- During the General Assembly held past thursday (18th June), the Basque Government assumed the leadership of the network, which brings together 41 regions from around the world, for the coming four years.
- It will be assisted by four regional governments acting as vice-chairs according to their geographical location:La Reunión, Rabat-Salé-Kenitra, Jalisco and Flanders, along with Catalonia as Treasurer.
Following the internal voting process conducted over recent weeks, the International Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development-Regions4, whose members are 41 subnational networks from around the world, the Basque Country will take the lead for the coming four years. Thus, the Basque Government’s Deputy Minister for the Environment, Elena Moreno, will be the Chair of the network for the period 2020-2023.
For the first time in its nearly 20 years of history, the network convened an open election so that the member regional governments could elect the representatives of the new governing bodies. It coincided with an internal restructuring process of Regions4, starting with the network’s name (previously called nrg4SD) and continuing with the governing bodies, where there had previously been two chairs, one for the North and the other for the South.
In those new governing bodies, the Basque Government will be the sole Regions4 chair, assisted by four deputy-chairs divided by geographical areas. The deputy-chairs will be held by the subnational governments of La Reunión, for the Asia and the Pacific; Rabat-Salé-Kenitra, for Africa; Jalisco for The Americas; and Flanders for Europe. Furthermore, Catalonia will act as the network’s Treasurer.
The Basque Country, along with the other elected members, will now strive to develop a new work methodology to actively involve the member governments and drive a more intense relationship with high-level representatives of the United Nations, the Member States, along with other subnational and regional governments, in order to achieve greater collaboration, influence and visibility, particularly in the post-pandemic context.
“All the Regions4 member governments, led by the Basque Country as the new Chair, are aware that the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to a change of paradigm, unprecedent challenges and great uncertainty for our territories and the sustainability of our planet overall,” stressed the Basque Government’s Deputy Minister for the Environment and Chair of the network, Elena Moreno.
Therefore, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals will continue to be the most ambitious roadmap for Regions4, not only to respond to the pandemic and its far-reaching impacts, while at the same time progressing to resilient, sustainable and inclusive territories. “This is the vocation with which the Basque Country takes the lead in this new era for Regions2,” Elena Moreno pointed out.
Regions4, previously nrg4sd, was set up in 2002 as a political platform for the leaders of subnational and regional governments in the field of sustainability. The Basque Country was one of the driving forces of the initiative, which quickly attracted numerous regions. There are now 41 regional governments from the five continents.
2019 was a year of great changes for Regions4. In March, the Basque Government took up the North Chairship and, from 1 July, became the General Secretary, the name was officially changed to the Regions4 brand and the network embarked on a new era under the renewed leadership.
Since then, it has worked intensely to actively participate in the main international agendas of sustainable development, biodiversity and climate change. It has managed to make the voice of the subnational governments to be heard within the system of the United Nations, the European Union and at the major international events where the great global consensuses are adopted regarding sustainable development.