The United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA) was created as a formal channel to facilitate the development of relationships between local authorities and the work program of UN-Habitat and increase the dialogue between local and central governments and the UN system. This dialogue aims to highlight the important issues of strengthening local governance and sustainable urban development.
The Committee is composed of a high-level group of mayors and local authority association representatives specifically chosen based upon their local, national, and international commitment to work towards the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. To focus their efforts, every year the Committee chooses a specific thematic issue of importance to cities worldwide. Previous themes include Sustainable Urban Mobility 2011-2012 and Job Creation and Local Productivity 2012-2013. Their current focus is on Flood Protection and Environmental Resilience and the 2014-2015 theme will be Municipal Fiscal Systems and Finances.
In 2005, UNACLA was a major contributor to the international dialogue that resulted in the creation of The International Guidelines on Access to Basic Services for All. These guidelines consist of a broad framework to aid national policy reforms that outline the main principles underlying the democratic, constitutional/legal, and administrative aspects of local governance and decentralization.
In April 2012, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a discussion of the urban agenda at Rio +20 told a high-level delegation of this group that their support had never been more crucial to the delivery of practical results to defeat poverty, protect the natural environment, and improve disaster risk reduction.