Results of the discussion will be presented for ASEAN Leaders’ consideration to consolidate ASEAN’s regional integration efforts at local level in order to truly realise people-centered and inclusive ASEAN.
This year’s AMF takes place at a crucial moment as countries around the world are reflecting on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and ASEAN member states are scaling up the work in this area through concrete actions. The 5th AMF, hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok, will identify the way forward for ASEAN to accelerate its progress, through stronger engagement with cities and local governments in the priority areas set forth for ASEAN’s SDG implementation as well as other relevant frameworks to address urbanisation challenges and climate change.
The UCLG ASPAC Secretary General, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, stated that, "I am pleased to see that many mayors in ASEAN are aware of their important roles and are actively contributing to the community building efforts in the region. The ASEAN Mayors Forum will be an ideal place for local leaders and partners to strengthen our commitments to build resilience, respond urgently to climate change and meet the sustainable development goals. UCLG ASPAC as the host of AMF stands ready to work together, with and for the people, to build inclusive and prosperous cities in ASEAN.”
Under the theme Driving Local Actions for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, the discussions will be framed by sub-themes: Digital ASEAN (future-oriented), Seamless ASEAN (enhanced connectivity), and Sustainable ASEAN (sustainability in all dimensions).
More than one hundred mayors/governors and executives of cities across ASEAN region, including from Indonesia, will bring to the table their insights and visions on how, together with citizens and stakeholders in their constituencies, local governments can help ASEAN realise its goal in building inclusive and forward-looking community that leaves no one behind. A joint declaration will be adopted at the end of the meeting.
The Mayor of Bogor City, Dr. Bima Arya, commented on the event. “ASEAN Mayors Forum is one of the most important events for the local leaders in ASEAN to share their visions, ideas and experiences in developing their regions. Additionally, it is a part of the mutual efforts to build and to strengthen the existing cooperation among local governments in ASEAN.”
“From Bangkok to Bandung, it’s high-time to include mayors to take centre stage as part of key solution providers if we are to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We must seize this opportunity now with mayors’ forward-looking and solutions-oriented engagements and leadership,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana at the forum opening. The outcomes of the ASEAN Mayors Forum will feed into the 7th Asia-Pacific Urban Forum, being hosted by ESCAP, Urbanice Malaysia and UN-Habitat in Penang from 15-17 October 2019.
The Forum will also feature the importance of ASEAN Mayors’ partnership with their counterparts outside the region. This year’s highlight will be on city-to-city collaboration with the Republic of Korea (ROK), as part of the broader celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations. ASEAN Mayors will discuss with Vice Mayor of Busan on the strategic areas for future collaboration, and are set to put forward their recommendations to the upcoming commemorative ASEAN-ROK Summit, to be held in Busan on 25-26 November 2019.
The ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) was originally conceived in 2011 when visionary mayors in Southeast Asia met for the first time in Surabaya, Indonesia, to demonstrate the importance of local contributions to ASEAN’s regional integration. The Forum has gained prominence since 2015, with successive AMF meetings to discuss the ASEAN Community building and how mayors can help accelerate its progress and benefits for citizens. In 2018, AMF was accredited as an entity associated to ASEAN, due to ASEAN member states’ official recognition of its common goals on and contribution to the ASEAN’s community building.
The United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) promotes cooperation between local governments within and the wider ASEAN region, through advocacy, capacity building and training, research, knowledge management, project development and management. UCLG ASPPAC plays an important role in the development of the ASEAN Mayors Forum (AMF) and serves as AMF Secretariat to coordinate the collaboration of ASEAN Mayors.
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