UCLG Co-Presidents Chen Jianhua, Mayor of Guangzhou; Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan; Jacqueline Moustache-Belle, Mayor of Victoria; as well as Fatallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat and Treasurer of UCLG, Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and UCLG Deputy - Treasurer, and the UCLG Vice-presidents Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, Mayor of Almere, and Aisen Nikolaev, Mayor of Yakutsk, stressed the vital importance of political involvement from Mayors around the world in developing the strategy and defining the roadmap for 2015. The Mayor of Haikou, Ni Qiang, further stressed the importance of this meeting that marks the 10th anniversary of the World Organization.
Members of the Presidency also highlighted that 2015 “will be a year of an unprecedented concentration international decision-making processes, covering a wide range of key topics for the agenda of local and regional governments. Furthermore, 2015 is also the year in which UCLG will sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, which marks a new phase in the relations between both institutions, as well as the acknowledgment of local governments in European policy.”
The international agenda, with events on Gender Equality (Beijing+20), Disaster Risk Reduction in March, the World Water Forum in April, Financing for Development in July, the Post-2015 Development Agenda in September and Climate Change in December (COP 21 in Paris), will be essential to the development of the Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments, and towards Habitat III.
Ni Qiang, Mayor of Haikou, highlighted that the city “was very committed to contributing to UCLG agenda, and that he was conscious that by bringing UCLG to his city he brought the world to Haikou”.
In the days preceding the World Council, more than 10 sessions – including the meetings of UCLG’s Committees and Working Groups – took place, focusing on promoting learning on themes that will be the cornerstones of UCLG’s contribution to the global development agenda.
The members of the UCLG World Council celebrated the establishment of the partnership with the European Union. They recognized the great opportunity and responsibility that this structural partnership implies as it is a strong sign that recognizes UCLG’s role as an umbrella organization, as well as a convener and facilitator of the different voices of local and regional governments before the international community.
Members further applauded the consolidation of the Global Taskforce as a joint mechanism to bring the constituency together.
The World Council recalled that solidarity is at the core of its movement and at the proposal of the African Section of UCLG, the World Council adopted a resolution expressing the solidarity of the organization with local governments suffering from the Ebola pandemic, and called on members to demonstrate their active solidarity with affected populations.
It was also recalled that the United Nations declared 2014 the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The World Council joined these commemorations and expressed its solidarity with local governments and the people of Palestine.
The Mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, was elected as Co-President and was entrusted to strengthen the presence of UCLG in Latin America; a region where the urban agenda is of crucial importance, and where lessons learned from local and regional policies are references for other parts of the world. UCLG Executive Bureau renewed Josep Roig's term as Secretary General for three years.
Following the Council, most participants attended the Ceremony of the Prize for Urban Innovation on 27 and 28 November in the city of Guangzhou, co-organized by UCLG, Metropolis and Guangzhou.
Message Video of UCLG President, Kadir Topbaş: