The 2022 UCLG Executive Bureau meetings were held from 13 to 15 June under the theme: “Local and regional governments fostering peace at the frontline of emergencies”
The Financial Management Committee met virtually during the 7th of June, whereas the and Committee on Statutory Affairs meets during Tuesday, 14th of June.
Monday 13 June, 10:45-12:30: UCLG Municipal Peace Talks: Local Governments’ roles and solidarity in times of international crisis, led by the World Human Rights Cities Forum of Gwangju, in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on Opportunities for All, Culture and City Diplomacy: Keys to Sustainable Development and Peace
Monday 13 June, 14:00-15:30: The New Urban Agenda Under Review, in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda
Monday 13 June, 16:00-17:30: Renewing Democracy from the Bottom Up, led by the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IODP), in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on Territorial Multilevel Governance and Sustainable Financing, and the Global Democracy Coalition
Tuesday 14 June, 10:00-11:30: Local Economic Development for an Equitable Recovery, led by the UCLG Committee on Local Economic and Social Development, in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on Safer, Resilient and Sustainable Cities, Capable of Facing Crises
Tuesday 14 June, 17:00-18:30: 10, 100, 1000 Human Rights Cities and Territories by 2030, led by the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on the Right to the City and Inclusive Territoried
Take a look at the programme here.
Programme of the UCLG Executive Bureau
Day 1: 13.05.2021: The role of local and regional governments in city-to-city dialogue and action: inclusive agendas.
Social Share: #UCLGMeets
Day 1: 18.05.2021: The role of local and regional governments in city-to-city dialogue and action: inclusive agendas.
After meeting physically in Barcelona for the World Council and the #UCLGMeets Retreat, the UCLG Executive Bureau is taking place in Seville, in the framework of the Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum, an event that gathered over 100 participants physically and virtually in the first day alone.
Together with UN-Habitat, UCLG and ICMPD have been partnering for a decade with the double ambition to mainstream migration in local agendas while enhancing local participation in national and global policy making. The co-organisation of the MUM Forum in Seville, with strong support and engagement from local, regional and national authorities from around the Mediterranean and beyond, is yet another proof of the success of this partnership and sets a new milestone in fulfilling our ambition to bring territorial solidarity, cooperation and dignity to the center of the human mobility agendas.
An example of this was the opening session of the Bureau. Held in the framework of the UCLG Municipal Peace Talks, the session “Local governments roles & solidarity in times of international crisis” addressed not just the importance of local and territorial action in peacebuilding, but also in managing crises and addressing the day-to-day challenges of situations of conflict, such as managing migration and refugees in our territories.
The Session was held in partnership with the World Human Rights Cities Forum, as well as with the UN Special Rapporteurs. Vasu Gounden, Executive Director of ACCORD, Richard Bennett, UN Special Rapporteur on Afghanistan, Pradeep Wagle, Chief of the ESCR Section of the UN commission for HR, Khadija Ahamadi, former mayor of Nili, Professor Shin Gyonggu, Senior Policy Advisor for Human Rights and International Affairs at the City of Gwangju, Mohamed Wajdi Aydi, Deputy Mayor of Sfax, Taneen Rudyk, President of the FCM, Mehmet Duman, UCLG MEWA Secretary General, Hanifa Girowal, Former Deputy Governor of Kabul, Pablo Jurado, UCLG vice-president for the Forum of Regions, and Rasikh Sagitov, Secretary General of UCLG Eurasia, intervened in the discussion.
Mayor of Sala and Vice-President of UCLG for Europe, Carola Gunnarsson, introduced the session with UCLG Secretary-General, Emilia Saiz, by addressing the migration crisis, and stating that it is local and regional governments who are on the frontline to support and integrate refugees. It is our common responsibility all over the world.
Special Envoy Richard Bennett gave an overview of the current situation in Afghanistan, where human rights are at risk, especially those of women and girls. Khadija Ahmadi, former mayor of Nili, and Hanifa Girowal, Former Deputy Governor of Kabul, emphasized that the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan should not be forgotten on the international stage, and called on the international movement of local and regional governments to grow and develop their potential in their communities, to build peace.
