The future of multilateralism, as envisioned by our UCLG Decalogue for the post-COVID era, needs a renewed and strengthened World Health Organization that can ensure the needs of communities. In the framework of our Executive Bureau, UCLG held a consultation with over 300 participants and over 50 panelists which counted on the participation of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. In the consultation, which local and regional leaders highlighted how they imagined the world would look like in 25 years, and indeed the need for a true structural dialogue among local and regional leaders and a strengthened WHO was among the key priorities for our constituency.
The consultation was introduced by Dr. Mohamed Boudra, President of UCLG, who expressed his support, in the name of the World Organization, to the work of the World Health Organization, as well as the commitment of UCLG to strengthen a structural dialogue among our constituency and the WHO to transform local policies.
“As President of United Cities and Local Governments, and also as a physician, I express our support for the work of WHO, and our commitment to work with your organization and to establish a structural dialogue that will help transform local policies into a sustainable future.” Dr. Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al-Hoceima, UCLG President.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in turn commended the crucial role of mayors around the world as guardians and promoters of health as well as those who were already looking beyond the health crisis and exploring planning for the recovery. He further celebrated the idea of building and structural dialogue between UCLG and the WHO and thanked the Organization for their support expressed towards the multilateral system.
“Let’s fix the roof before the rain comes. Actions have consequences, as COVID has taught us, timely and comprehensive approaches make the difference. As mayors you are champions for green, healthy, prosperous urban societies of the future.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
The Director General of the WHO, in his remarks, further addressed the need to transform our systems to ensure that the recovery will not be suffered by those that are already suffering the worst effects. Medical coverage and securing safety nets for citizens; financial help for cities and adequate allocation of resources for local and regional governments, and looking to the future to ensure that the recovery is done in a sustainable manner that tackles the climate crisis were among the critical lessons that the world needs to learn to overcome the pandemic. “Business as usual”, he stated, “is no longer good enough” if we want the post-COVID era to be one of equality for all people.