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Raise awareness of what citizens can do and what policy makers should do –

“We must be able to rely on ambitious political commitments that take into account the needs of the local community,” wrote José Hila Vargas, Mayor of Palma, Balearic Island (Spain).He signed Publications on Global Citizenship Education Just released by PLATFORMA.

José Hila Vargas is the mayor of Palma, Balearic Islands, Spain.

The aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted inequalities around the world more than ever, so it is important to pay attention to global interdependence. Raising awareness of what we can do as citizens and what we should do as policymakers is essential.

Since nearly two-thirds of the 169 targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) need to be implemented at the local level, the implementation of the 2030 Agenda depends to a large extent on learning, communication and exchange at the government level closest to citizens Ability. Jointly respond to global challenges. We can and should take action to address climate change, discriminatory speech and behavior, lack of democratic channels, gender-based violence, and unequal access to clean water and sanitation systems.

Even though municipalities are usually able to bring together local community stakeholders such as local civil society organizations, schools, and youth organizations, any region or city can walk on its own path to sustainable development. We need more equal partnerships to get rid of the traditional donor and beneficiary stories that dominate the discussion of development cooperation policies and tools in Europe and abroad. In order to make this goal a reality, the systemic principles of global citizenship education should be incorporated into the decentralized cooperative actions coordinated by local governments, national governments and local stakeholders, and mainstreamed.

At the local level in Majorca (Spain), Fons Mallorquí (Association of Majorca Local Authorities, of which the Palma Council is a member) is a good example of how municipalities can develop cooperative projects with civil society organizations and youth , Using the framework of the 2030 Agenda to stimulate and implement Mallorca’s school and citizen actions to raise awareness of global challenges. As an association of local authorities, our nature puts us in a unique position to transcend Mallorca and develop projects with municipalities in Peru, Bolivia and Burkina Faso on the basis of knowledge sharing and capacity building.

In Tenado City, the diagnosis report of SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 (related to water supply) completed with the city government shows that according to national standards, the proportion of drinking water is 73.8%, and only 6.6% of households have toilets in the city. Without the cooperation between the two municipal governments, this kind of activity would not be possible.

For local-led development cooperation, it is necessary to strengthen the role of local and regional governments and their associations as development participants by increasing political and financial support for European-level development education and awareness raising/global citizenship education. We can’t waste time anymore. We must be able to rely on ambitious political commitments, taking into account the needs of local communities, international interdependence, and regional development methods to implement global education programs and policies with a high sense of social responsibility through people who are responsible to citizens. We cannot just send a positive message to young people that their energy is taken seriously and we should act accordingly.

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