share successes, lessons and workable mechanisms for accelerating transformation required to end poverty, and make communities sustainable and resilient.
To Malawi, Nyasa Times understands, the Forum is timely as the country is in the process of localizing the SDGs through the dissemination and alignment of the third Malawi Growth and Development Strategy with district and city development plans.
The Government of Malawi, through the Lilongwe City Council in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), are coordinating the meeting.