Cities play a crucial role in the implementation of 2030 Agenda and its commitment to leave no one behind. They concentrate large proportions of the population and are sites of deep inequalities. Local urban stakeholders have responsibilities related to the delivery of many of the agenda’s goals – up to 65 per cent of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets are at risk if local urban stakeholders are not involved (Cities Alliance, 2015). Moreover, in many developing countries in Africa and Asia, urban areas are growing rapidly, with large sections of the population living in informality. Unless this process is managed in an inclusive way and basic services are provided for the most vulnerable populations, they are likely to be to be left even further behind.
This background paper explores what is new about the principle of leaving no one behind, and how local and national governments can act to ensure national progress towards achieving the SDGs.