UCLG Executive Bureau 2021

The 2021 UCLG Executive Bureau meetings were held from 18 to 20 May under the theme: Care at the heart of local service provision for an inclusive recovery.
The business session of the Executive Bureau took place on Thursday 20th preceded by a Policy Debate.
The Financial Management Committee and Committee on Statutory Affairs met respectively on the 18th and 19th.
  • Thematic session: A renewed role for local and regional governments in development cooperation: towards a new UCLG Policy, Tuesday 18
  • Thematic session: From managing migration to a community-based approach to human mobility: towards the Lampedusa Charter, Tuesday 18
  • Opening high-level policy dialogue: Inclusive digitalization: present and future of service provision, Wednesday 19
  • High-level policy dialogue: Healthy people and territories leading our wellbeing, Thursday 20

Take a look at the programme here.

Programme of the UCLG Executive Bureau

Social Share: #UCLGMeets

 Day 1: 18.05.2021: Towards a new UCLG Policy

The 2021 Executive Bureau began with solidarity being high on our agenda, building on the display by local and regional governments over the last year. Secretary General Emilia Saiz opened the day by highlighting how the Bureau allows us to build a work program together, and stated that it is the time to deepen those topics that need more involvement, such as Development Cooperation and Migration, two of our key topics for the day.

The first day of the UCLG Executive Bureau, thus, began by addressing the importance of international cooperation within UCLG. In this regard, the session on the renewed role for local and regional governments in development cooperation addressed the importance of Development Cooperation on SDG localization, and how the pandemic is calling on us to reinvent ourselves, and renew relationships with partners, national governments, international community and others. 

The session on Development Cooperation sion that included over 120 participants and included representatives from associations of local and regional governments such as CLGF, Mercociudades, Cités Unies Liban, FEMP, SALGA, or Al-Las, as well as our UBUNTU advisor Barbara Samuels. The discussion allowed us to present and debate the paper on Development Cooperation, developed by the CIB working group and UCLG, and will incorporate inputs by members as we finish its development. Issues such as gender and local governments, the need to transform financing mechanisms and the role of development cooperation in greening the recovery and achieving the SDGs was at the forefront.

“In the face of COVID-19, the policy paper on development cooperation will be helpful to guide cities in fostering more sustainable and resilient pathways for recovery”.  Li Xiaoyan , Deputy Director of Xi’an Municipal Foreign Affairs Office

There is a need to consolidate a more coherent effort towards transformation of living conditions of the most vulnerable, in all issues relevant to developing countries” Xolile George, CEO, SALGA

The statutory component of the day took the form of the meeting of the Financial Management Committee, who presented the draft budget for 2021 as well as the membership requests. The session was chaired by Treasurers Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, and Madelaine Y. Alfelor-Gazman,Mayor of Iriga, who noted that UCLG has shown resilience in continuing to do the work in a different way with the support of members and  partners and activities are progressing.

The UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy, and Human Rights held its annual meeting in the framework of our Bureau. On this occasion, representatives of the UCLG-CSIPDHR co-presidency shared concrete proposals for networking in the 2021-22 period, from human rights cities campaigning to violence against women, peace and other right to the city issues. The same event also allowed UCLG-CSIPDHR members to discuss the human rights  2021-22 roadmap,including a new #LearningwithUCLG initiative, reinforced partnership on human rights with the UN OHCHR and the follow-up process to the Charter for Human Rights in the City.

The update process of the Charter for Human Rights in the City will allow local and regional governments to co-create a renewed global vision on Human Rights anchored in local realities and  perspectives. More information about this process can be found in the UCLG Meets dedicated space for this process

“Local governments are territories of resistance and resilience where we defend and conquer human rights on a daily basis. We are territories of innovation where we come up with solutions. We invite you to join the follow-up process to the Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City to bring about this vision” Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny and co-president of the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights.

Wrapping up the day, the session on “From managing migration to a community-based approach to human mobility: towards the Lampedusa Charter” brought to our Executive Bureau the discussions towards the Lampedusa Charter,  in a co

nsultation that seeked to understand how each of the members can contribute to the process, and highlight the initiatives of cities such as Lampedusa, Montevideo, Fuenlabrada, and Mersin that should play a leading role in the process towards the Charter.  

“First and foremost, all human rights need to be respected. Local and regional governments must raise their voices and have them heard, on migration and on rights - of citizens, of people on the move, rights of everyone.” Totò Martello, Mayor of Lampedusa

Day one of the Executive Bureau also housed the European Caucus, hosted by CEMR, in which UCLG Vicepresident Carola Gunnarsson expressed  the full alignment with UCLG priorities. The session also shared projects and initiatives by CEMR and Platforma, which contribute to the localization of the #SDGs across Europe and Beyond.

