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The city of Liverpool to work with world cities on UN sustainability goals

Liverpool is to work with New York and other major cities around the world to find sustainable ways to tackle poverty and improve health, education and economic growth.

The city has signed up to a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of its action to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end deprivation while at the same time tackling climate change. 

The VLR was created by the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs to enable local and regional governments to share their progress to achieve the SDGs directly with the United Nations. Subnational governments through this process are able to share their knowledge and learn from international counterparts using the common language of the Global Goals.

Since the launch of the VLR Declaration in 2019 at the UN General Assembly, over 208 local and regional governments have formally committed to this process, including major cities such as  Los Angeles, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Helsinki, Malmo, Stockholm and Yokohama.

Liverpool announced in July that it had committed to the SDGs, as part of its pledge to become a zero carbon city by 2030.

Liverpool has set six of the 17 goals as its level one priority actions. They are:

  • No poverty
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Climate action

A secondary set of level two priorities are: 

  • Zero hunger
  • Quality education  
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Partnerships

The three commitments which make up the VLR are:

  • To identify how existing strategies, programs, data, and targets align with the Sustainable Development Goals
  • To provide at least one forum where stakeholders can come together to share experiences, lessons learned, and information gathered using the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals
  • To submit a Voluntary Local Review to the United Nations during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum


Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: 

“No city has all the answers on the big challenges that we are facing, so sharing information, knowledge and expertise is crucial to making informed changes that will make a difference.

“Liverpool is an international city of global renown, which looks outwards and has an affinity with the world’s great cities.

“Many of our biggest issues are common to other major conurbations – it is a common threat that binds us with people right across the world.

“Our new vision for Liverpool, as laid down in the City Plan, is taking a radical new approach, particularly as we respond to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“It includes taking the best ideas from elsewhere around the world, as well as sharing the success that we are having in tackling some of these issues.”

Commissioner for the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, Penny Abeywardena, said: 

“The VLR is a way for local governments to share ideas on how best to accelerate the SDGs in their own communities and so I am thrilled that Liverpool has joined this movement of more than 200 global cities and states who are committed to leaving no one behind.

“As we all seek to rebuild from the devastating impact of COVID-19, it is crucial that subnational governments look for ways to address the global challenges their citizens face. And the VLR provides meaningful opportunities to exchange best practices on how to do just that.”

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