2012 has been a year of financial and economic hardship for many of the members of UCLG. We have also seen conflicts, which have marked the international agenda, and under the continuously changing circumstances, important steps are being undertaken to define the future global agenda.
UCLG has tried to bring the interests of local and regional authorities to the heart of the international debate by playing an active role in the Rio+20 process and by advocating for the inclusion of the local and regional authorities views in the post-2015 development agenda. Important achievements have been made by ensuring an unprecedented recognition of the roles of local governments in the Rio+20 outcome document. The improvement of our capacity to influence the UN Agenda has long been in our work plan and UCLG´s leadership provided a clear mandate to work towards the achievement of Permanent Observer Status before the UN General Assembly.
Furthermore, the inclusion of UCLG´s President, Dr. Kadir Topbaş in the High-Level Panel of Eminent persons for 2015, has guaranteed direct access to the discussions that will shape the future of the international agenda. UCLG has effectively supported decentralisation and local democracy in the developing countries, and has started work to define a city-to-city and learning agenda. The World Organization has further reached out to all global stakeholders, from private sector to civil society and Local Governments sister organization to call for joint action in preparation for the Habitat III Conference. Decisive steps have been undertaken to increase the participation of regional authorities in UCLG through a far-reaching partnership with the key representative organization.
This document provides an overview of our highlights from throughout the year and aims at being a testimony to the work developed by the different parts of our network, which we hope will inspire our work for coming year in the build up to our IV World Congress in Rabat.