And with that, the first day of our #UCLGMeets Executive Bureau comes to an end! Stay tuned tomorrow for the opening High-Level Dialogue of the bureau, around digitalization, and the meetings of the Committee on Statutory Affairs and UNACLA!


 Read this special news about the thematic session on the Lampedusa Charter in our Executive Bureau.




 Day 2: 19.05.2021 Inclusive digitalization: present and future of service provision

Day two of our Executive Bureau brought to the table the discussion around the new essentials.  The High-Level Policy Dialogue on Digitalization showcased just how local and regional governments are understanding technology beyond the use of digital technology, and their efforts to ensure it works for people and the planet during the COVID-19 aftermath. 

“Our objective is to ensure that technology does not deepen inequalities but that it helps us enhance democracy, improve quality of life for people, decrease the use of natural resources and foster the development of individual potentials for our citizens everywhere, young and old” Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of the Hague, President of VNG, Co-President of UCLG  

"You can have the greatest technology but you need the people to optimize the technology. Every government you work with, it's about skilling. We're working with civil servants to get them better work,use digitalisationHugh Eaton, Vice-President of Microsoft.

The Committee on Statutory Affairs gathered to address the roadmap of the Forum of Regions, which was shared with the members of the Bureau prior to the meeting, and the upcoming meeting of the Forum which will take place before the World Council. The session also addressed the External Evaluation of UCLG, one of the priorities that the Presidency identified, as a means to analyse the performance of the Organization and its capacity to adapt to a changin ecosystem

Ultimately, it depends on us: we are a vibrant organization, and we need to ensure we keep being responsive and we meet the needs of our membershipBerry Vrbanovic, UCLG Treasurer

All that we are discussing here is happening under the umbrella of the new social contract we are aiming for, the Pact for the Future, which will redefine the pillars of our strategy, with and for people, the planet and government". Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, President of UCLG.

Closing the day, our UCLG Executive Bureau held the meeting of UNACLA; a historic session for the mechanism, with representation from the networks of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governmen

ts such as ICLEI and CLGF, as well as Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd. Sharif. Chaired by Co-Chair of UNACLA and Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin, the session addressed the upcoming United Nations High-Level Meeting on the Review of Implementation of the New Urban Agenda and Quito +5, and how our constituency is gearing to demonstrate the importance of the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator of the SDGs.

The session also touched upon the importance of the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments as the mechanism to deepen the debate on the recognition of local and regional governments as formal actors in the review and follow-up of the New Urban Agenda, with participants calling on the need to ensure that UNACLA can have a greater influence on the resolutions to be adopted by UN-Habitat. The newly created UN Task Force on the Future of Cities also was a part of the meeting, which addressed the role that UNACLA can play in bringing local and regional governments closer to the UN Secretary-General’s report.

Let us take today to reflect on the opportunity to revitalize UNACLA in the context of increased cooperation between the UN and Local and Regional Governments Constituency. I reaffirm my commitment to ensuring that local and regional governments are recognized at all levels of the multilateral system.” Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, UN Habitat Executive Director, Co-Chair of UNACLA

We need therefore to ensure UNACLA can play a strong role and representative advice on all issues related local governments, ensuring a bridge between the local and regional government constituency and the UN System.Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan, Co-Chair of UNACLA

We need to improve our collaboration in these difficult times. The work of the UN Task Force on the Future of Cities is a wonderful opportunity to advance our joint advocacyAtishi Marlena, Member of Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi, ICLEI Vice President and UNACLA Vice-Chair

Quito+5 will be a critical milestone. We are ready to follow up this monitoring process very closely, to ensure the voices of our constituency and voice of our people are reflected in this process” Rev Mpho Moruakgomo, President of CLGF, UNACLA Vice-Chair

Our #UCLGMeets Executive Bureau comes to an end tomorrow, with the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Health, and the Policy Debate and Business Session of our Executive Bureau, that will address what “caring” means for our leadership and the need to strengthen the new essential common goods. Don’t miss it!

 Re-live the day again in our  UCLG TV here.

 Day 3: 20.05.2021 Tapping the potential of local policies to shape a caring society

In the final day of our #UCLGMeets Executive Bureau, over 220 participants gathered as we debated care in our policymaking. For the first time in a UCLG Statutory meeting we celebrated our first ever High-Level Dialogue on Health, which aimed at incorporating health beyond healthcare in cities. In the session,that was chaired by the mayor of Konya, partners from the health sector such as the World Health Organization, the UHC2030 Movement, City Cancer Challenge, the Mayors of Geneva, Brazzaville, Soria, Esteban Echevarria and Libreville, as well as representatives from Jakarta, the Barcelona Provincial Council, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, addressed the importance of incorporating local and regional governments in the decision-making processes to ensure wellbeing in communities.