The second session of the Executive Bureau, The New Urban Agenda under Review, highlighted the importance of discussing the NUA from a bottom-up perspective and in synchronization with the other global agendas. Mayor of Soria and UCLG Governing President Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Kitchener and UCLG Treasurer Berry Vrbanovic; Mayor of Esteban Echevarría Fernando Gray; President of SALGA Bheke Stofile; Mayor of Tandil Miguel Angel Lunghi; Mayor of Granollers Alba Barnusell, together with the President of the General Assembly of Partners Eugenie Birch and Maria Galindo, DIrector General for Urban Agenda and Digital Nation of Catalonia, weighed in on the impact that the New Urban Agenda can have in the localization of the SDGs, its progress after the High-Level Meeting and ahead of the World Urban Forum; and brought to the table local and territorial efforts to bring it to life.
In his opening, Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener and Treasurer of UCLG, emphasized that we, as local governments, need to build back better and differently and to bring shared commitments into effective actions. Carlos Martínez, Governing President of UCLG and Special Envoy on the NUA, defended the need for bringing local and regional voices, represented in UCLG, to as many global tables as possible. This includes enhanced recognition of the role of LRGs and, consequently, more decentralization, a clear roadmap and sufficient resources in a new model of horizontal governance.
Genie Birch, President of the General Assembly of Partners, also emphasized that rebuilding trust amongst the institutions and with the citizens is critical to engage in a dialogue as we move forward to achieve sustainable urban development.
The third session of the day addressed ways of “Renewing democracy from the bottom up”, to rethink how people identify with governments as a means to building trust through enhanced transparency, openness, and accountability.
The discussion was held by the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IODP) in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on Territorial Multilevel Governance and Sustainable Financing, and the Global Democracy Coalition. Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, Vice-President of SALAR and Vice President of UCLG for Europe; Pablo Jurado, President of CONGOPE, Vice-President of UCLG for the Forum of Regions; Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, UCLG Africa General Secretary, alongside Khadija Ahmadi, former Mayor of Nili, Afghanistan, Ahmed Aziz Diallo, Mayor of Dori, Emmanuel Carroz, Deputy Mayor of Grenoble; Cemal Bas, Municipal Councillor of Keciören; Emilio Jatón, Mayor of Santa Fe; Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen and president UCLG World Forum of intermediary cities, Steven Heddle, City Councillor of Orkney Islands and Spokesperson for environment and economy of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), and Rudi Borrmann, Deputy Director, OGP Local, and, took part in the session.
Massimo Tommasoli, Director of Global Programmes and Permanent Observer for International IDEA to the UN, kicked-off the debate with UCLG Secretary-General Emilia Saiz, recalling the relevance of local democracy to foster engagement at the local level and better cope with impacts in the post-pandemic world. Vice-President of UCLG for the Forum of Regions and President of CONGOPE, Pablo Jurado, called for strengthening bottom-up multilevel governance and grassroot democracy so the needs of people are known and addressed collectively. From the local to the state level.
Rudi Borrmann, Deputy Director of OGP Local, stressed the need to tackle the difference between the language and the narratives used to bring citizens to participate with creativity and capacity building. Sergio Arredondo, Secretary General of FLACMA, wrapped up the session by recalling the need to connect global action with the daily challenges of communities and achieve transformation by putting people at the centre of local action – and the opportunity and responsibility it entails for UCLG to be at the forefront of democracy renewal.
In the framework of the MC2CM project, and in parallel with the sessions in the framework of the Bureau, UCLG co-organised this Peer Learning Event on Child-sensitive participatory approaches to address discrimination and xenophobia with ICMPD, FAMSI, and UNICEF. With introductory remarks from Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary-General, Julien Simon, Head of the Mediterranean Region at ICMPD and Elana Wong, UNMGY and UCLG Youth Caucus, the Peer Learning opened to a full room comprising Mayors, civil servants, and key stakeholders working on City-to-City migration.
Facilitated by the Director of Learning at UCLG, the Peer Review exercise showcased actions from Gaziantep, Casablanca and ANVITA. Key questions on how to outreach youth to encourage participation, scaling of projects and strengthening city-to-city cooperation were discussed.
Led by FAMSI, an exchange between cities of the Mediterranean concluded that whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches are needed to foster child and youth-friendly cities and to address discrimination and access to essential public services. Closing off the Peer Learning, UCLG introduced the process towards the Lampedusa Charter, where local and regional governments were encouraged contribute with their inputs.
Tomorrow the formal opening of the Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum will bring to the table the need for multilateral migration governance. Our Executive Bureau will host its Committee on Statutory Affairs, as well as two more sessions co-developed with our Policy Councils: “Local Economic Development for an Equitable Recovery”, led by our Committee on Local Economic and Social Development; and “10, 100, 1000 Human Rights Cities and Territories”, led by our Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights.
Day 2: 14.05.2021: Local and Regional Governments at the Frontline of Migration Governance, Ensuring Rights to their Populations
We reached the equator of the UCLG Executive Bureau with the Official Opening of the Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum. Facilitated by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz, the session welcomed multilevel perspectives on migration, bringing together UCLG Governing President and Mayor of Soria Carlos Martínez; President of the Jaén Provincial Council Francisco Reyes, an intervention by the Mayor of Seville Antonio Muñoz; Minister for Territorial Governance of Spain Isabel Rodríguez And the Deputy Head of the Migration Unit, Head of the Center for Thematic Experts on Migration, European Commission Michele Amadeo.
The Opening session saw participants acknowledge the potential of local and regional governments for migration governance. Participants argued that, while often local and regional governments do not have the competences, issues such as migration are pertinent to them and part of the daily lives and realities of the communities that they represent.
"Local and regional governments are the territorial structures closest to citizens. They are the instrument for equality, the provision of services and the guarantee of rights" Isabel Rodríguez, Minister for Territorial Governance of Spain,
"Our constituency sees migration also as an opportunity and that is why we want to make sure that we treat human mobility as a natural phenomenon in which care and investment in people and their rights must be paramount." Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria, UCLG Governing President.
"Local Governments have a role to play, not only as an instrument to implement policies but also as an actor to define strategies." Antonio Muñoz, Mayor of Seville.
The day saw the celebration of the session on Local Economic Development for an Equitable Recovery, which explored new proximity models of global consumption and production to harness inclusive innovation, including by integrating the informal sector into the formal economy, promoting small and micro enterprises and start-ups, fostering initiatives of social, collaborative, circular and green economy, smart specialization and technological clusters.
The discussion was held by the UCLG Committee on Local Economic and Social Development in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on Safer, Resilient and Sustainable Cities, Capable of Facing Crises. Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of Nouakchott Regional Council, President of UCLG Africa; Francisco Toajas, Mayor of Las Cabezas de San Juan, Chair of the UCLG Committee on Local Economic and Social Development; Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, Chair of the UCLG Forum on Intermediary Cities; alongside Taneen Rudyk, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Vice-President of UCLG for North America, took part in the session.
Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of the Hague, Co-President of UCLG, opened the conversation with UCLG Secretary-General Emilia Saiz, recalling that the impacts of the current multi-faceted crisis on employment and economic activity manifest at the local level, and hence local governments have been at the forefront to promote economic, social, and environmental growth while protecting its communities.
President of UCLG Africa and President of Nouakchott Regional Council, Fatimetou Abdel Mali, reflected on how the pandemic was a warning call for cities and regions to push for the transformations that advance the resilience of our communities and their development.
Ana Román, Director General of the Union of Ibero-American Capital Cities (UCCI), highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge, experiences and good practices to navigate the impacts of the pandemic, and the need to go beyond mere recovery-centered approaches to talk about transformation and the future.
