The city of Helsinki in Finland recently delivered a sustainable development report to the United Nations (UN) – the first European city to do so. The report, From Agenda to Action – The Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Helsinki 2019, was delivered to the UN at its High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development.
The HLPF assesses global progress towards the goals stated in the Agenda 2030 action program for sustainable development – which aims to eradicate extreme poverty and to take environment, economy, and people equally into account when planning sustainable development.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals include:
- no poverty;
- zero hunger;
- good health and well-being;
- quality education;
- gender equality;
- clean water and sanitation;
- affordable and clean energy;
- decent work and economic growth;
- industry, innovation, and infrastructure;
- reduced inequalities;
- sustainable cities and communities;
- responsible production and consumption;
- climate action;
- life below water;
- life on land;
- peace, justice, and strong institutions; and,
- partnerships for the goals.
According to the report, the goals in Helsinki’s latest strategy are very much in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals. Helsinki and New York City have been cooperating closely throughout the process, and they encourage other cities to engage in voluntary implementation reporting.
“The influence of cities in the world is constantly growing, owing to factors such as urbanization and the urban nature of global challenges. Cities are increasingly joining ranks with states to solve global problems. The most important, concrete work with Agenda 2030 is done at local level – near people,” said Helsinki mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
“Helsinki actively cooperates with other cities to ensure that the role of cities as influencers is acknowledged in key international forums and networks. In future, an important forum for cooperation between states and cities could be the implementation of the UN goals for sustainable development.”