“Moving forward, I hope that the inspirational messages that we hear from all of you today will allow us to shape the future of health in our cities, involving our communities in the decisions that will protect them, and contribute to the renewal of the social contract that is our Pact for the Future: for the people, for the planet, for government.”  Ugur Ibrahim Altay, mayor of Konya, Co-President of UCLG

“Enhancing preparedness requires a whole society approach and includes health systems that are resilient enough. Cities require better risk and priority gaps assessment, for capacity building, while calling for the ecosystem of city actors to work together”. Dr. Stella Chungong, Director, Health Security Preparedness, WHO

“Cities and local governments make a huge difference in health and bridging global agreements and local realities, into peoples benefits and solutions. This is why your presence is so crucial” Gabriela Cuevas, UHC2030 Co-chair

The Policy debate of our Executive Bureau brought together members of our leadership such as President Mohamed Boudra and Co-president, and President of SALGA Thembisile Nkadimeng as well as mayors of Samara, Banjul and Fano, together with the Undersecretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka and Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities Lamia Kamal, among many mayors and partners. Director of Cities Alliance Greg Munro also took the stage, as did Director of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus through a video message, in a session that brought to the center the importance of women in developing cities and territories that care, and that also added the dimension of time and its use, as well as the new common goods that need to be fostered by our territories. 

“During these months it has been complex to do our job for the urban poor, but I am sure that our work with UCLG will be critical to enhance our work for our communities” Greg Munro, Director, Cities Alliance

We need to correct the course, we need women at all stages of decision-making. This is why we call on local and regional, national and international institutions; to improve the working conditions in the care-jobs, Thembisile Nkadimeng, Mayor of Polokwane, President of SALGA, UCLG Co-President.

It is essential to collaborate fully between spheres of government and to involve all stakeholders in the process. From UCLG, it is clear that our role must be in line with the reality of our territories, and that our role as a sphere of government in its own right must be recognised.Mohamed Boudra, UCLG President, Mayor of Al-Hoceima.

“We call for a caring society that looks after the interest of girls everywhere. You, local and regional leaders, are a part of Generation Equality, of stakeholders that respond where women and girls need attention.” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-Women

The formal Session of our Executive Bureau was chaired by 3 members of our Co-Presidency. Co-President and Mayor of Xi’an Li Mingyuan introduced the session by highlighting the commitment of UCLG towards creating a world that integrates solidarity, care, and equality and its segment included the presentation of the reports of the reports of the Committee on Statutory Affairs and the Financial Management Committee, by Treasurers Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and Madelaine Alfelor, Mayor of Iriga. . President Boudra introduced the updates of our work plan of the year, highlighting how we are working towards a “better normality” while focusing on rights, and we presented the upcoming UCLG Culture Summit in Izmir.

The work that we are doing together can be critical for our cities and also future generations. UCLG is committed to create a better future integrating solidarity, care, and equality. I am proud of our organization and the work we are doing together”. Li Mingyuan, Mayor of Xi’an, UCLG Co-President

The second segment, chaired by Thembisile Nkadimeng, addressed some of the items that would become part of our new essentials. The Lampedusa Charter on Migration, the Policy Paper on Development Cooperation, and the involvement of UCLG in the Generation Equality Forums were identified as critical going forward.

“Our hope is that the Lampedusa Charter can be the "Charter for all of us", and that it will represent not a point of arrival but a starting point to promote actions, to "leave a mark" and to impress a change in the current approach to the issue of Migration FlowsTotò Martello, Mayor of Lampedusa and UCLG Policy Councillor

“Our UCLG Decalogue for post-COVID era recognises that solidarity is a beacon of security. All of our contributions to development cooperation are critical to achieve the global goals” Rob Metz, Mayor of Soest, UCLG Policy Councillor

The third and final segment, chaired by Co-President and Mayor of San José Johnny Araya, aimed at building on these new essentials to redefine our priorities. The territorial focus for the urban era, redefining governance and our initiative on emergency governance with the London School of Economics-Cities, local financing, and the role of our constituency towards Quito + 5 and the United Nations were the key items of the agenda, in a segment that also included the commitment of our World Organization with maintaining peace and human rights in Palestine and Myanmar, and the need to incorporate the youth.

“One thing has not changed in this pandemic: the solidarity that our local and regional governments have shown since the beginning of this crisis, to communities but also to each other in the framework of our World Organisation.” Johnny Araya, Mayor of San José, President of FLACMA and UCLG Co-President

This has been it! Our virtual global Executive Bureau comes to an end, setting the path for the meetings to come. Looking forward to our next #UCLGMeets

 Re-live the Executive Bureau 2021 on the TV of the municipal movement  UCLG TV