UCLG presented its Annual Activity Report for the period 2013 at the meeting of the Executive Bureau in Liverpool on 19th June 2014. The Report compiles all the activities carried out by the World Organization during 2013 and aims to present the work accomplished by the Sections of our global network.
Editorial by Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General
Cities and regions get organised to give weight to the global development agenda
From 1st to 4th October, cities and regions of the world came together in Rabat during the UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. This was the first time the Summit took place in Africa and it brought together around 3,000 elected representatives from 100 countries. Gathered to voice the perspectives of local and regional governments before UN leadership, Heads of States and Governments, and key international partners, this World Summit showed the full commitment of cities and regions from all over the world to have their say in the Global development agenda. This occasion was also an opportunity to celebrate the centenary of the international municipal movement that began in 1913.
Throughout 2013, local and regional governments reached a number of landmarks on the international scene. Global partnerships have been developed and reinforced with the main organizations of local and regional governments in the framework of the Global Taskforce. Cities and regions have consistently joined efforts to reaffirm their positions and key proposals and have obtained recognition in international negotiations, in particular in terms of decentralization, sustainable development and development aid.
The Third Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD III) was warmly received by participants during its launch at the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. This Report on the provision of basic services is in line with the UCLG goal to present a report on the state of local and regional democracy and decentralization throughout the world every three years.
As over half of the global population now lives in cities, and tomorrow’s world will be increasingly urban, it is essential to advocate for reinforced decentralization in all regions of the world, to give local authorities the resources required to provide the services they ensure for citizens (water, transport, education, health, sanitation), and to recognize at global level that city-to-city cooperation and decentralized cooperation contribute to bringing people together and reinforcing peace in the world.
Local and regional authorities called for this recognition before the leadership of the UN within the High Level Panel - a group of experts brought together by Ban Ki-moon - in the context of the process towards the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The Panel recognized the local and regional level as an essential element to achieving the development goals, tackling climate change, reducing the digital divide and building fairer and more inclusive cities. Only cities and regions fully integrated and recognized at international level will allow for the key questions of tomorrow’s world to be resolved.
This publication aims to give an overview of our accomplishments over 2013, a year in which the Organization strengthened our links with partners and local, regional, international networks and reinforced our voice before the international institutions and the UN. We hope this publication will facilitate members and partners of UCLG in the process of building a roadmap for local and regional governments for the coming years and inspire and guide the coming stages in our joint action.
UCLG Secretary General