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May 26, 2017

Mayor of Belize City Addresses UN Forum on SDGs

Mayor Darrell Bradley returned to the country on Thursday following his participation at the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council’s Forum held at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York City. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the implementation of the sustainable development goals and how finance projects can achieve sustainable development.  Bradley was selected to represent the fifty or so Commonwealth Countries – and so he joined the members of the UN’s council, as well as representatives of the academia, international development banks, private sector and local government personnel. Today, he shared what his presentation was about in the expert session that he was invited to address.

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“The purpose of the conference was to have a meaningful and substantial conversation on financing the sustainable development goals. And I was invited to represent the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), which Belize City is a member of, to give our perspective on the experiences and contributions as local government as an entity and arm of local government. What I was asked to speak about, which I did speak about, was the importance of national governments having a very clear policy for decentralization and the economic benefits of that. I was also able to share examples of things in Belize City, like the Municipal Bond; and the recently launched Belmopan City Council Municipal Bond. And how municipal governments, both in Belize City and Belmopan, were able to structure these. They were actually very impressed with the ability and capacity of local government in Belize to actually use creative ways to finance intervention projects. The conference was all about how do countries finance sustainable development. Because you can have these goals, the objectives and an implementation plan, but to have the 2030 Agenda become a reality it will take substantial amounts of investments on all parts of the government. And one of the things also that was unique in relation to this conference was that you have representation also from a wide cross section of stakeholders, including international development banks. Because there is a recognition globally that for developing countries, including Belize, the involvement of these development banks will be critical for us to finance intervention programs to achieve sustainable development and an improved quality of life.  There is a recognition for development countries having to partner with these development banks would be critical so that our intervention is to really give our perspective in relation to involvement of local government and the need to connect local government in a more meaningful way with these development banks because we can also serve as a conduit for development finance.   There is a lot of inefficiencies in government, so that when you have a clear decentralization program, so that when you empower local government to be in control of economic development within that space, you have a moreefficient, effectiveand a more output driven government focused on creating jobs and achieving an improvement of quality of life for individuals within that space.”

 

The forum was held from May twenty-second to the twenty-fifth. 

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