Metropolis participation at the meetings was covered by Secretary General, Octavi de la Varga, Mariana Flores, International Affairs Advisor of the Government of Mexico City and our Regional Secretary for North America and Teresa Oliver, Officer for Statutory Affairs.
The meetings kicked off with a preparatory working session with all Secretaries Generals of UCLG sections in which Ms Mariana Flores represented Metropolis Secretary General. The meeting aimed to set coordination among all regional sections, conduct a joint planning exercise and seek synergies in the work carried out in each of the sections. The first round of interventions showed that, despite the different contexts, similar challenges are present at the regions; and identified recurring themes such as environment and sustainability, gender perspective and migration.
Speaking for Metropolis, Ms Mariana Flores shared the priorities in terms of advocacy and political incidence for 2018, renewed the will to collaborate with UCLG, and highlighted that, at Metropolis, a balance between political incidence and practical programs (Capacity Building, the Policy Transfer Platform and the Pilot Projects) was at the core of its work.
In the second round, the Local4Action Hub initiative was presented as a platform that allows exchanging experiences, identifying experts and strengthening the capacity of local governments to implement global agendas.
Following the discussions started during the World Council meetings in Hangzhou, the second day was dedicated to the UCLG Policy Councils and the revision of UCLG Strategy on Local Finance within a session organized with the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV).
The revision of UCLG Strategy on Local Finance aimed to renew the partnership with FMDV and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) as well as advance a new strategy on Local Finance. In this sense, Metropolis was highly engaged on building a new strategy as it became part of the Steering Committee of the UCLG World Observatory of Local Finance early this year providing the metropolitan perspective to the analysis on the financing and to the local governments’ context. Moreover, on April 2018 Metropolis joined the Coalition to transform local financing led by UCLG and UNCDF. The next meeting will take place in Madrid at the framework of UCLG World Council in November 2018.
Further on during the second day, adequate housing, migration and gender equality were the topics at the Policy Council on Right to the City where participants exchanged their insights on policies and its implementation. On the other hand, the Policy Council on Opportunities for All debated on the pillars for sustainable development: how to protect the core values of culture, citizens’ participation and promote solidarity and peace.
The last day of the Executive Bureau offered the meetings of the Policy Councils on Multilevel Governance where it was discussed how to build governance capabilities, implement effective partnerships and ensure accountable and transparent governance and the meeting of the Policy Council on Resilient that focused on opportunities and responses to emerging urban areas for inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable territories. This last dialogue was organized in the framework of the Talanoa Dialogue that also approached environmental policies to improve sustainability and resilience in urban settlements as well as responsible consumption and production.
Another highlight of the day was the High-Level Dialogue “Linking the Global Goals with the New Urban Agenda Implementation” organized in partnership with UNACLA and with the Global Taskforce. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, made the opening remarks at the session where she claimed that “We need to recognize governance as one of the drivers of sustainable development”. During the session, participants shared their perspectives on the New Urban Agenda implementation within their own territory. This High-Level Dialogue will contribute to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) assessment of SDG 11 where Metropolis is participating and coordinating a with a delegation of members cities that will take part at the HLPF in New York City next July 16th, 2018.
The meetings concluded with the Business Session of the Executive Bureau. The highlights of the meeting were the appraisal of the progress made on the 2018 Work Plan and a UCLG Strategy on Localizing Finance for Sustainable Urbanization in collaboration with the FMDV; the announcement of a Global Strategic Partnership between the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and UCLG that will boost the creation of a Mobility Champions Community to support local governments all across the world in their journey to provide more liveable, competitive, sustainable and inclusive cities that will contribute to deliver on SDG9 and SDG11.
Later on, the UCLG sections had their time to share with members their 2018 priority actions within the UCLG framework. Finally, the winners of the 3rd Edition of the International Award UCLG-Mexico City-Culture 21 were announced. Last but not least, the Executive Bureau adopted a motion condemning the escalation of violence in Gaza and a call for peace at the territory.
The next UCLG Statutory meeting will be held in Madrid next November in conjunction with the 2nd Word Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace.