UCLG-MEWA Retreat was held in Kocaeli with the support of Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality on 15-16, February 2022, with the motto of “Revitalizing the Regional Synergy”.

The hybrid meeting, which hosted a wide range of participants ranging from member local governments to representatives of international organizations, created productive mutual learning and discussion environment where the functioning and activities of UCLG-MEWA, Sustainable Development Agenda, and the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) studies were discussed.

On the first day of the meeting, the participants had an exchange of ideas concerning the 2022 activities and general situation of UCLG-MEWA in the Closed Presidential Session moderated by Mehmet Duman, Secretary General. Following the session, Mehmet Duman, Secretary General, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tahir Büyükakın, Mayor of Kocaeli, and Mohamed Saadie, UCLG-MEWA President, delivered their opening speeches physically; Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, Uğur İbrahim Altay, UCLG Co-President and Mayor of Konya, and İlsur Metshin, UCLG President and Mayor of Kazan, delivered their opening speeches online, emphasizing the regional and global importance of UCLG-MEWA.

After the participants in the session titled “Through the Lenses of the UCLG-MEWA Secretariat” were informed about the committees, communication, and membership activities of UCLG-MEWA, they conferred about how to improve strategies, increase visibility and awareness. In the last session of the day, “Overview of 2022”, the participants discussed UCLG-MEWA’s new period strategic priorities, 2022 work schedule, and 2022 activities of stakeholders under the moderation of Bahar Özay, UN SDSN Turkey Coordinator.

Second Day: The Sustainable Development Agenda at MEWA

The second day of the UCLG-MEWA Retreat continued with thematic sessions where the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leading cities of VLR, and new initiatives in the region were discussed.

The meeting began with the speech of Dr. Shipra Narang Suri, Chief of Urban Practices Branch at UN HABITAT, on the main theme of how sustainable development will gain momentum, and was followed by the first session of the day, “Leading Cities of Local Reporting in the MEWA Region”.  Hüseyin Keskin, Mayor of Sultanbeyli,  Hasan Kılca, Mayor of Karatay, and Burkay Köknar, Environmental Engineer from İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, explained in detail the Voluntary Local Review preparation and reporting processes of their municipalities under the moderation of Seher Alacaci Arıner, Assistant Resident Representative responsible for the UNDP Program in Turkey.

In the second session where the new VLR initiatives in the region were presented, Akram Khraisat, Director of Greater Amman Municipality Urban Observatory, Çise Kan, Advisor to the Mayor of Fatih, and Reham Jammal, Director of International Projects and Programs Unit of Greater Irbid Municipality, talked about the SDG alignments and VLR studies carried out in their municipalities.

In the last session of the day and at the Retreat ‘22, the representatives from UN HABITAT, CEMR, UNDP Turkiye, UNDP IICPSD, INGEV, Metropolis, UCLG Eurasia and OECD discussed the importance of partnerships and collaborations in the localization of SDGs.

UCLG-MEWA Retreat ‘22, which took a regional picture and focused on major topics ahead of the UCLG Retreat to be held in Barcelona on February 21-25, aimed to revitalize the regional synergy by bringing together representatives from local governments, NGOs, and international organizations.

You may see the photos:

UCLG-MEWA Retreat 2022 – First Day

UCLG-MEWA Retreat 2022 – Second Day

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