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Regional Government Network


Representatives of 22 regional governments from the five continents of the world, and several associations of regions, met together in Johannesburg on 31 August 2002 to confirm their common purpose in making sustainable development the central guiding principle of their governments, and to join together in a new global partnership network to share experience and enhance their separate ability to help their citizens achieve more sustainable futures.

During the meeting the participants, who included several regional Premiers, Ministers, Governors and other political leaders from the regions agreed a political declaration -"The Gauteng Declaration"- which set out their shared purpose and declared their determination to adopt or strengthen existing over-arching strategies to drive the progress of sustainable development in their regions.

The Regional Governments represented at the meeting also decided to establish a global network to exchange information, encourage the formation of partnerships and other forms of collaboration, and to clarify the roles of regional governments throughout the world in the pursuit of sustainable development. Participants agreed to form an interim steering committee to shape this new network, and to encourage other regions to join it. It is hoped that all regions of the world will see this as an opportunity to participate in this dynamic and creative new venture for gaining wider recognition for the crucial role of the regions in the implementation and achievement of the goal of sustainability, to which the Johannesburg Summit is dedicated.

The meeting accepted the invitation of the Basque regional government to host their next meeting in San Sebastian from March 28 to 31, 2003. By the time of this meeting it is hoped that the initial membership of the network will be enlarged to include a wider range of regions from around the world, to have established the web site hub for linking members, to adopt a future work programme, and to take the first steps to constituting the new organization more formally.

Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future has been assisting the initial participants in the development of the network, and will be continuing in that role for the next few months until a permanent secretariat is established.