It is with great regret that we have learned of the passing of Iñaki Azcuna, Mayor of Bilbao. Many of the members of United Cities and Local Governments will remember him for his commitment and leadership in the transformation policies of Bilbao, promoted by or Organization, and his future vision. He was member of the World Council of UCLG and Founding President of the UCLG Committee on Digital and Knowledge Based Cities, and winner of the "2012 World Mayor” award of the City Mayors Foundation in recognition of the urban transformation undergone in the Basque capital over previous year.
Despite illness, Iñaki Azcuna, tirelessly contributed to the development of UCLG policies on diverse topics such as new information and communication technology (ICT), and innovation and knowledge for solid urban development. We will guard fond memories of his speech during the World Cities Forum last year in Bilbao in the month of May 2013.
"Each day the exchange and internationalization in cities will be more important. In the same way as the opulent Europe maintained dominance of the seas and world commerce through colonialism, new regions with economic might and new leaders have appeared on the scene. Old Europe monopolized global culture for centuries until the strong appearance of Asia and Latin America. These are apparently new cultures but, in reality, have existed for millennia. This is a fairer distribution in the global world, without monopolies for some and they left-overs for others. With regards to this pending change towards exchange as equals, I am optimistic as to the roles of cities and the quest for a fairer society”. ( I. Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao, at the Closing session of the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum Bilbao 2013)
The UCLG Secretary General, Josep Roig, on behalf of all members of the Organizations, pays homage to a bright local politician and friend that we will all miss and he passes on his sincerest condolences to family, friends and colleagues.
We honor and respect the memory of Iñaki Azkuna.