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GCEOA’s participation in the 3rd SDG Cities Conference strengthens commitment to the SDGs

Global CEO Alliance (GCEOA) attended the 3rd SDG Cities Global Conference held on 28-30 October 2023 in Shanghai Expo Center and Shanghai Tongji University, China. The conference was co-organized by UN-Habitat, the People’s Republic of China through the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government of China.

The objective of the SDG Cities Global Conference is for stakeholders and participating cities to have a deeper understanding of the SDG Cities delivery model and to learn how to effectively implement SDG Cities, and to identify the key urban finance issues, gaps, and solutions. The conference was also held during the 2023 Global Observance World Cities Day.


GCEOA Chairman James Donovan was invited to participate in 2 seminars. He participated in the “Technical Workshop - SDG Cities Deep Dive” where he discussed the tools that GCEOA developed with UN-Habitat for the SDG Cities Global Initiative. The Capacity Assessment toolkit was recently launched this year. The City Scan tool is expected to be launched by 2024.

“Tools are wonderful but they’re only an engagement model to actually facilitate communication,” said Mr. Donovan during the workshop. “At the end of the day, we move billions of points of data for somebody, but it’s about that communication to bridge gaps […] for our stakeholders in the community or our national governments.”

Mr. Donovan was also chosen to be a panel member for the “Urban Finance Seminar – Towards a Local Finance Framework” which discussed how development partners can collaborate effectively and ensure strategic financial support for low-income cities in. Mr. Donovan recommended a repository of all public-private partnerships across regions and understanding the costs of financing such as capital and debt.

GCEOA remains to be strongly committed to achieving the SDGs, as well as creating a great partnership with UN groups such as UN-Habitat and SDG Cities Global Initiative.


To know more about UN-Habitat’s SDG Cities Global initiative, visit

To know more about GCEOA, visit