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Vi core Colombian university member, Universidad EAFIT, on May 15 held a special forum on the role of governments, the public sector and civil society in the pursuit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event, “Financing for Development in the post-2015 agenda of the United Nations: A view from the regions,” attracted more than 100 representatives from government, academia, local organizations and private enterprises.

UNCTAD expert, Rolf Traeger, Chief of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Section at UNCTAD, contributed a video presentation outlining the SDGs and exploring how regional and municipal governments can contribute to their achievement. The special request from EAFIT came as a result of Traeger’s impressive Vi videoconference presentation of the latest The Least Developed Countries Report, organized for Colombian member universities February 23.

“To achieve these objectives, policies and strategies are needed at different levels. At the international level it is necessary to adopt reforms in governance, at the national level it is important to accommodate different policies, covering social, environmental and economic areas as well as industrial and structural change. Without those national policies it will not be possible to achieve the new development goals," he said.

He added that the objectives must be addressed at the local and regional levels to combat existing territorial inequalities in all countries, citing the example of Colombia, where in 2012 the poverty rate in Bogota was 12 percent, while in the state of Chocó, it reached 68 percent.

"It is essential that local authorities have the competence and financial means necessary to face these challenges, as well as support from national authorities and international organizations,” Traeger concluded.

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