Our Board of Directors, upon extraordinary online consultation, ratified last January 29 the two new members of the association: the Mayoralty of Baghdad and the Barcelona City Council. With these new members, Metropolis now brings together 137 governments of large cities and metropolitan areas.
Our new members in a nutshell:
With more than 8.5 million people, Baghdad is the fourth largest city in the Middle East. It is the capital of the republic of Iraq and considered the center of economic, cultural and administrative life of the country. Baghdad is also characterized by its ancient historical heritage and geographical features – located on a vast plain, the city is split in half by the Tigris river, which faces periodic floods. The Mayoralty of Baghdad is the main governmental institution in charge of the city management, being responsible for the general maintenance of urban infrastructures, as well as of social inclusion and gender equality public policies, among others. The Mayoralty is governed since 2015 by Dr. Thikra Alwash, the first woman to take the position of Mayoress in Iraq, and 23rd to join the group of women who are at the top level of political representation among our members.
Although represented in Metropolis since its foundation, as one of the 36 municipalities of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), the Barcelona City Council has decided, in 2017, to present an additional membership application to the association, as a joint UCLG member. The decision brings coherence to the historical and stable background of participation of the city of Barcelona in Metropolis – whose some of the most perennial contributions are the location of the Secretariat General office at one of the city’s public buildings, and the leadership of Metropolis Women. For Metropolis, this new membership is a demonstration of trust in our association and directly contributes to more transparency in our operations. Not less importantly, it is an example of coordination of the different levels of government that manage, jointly, a metropolitan space, given the continuous willingness between the AMB and the Barcelona City Council to work together.
From the Secretariat General we warmly welcome these two new city governments, hoping for a new cycle of work with many opportunities for collaboration and exchanges of experiences around the world.