Towards local thinking for global action in 2018!

A New Year’s message from UCLG Secretary General, Emilia Saiz

UCLG, more than an organization

In my first message as UCLG Secretary General, I would like to start by thanking you for the trust placed in me and the numerous expressions of support I have received. I am delighted to take on this new role and challenge, and am honoured to have been entrusted with the mandate to continue to amplify the voices and recognition of local and regional governments on the global stage, building on the objectives and success of our century-old international municipal movement.

My journey with this movement has been – and I trust will continue to be – a great adventure, a privilege and a pleasure.

We have undergone many changes and transformations over the years, building on our shared values and mindful of our history.

For me, as for all of you, UCLG is more than just an organization. It is the movement that drives us, and that has inspired our work together and our path forward. It is about shared values, even when we have different interests; solidarity, even when our capacities are challenged.

Moreover, UCLG is the people behind it: our political leaders that determine our vision, and our technical teams around the world that materialize these visions into actions. Our resilience is based on our capacity to include all; and this should continue to be our moto.

An unprecedented moment for local and regional governments

We are in a unique and exciting position, not only as UCLG, but also as humanity.

Never before have we had such ambitious, shared universal development agendas, nor has the world been so conscious of our shared, but also differentiated, responsibilities.

At a time when the majority of people live in urban areas, our responsibility as local governments of all sizes and types is great, and underpins our conviction that international policy should not be shaped without our active inputs.

Together, we can make the global goals a reality!

We are organized, connected, articulated and resourced as never before.

I would like to transmit the commitment of the whole team to materialize your policy priorities and to ensure that, beyond the sharing of ideas and experiences, we put in place the mechanisms that will allow us to strategize together towards achieving a fairer world that builds on solidarity, inclusion, co-creation, accountability and equality.

Further, and in recognition of all the women that have paved the way – and for those that are not yet empowered – we will make decisive steps forward towards empowerment and equality, hand-in-hand with the leadership of our Presidency and the Standing Committee on Gender Equality.

The World Secretariat wishes our global family of local governments and regional governments a very Happy New Year!

We look forward to working with you to achieve your objectives in 2018.