The second day of the Executive Bureau also saw the meeting of the Committee on Statutory Affairs, one of the statutory meetings of UCLG and part of the democratic processes of of the World Organization. In the meeting, members of the Committee discussed the institutional and statutory matters ahead of the upcoming World Congress in Daejeon in October, recommending decisions to the Executive Bureau, and laying the groundwork for the upcoming electoral process.
The session “10, 100, 1000 Human Rights Cities and Territories by 2030: Building universality through local diversity” closed the day. Led by the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, in cooperation with the UCLG Policy Council on the Right to the City and Inclusive Territories, it presented the global campaign launched jointly with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR), which aims as scaling-up local initiatives and advancing towards a consolidated global movement of human rights cities and territories.
Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, President of SALAR, Vice President of UCLG for Europe, Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny and Co-President of the UCLG-CSIPDHR, Gissela Chalá, Vice-Mayor of Quito; Emmanuel Carroz, Deputy Mayor of Grenoble; Linda Voortman, Co-Mayor of Utrecht, and Co-President of the UCLG-CSIPDHR; Etornam James Flolu, District Chief Executive (Mayor), Afadzato South District; Bahram Ghazi, UN-OHCHR; Morten Kjaerum, Raoul Wallenberg Institute; Fabrizio Rossi Secretary-General, CEMR; Franklin Galarza, President, AME; Fabiana Goyeneche, Director of International Relations of the Municipality of Montevideo; Alba Barnusell, Mayor of Granollers; Jordi Vaquer, Secretary-General, Metropolis;
“The most important sentence to describe the 2030 agenda is “leaving no one behind”, and that is why we put human rights at the center. Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, President of SALAR, Vice President of UCLG for Europe,
The campaign and agenda will contribute to a reflection on the next decade of the human rights cities movement and a new generation of rights to be enshrined in UCLG's new pact for the future”. Linda Voortman, Co-Mayor of Utrecht, and Co-President of the UCLG-CSIPDHR
“If we want to face the huge challenges of the future (development, urbanization, fight against poverty, discrimination, climate change) we have to put peoples rights at the center.” Bahram Ghazi, UN-OHCHR
Also as part of Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum, a workshop was held on cities and migration narratives with a focus on youth. It included the participation from Huelva City Council, “Nuevos Horizontes” Association, “Ayres-Virgen de Belén” Association, and Andalucía Acoge, building a narrative on migration as a natural phenomenon rather than a problem, where everyone should be able to express their identities without fear.
The third day of the UCLG Executive Bureau and the Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum saw the Official Opening of the Executive Bureau with a High-Level Policy Dialogue. Facilitated by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz, the session explored how local and regional governments have been at the forefront of crises and their role in the construction of lasting peace.
The dialogue brought in the perspectives of Antonio Muñoz, Mayor of Seville; Miguel Ángel Moratinos, High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria, Governing President of UCLG; Alfredo González Gómez, Secretary of State for Territorial Policy of Spain; Irací Hassler, Mayor of Santiago de Chile; Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo, Vice-President of UCLG for Latin America; and Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of Nouakchott Regional Council, President of UCLG-Africa.
In his opening remarks, Mayor of Seville Antonio Muñoz reflected on the challenges faced by cities in the aftermath of the pandemic and its linkages to growing population in urban environments, in a context of climate change and digital transformation. The High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Ángel Moratinos stressed that the reform of the United Nations, through the Secretary General’s Our Common Agenda, must place cities in a key role within a renewed multilateral system, and called local and regional governments to contribute to the task of the Alliance of Civilizations by building peaceful and socially inclusive cities, even more in the present turbulent times.
UCLG Governing President and Mayor of Soria Carlos Martinez recalled the origins of the municipal movement driven by peace and city diplomacy and, in a moment of unprecedented inequalities, exhorted the World Organization to work for a renewed future that builds bridges between communities, in harmony with our planet, and restoring trust with governments.
