Development Centre

Launch of the G20 Platform on SDGs Localisation and Intermediary Cities (G20 PLIC)


G20 Development Working Group Outcomes:
intermediary cities and city to city partnerships for the SDGs

Virtual meeting

23 November 2021, 12.00-14.30 CET

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Cities, especially the small and medium ones, are playing a major role in the response to the pandemic and are critical actors for an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery. They are at the forefront of both emergency response and recovery efforts and are best placed to localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They provide services to their citizens and to nearby areas, offer market places to enterprises, and have a major role in the protection of nature, in the adaptation and mitigation of climate change. But these cities are often overlooked in national strategies and international co-operation programmes and face enormous constraints - in terms of data, financing, policy, and capacity - to realise their development potential.

For the first time in the history of the G20, G20 Ministers of Development and International Co-operation met in Matera, on June 29, to reaffirm the commitment of G20 countries to support an inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery in developing countries and accelerate progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In their final Communiqué, Ministers recognised that “intermediary cities offer a significant, but often unexplored and underutilised, potential for achieving the SDGs at the local level and […] can play a determinant role in articulating a rural-urban continuum, addressing problems, finding solutions, and implementing actions, in concert with national governments, to advance a development model that is more inclusive, resilient and sustainable, and leaves no one and no place behind.”

This year, under the Italian Presidency, the G20 Development Working Group (DWG)1  agreed to establish a G20 Platform on SDG Localisation and Intermediary Cities (G20 PLIC), and adopted High Level Principles on city to city partnerships, that will help maximise synergies across existing initiatives and address some of the major gaps these cities face to realise their development potential. The Platform will operate as an open and collaborative space gathering G20 and other interested parties for peer dialogue, knowledge sharing, capacity building and consensus building on effective approaches to SDG localisation and the strengthening of intermediary cities and rural-urban linkages in developing countries. As such, it will foster regular policy dialogues among various stakeholders from the G20 and developing countries, international organisations, as well as regional, local governments, mayors and their networks. In particular, the Platform, will benefit from the expertise and support of the OECD, UN-HABITAT and will work very closely with UCLG.

The G20 DWG also developed the Ten G20 Rome High-Level Principles on city-to-city partnerships, in close consultation with member states, regional and local governments, international organisations, experts and G20 engagement groups. These principles are of a voluntary nature and they represent a stand-alone output of the Italian G20 Presidency. Building on the High-level Principles, the G20 DWG – supported by the OECD and UN Habitat - will engage with relevant actors to identify and compile a Compendium of good policy practices and inspiring examples to promote intermediary city-to-city partnerships for the localisation of the SDGs. The goal of this initiative is to provide a common framework for policy makers at international, national, regional, and local levels to initiate, develop and monitor city-to-city partnerships for the SDGs and promote greater attention to and involvement of small and intermediary cities..



Supporting documents 

      1. DWG outcome document on Territorial Development and SDGs Localisation
      2. Why local? Why now? Strengthening intermediary cities to achieve the SDGs
      3. Rural Development Strategy Review of Ethiopia
      4. OECD Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs
      5. UN Habitat Urban-Rural Linkages: Guiding Principles
      6. UCLG World Forum of Intermediary Cities

More information on the work of the G20 Development Working Group


[1] The DWG is the co-ordinating body of the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a key G20 framework to align the work of the G20 with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The DWG is also the G20 Group working to support developing countries and the most vulnerable people in the world.



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