The Executive Bureau of UCLG meets in Porto Alegre

Around 200 representatives of local and regional governments from over 35 countries and all continents among which 23 members of METROPOLIS, the metropolitan section of UCLG, participated in the UCLG Executive Bureau meetings that took place between 10 and 12 June 2015 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The Mayors and representatives of Porto Alegre, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte,  Bogota,  Dalian, Diyarbakir, Guangzhou, Gyeonggi,  Haikou, Istanbul(President of UCLG), Johannesburg, Montevideo, Montreal, Quito, Rabat, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC),to mention a few, actively participated in the event, which took place over three days and aimed to discuss UCLG´s strategies to contribute to the international agendas that are currently being negotiated:

  • the new international framework for the fight against climate change (COP 21),
  • the New Urban Agenda of Habitat III.
  • the Post-2015 Development Agenda,

As spokesman of METROPOLIS, the Mayor of Porto AlegreJosé Fortunati welcomed the new secretary general of METROPOLIS Mr Felip Roca in UCLG and reported on the most recent decisions taken during the last Annual meeting of METROPOLIS, which was held in Buenos Aires last May and which relate to the three global development agendas.

On the Agenda on Climate, he stressed the mandate given by the organization to the Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre to represent METROPOLIS and advocate for this specific agenda. The Paris Climat Conference 2015 (COP 21) to be held in Paris (November 30- December 11) will be the opportunity for Montreal to convey the message of the metropolises to the rest of the world. The international agenda on climate must as well unite the great challenges and potential contributions of cities around the world. Cities and metropolitan region are invited by Co-President Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, to commit to develop public policies that contribute to the mitigation of climate change and, at the same time, build resilient cities. This contribution to the development of the commitments to be defined within the framework of COP 21, will be starting with active participation in the Lyon Summit on Climate and Territories on July 2nd, the Bogotá Climate Summit September 20-23, and the 1000 Mayors Summit in Paris, 2-5 December.

Montreal was represented by Councillor Richard Bergeron who stressed the important mobilization of mayors in the parallel  Mayors Summit on “Living Together” held in Montreal from 10 to 11 of June and in which the President of METROPOLIS Jean Paul Huchon and Secretary General Alain Le Saux actively participated. In addition, a permanent Mayors International Observatory on “Living Together” as well as a Declaration of Montreal were implemented. Montreal also invited METROPOLIS members and stakeholders to meet during the forthcoming “Metropolitan Policies and Collaboration Tools for Sustainable Development Conference”, to be held in Montreal in October 5-10. As confirmed during our last Board of Directors, in May 2017, Montreal will as well be the host city of the 12th METROPOLIS World Congress.

UCLG together with its sections and members will strenghthen the  Role of Local Governments in the International Development Agenda

As inheritor of the First World Assembly of Cities and Local Authorities that took place during Habitat II, in 1996, UCLG has offered to facilitate the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments towards Habitat III, through the Global Taskforce (GTF) and in close collaboration with other networks and UCLG sections. The Second Assembly will taking place at the same time as Habitat III. It will orchestrate the presentation of the key policy positions of the local and regional governments constituency towards Habitat III, such as advocating for a new governance architecture, aterritorial and bottom-up approach, and the importance of strengthening alliances with civil society.

The content of the 5th UCLG Congress and the Summit of Local Leaders “Local voices for a more human future” that will take place in Bogotá in October 12-15, 2016 was an important item on the agenda of the Executive Bureau. UCLG called for local governments to mobilize and actively contribute to the content of the agenda of the Congress, since the outcomes are expected to define the position of local governments in the Habitat III Conference to be held in Quito form 17 to 20 October 2016.
“Local voices for a more human future” will be the culmination of the process to develop the Agenda of Local and Regional Governments for the 21stCentury, as well as the starting point for the implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the New Urban Agenda. In the framework of the Post 2015 Development Agenda, METROPOLIS mandated the Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau to be the voice of the Mayors of METROPOLIS and to support the access to basic services and social inclusion.

Gender equality, and in particular equal representation in the decision-making bodies of UCLG, remains a challenge. Given this, concrete measures such as the appointment of regional caucuses of Women Representatives in the Executive Bureau were proposed to ensure the increased representation of elected women in the World Organization. As transversal section representative of the metropolises and metropolitan regions, METROPOLIS informed on the decision approved during its last Board of Directors to implement gender mainstream in all the programs and activities operated by METROPOLIS.

Besides, METROPOLIS reiterated its support to the Taskforce on Solidarity with local governments affected by crises, whether by natural disasters or conflict situations. The situation in Nepal, the Syrian refugee crisis and the migration emergency in the Mediterranean also merited a special mention, in order for members to define future actions.
Next UCLG rendez-vous

  • Next 2016 UCLG Executive Bureau will be held in Kazan in June 2016.
  • The World Council in 2015 will be held in Paris, France, in the framework of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) 

Next key events on 2015 :

  • World Summit Climate & Territories,  Lyon, 1-2 July 2015
  • The 3rd the Financing for Development Conference, Addís Abeba,  13 -16 July 2015
  • Bogotá Climate Summit, 20-23 September 2015
  • United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, New York, 25 - 27 September 2015
  • Third World Forum on Local Economic Development Turin, October 13-16 October 2015
  • COP 21 – Climate Change Conference, Paris, 30 November,11 December 2015

Source: UCLG

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