Spain Secretary of State for Territorial Policy Alfredo González Gómez acknowledged the central role of local and regional governments in the management of crises as first responders, but also in the provision of services and in guaranteeing rights of people, and praised the importance of efficient and coordinated multilevel governance.
UCLG vice-President for Latin America and Mayor of Montevideo Carolina Cossé approached the new narratives that must be developed throughout the Pact for the Future, including considering cities as a common good in which put into practice new ways of guaranteeing human rights, economic redistribution and cultural knowledge.
UCLG-Africa President and President of Nouakchott Regional Council Fatimetou Abdel Malick recalled the importance of bringing hope to vulnerable populations, and that local and regional governments are best placed to provide an enabling environment, through the provision of basic social services, where basic needs are met and individuals can thrive.
The third day of the UCLG Executive Bureau served to spark the conversation around the UCLG Pact for the Future, the document that must drive the way of the World Organization in the years to come, how we should govern, for people, for the planet, and for governments. Led by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz, the session of updates on the Pact for the Future counted with the participation of Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona; Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd UN General Assembly and former Foreign Affairs Minister of Ecuador; Former Vice-Mayor of Rome, Luca Bergamo; Dr. Carlos Moreno, special advisor on Urban settlements to the Mayor of Paris; Billy Cobbett, member of the drafting committee of the Pact, alongside UCLG President for Africa Jean-Pierre Mbassi, UCLG Vice-President for Europe Carola Gunnarson, and UCLG Youth Caucus Elana Wong.
Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona reflected on the impacts of world events on cities and the power of the Pact to address such impacts through a shared vision. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd UN General Assembly, stressed the need for a strong narrative of hope to convey what the municipal movement is capable of doing for a societal transformation to the many audiences of the world, including towards the upcoming Summit of the Future in 2023, which will be a copernican moment for a renewed global architecture.
Former Vice-Mayor of Rome, Luca Bergamo, pointed to the major gap in leadership in the current moment, and noted that, while local and regional governments are responsible for removing obstacles preventing people from living dignified lives, they often lack power or competences. Dr. Carlos Moreno, special advisor to the Mayor of Paris, highlighted the importance of harnessing proximity to preserve our planet and develop urban and territorial quality of life.
Billy Cobbett, member of the drafting committee of the Pact, pointed at growth of inequality across societies and existential threats of climate change as the two major challenges of our time, which needed to be addressed by rethinking how resources and assets are managed in our societies.
Also during the third day of the UCLG Executive Bureau, the Mediterranean Urban Migration Forum saw a session on the Lampedusa Charter for Human Mobility. Opened by UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz, the session counted with the participation of Nikolaos Meletiou, Mayor of Aspropyrgos; Mounir Elloumi, Mayor of Sfax; Ricardo Río, Mayor of Braga; Alba Barnusell, Mayor of Granollers; Imen Ouardani, Deputy Mayor of Sousse; along with UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean Vincent Cochetel and UCLG Youth Caucus Elana Wong.
Mounir Elloumi, Mayor of Sfax recalled the proximity between his city and Lampedusa, about 200km by sea, and how it poses challenges linked to the increasing amount of dangerous crossings between both cities – challenges that the Charter of Lampedusa, he praised, can help to address.
Alba Barnusell, Mayor of Granollers, highlighted the link between the full-fledged integration of migrants and refugees and the construction of peace, including through education and collective memory actions that foster the acknowledgement and embracement of diversity.
Imen Ouardani, Deputy Mayor of Sousse, called on the importance of reference systems to coordinate stakeholders, to ensure better understanding the needs of migrants and promote their integration.
Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Mediterranean, saluted the Charter as a rich, innovative, inclusive and propositional text, and welcomed the World Organization to present it, once adopted, to the 2023 Global Refugee Forum. Mr. Cochetel further stressed the importance of a clear allocation of public responsibilities to ensure social cohesion.
