At the 2021-22 International Mayors Forum hosted by the UN Office for Sustainable Development held from January 24th to 27th, Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka and Ken Akaoka, Director General of the Global Network for the city’s International Affairs Bureau, represented Yokohama on the first day of the Forum, the only Japanese city in attendance. Mayor Yamanaka and Mr. Akaoka presented on the reasons why Yokohama engaged in the creation of a Voluntary Local Review, and the city’s efforts for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


As over 50% of the world’s population is living in urban areas, and that percentage is expected to increase in the futurem, the responsibility of cities when it comes to socio-economic and environmental aspects of the SDGs is significant and rising. Yokohama’s presentations during the Forum focused on three main significances of VLRs: as a management tool for improving policymaking, as a communication tool for sharing good practice and issues encountered with the world, and as a catalyst to create a global movement of various cities to achieve the SDGs globally.


During the same session, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United Nationals Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND) participated as panelists alongside Yokohama City, and initiatives and insights from each institution were shared. The discussion also presented challenges on the workings of Validation (citizen’s evaluation) and ongoing Reviews.


View the recording of this session: (Yokohama’s presentation begins at 2:18:16)