UCLG-MEWA RETREAT MEETINGS HELD IN ISTANBUL
United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) organized the Retreat Meeting, on 18-19 January 2018, at Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe hotel in Istanbul.
Taking place with a high-level of participation, UCLG-MEWA Retreat Meeting started with greeting speeches of Mr. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, Mr. Mevlüt Uysal Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Union of Municipalities of Marmara, Mr. Burhanettin Kocamaz Mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and Co-President of UCLG-MEWA.
After the greeting speeches, Introduction and Opening Session, UCLG-MEWA and Global Agendas, UCLG-MEWA 2018-2020 Strategic Priorities sessions were held. The sessions moderated by Ms. Zeynep Yurtoğlu Tetik, Academic in the Department of Local Governments of Medipol University and External Relations Expert at Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality.
In the Introduction and Opening Session, UCLG introductory video was presented. Ms. Sara Hoeflich, Director of UCLG Learning Program, informed participants on the activities of UCLG. Following this, Ms. Randa Al Sabbagh, UCLG-MEWA Senior Project Officer, introduced the main activities of UCLG-MEWA. Lastly, Mr. Salim Korkmaz, UCLG-MEWA General Coordinator, presented the two-day program of the event.
In the second session of the meeting, titled UCLG-MEWA and Global Agendas, participants reviewed the activities of UCLG-MEWA carried out within the context of the HABITAT Process and New Urban Agenda, UCLG and Bogota Commitment, implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and UCLG’s role in the process.
In the last session of the day, the findings of UCLG-MEWA questionnaire were shared and evaluated with participating local governments. The session concluded with the presentation of UCLG-MEWA 2018-2020 Strategic Plan and general evaluation.
The second day of the Retreat Meeting started with the greeting speeches of Dr. Kadir Topbaş, President of UCLG for the period of 2010-2013 & 2013-2016 and Founder President of UCLG-MEWA, President of UNACLA and Mr. Mohamed Saadie, UCLG-MEWA Co-President and President of Union of Municipalities of Dannieh. In his speech, Mr. Topbaş addressed to the development process of UCLG World Organization and emphasized the importance of UCLG-MEWA for the region.
Following greeting speeches, the meeting continued with the session on Strengthening Institutional Relations. The issues including the expanding the membership base and membership fee collection, strengthening media and public relations, strengthening the relations with UCLG World Organization and Sections and strengthening the relations with international organizations were evaluated with the contributions of the participants.
In the following session, participants discussed the issues on the capacity-building for members and strengthening institutional capacity and representation.
In the third session of the day, local government representatives focused on how to localize Global Agendas in the MEWA Region. Besides, committee activities, pilot projects and developing monitoring strategies were evaluated within the context of advocacy session.
In the last session of the meeting, participants discussed the common working areas together with the alignment of calendars of activities. The meeting ended up with the general evaluation of the contributions of the participants.