Mehmet Duhman, Secretary General of UCLG MEWA, wrapped up the session, recalling the key role that local and regional governments play in crisis contexts and highlighted the character of the Lampedusa Charter as a step forward towards the creation of a framework for migration management based on human rights and human dignity.
The business session of the 2022 Executive Bureau saw the World Organization take stock of the work done since we first met this year in the first #UCLGMeets hybrid Retreat, as well as the progress made since the World Council in Barcelona. UCLG Copresident Jan van Zanen chaired the first segment of the session, addressing the process towards the Pact for the Future and commending the relevance of the themes that the Pact will address: Peace, the New Urban Agenda, the renewal of local democracy, equitable recovery and human rights. Topics essential for our constituency and for the future of the world.
The Executive Bureau saw the celebration of the International Award "UCLG - Mexico City - Culture 21", to cities and personalities who have excelled in the promotion of cultural rights. This year's edition, which counted with the participation of CDMX Secretary of Culture Claudia Curiel, focused on cultural rights in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and post-pandemic recovery, as well as on culture as a fundamental part of care systems. Dublinand Buenos Aires were awarded the prize as cities, with Daisy Fancourt and Lourdes Arizpe receiving the award as individuals. The cities of Bandung, Busan, Izmir, Jinju, Ouagadougou and Tevragh Zeina received a special mention due to their contribution to advancing culture and sustainable development at the local level.
The Business Session of the Executive Bureau saw the endorsement, after the session dedicated to the development of the Pact, on the roadmap of the Pact for the Future, which will allow for amendments and motions from the membership in order to reflect the views of the entire municipal movement.
“This Pact reflects the ideas and visions we have been sharing over the past three years. They are our proposals for the future and will constitute not only the political document for the 2022 World Congress, but the strategic priorities of the Organization for the period 2022-2028” Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, UCLG Copresident.
UCLG Special Envoy for the New Urban Agenda and UCLG Governing President Carlos Martínez chaired the second part of the session, which focused on the updates of the Work Programme and the reports of the Committee on Statutory Affairs and the Financial Management Committee. UCLG Governing President Johnny Araya took the floor to share the commitment of the Latin American membership with the World Organization, highlighting the efforts of the organizations in Latin America to strengthen the municipal movement.
The Business session of the Executive Bureau presented the updates of the UCLG World Congress, set to take place in Daejeon in October this very year, by the Secretary General of the 2022 Daejeon World Congress Organizing Committee, Chung Chae Gun, who laid out the efforts by the organizing committee and commended the World Organization for their commitment to a hybrid format that will allow the Summit to maintain its spirit of bringing everyone in the municipal world together. The Secretary Generals of the UCLG Sections took the floor to update the World Organizations on their priorities and their work towards the Assembly Track, while UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiz provided updates on the rest of the Tracks of the Congress.
“We should take this opportunity to show the world that United Cities and Local Governments can play a leading role in achieving a sustainable future. The 2022 UCLG World Congress will be the perfect opportunity to do so after the pandemic.” Chung Chae Gun, Secretary General of the 2022 Daejeon World Congress Organizing Committee
“I would also like to emphasize the importance of mobilizing at the political level for this Congress. None of our objectives can be achieved without active participation, both at the technical and political levels. It is essential that we show our support and strength. Uğur Ibrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, UCLG Governing President
The Executive Bureau came to an end with the changing of the guard of the UCLG Presidency. UCLG Special Envoy for the New Urban Agenda and UCLG Governing President Carlos Martínez, and UCLG Governing President Johnny Araya handovered the Governing Presidency of the World Organization to the Mayor of Kitchener Berry Vrbanovicand the Mayor of Konya Uğur Ibrahim Altay, following the collegial system adopted during the World Council in Barcelona.
“Your Presidency has worked in a very collegial way over the past years, through the challenges of Covid, and we will continue to do so until the Congress. Ensuring the voice of local and regional governments beats at the World Urban Forum and the High-Level Political Forum.” Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, UCLG Governing President.