Opening and Introductory Meeting of UCLG-MEWA Pilot Project for Mapping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Turkey was held on 3 July 2018, at UCLG-MEWA General Secretariat in Istanbul, Turkey; gathering the members of UCLG-MEWA Presidency, Committee on Local Governance, and Supervisory Board. The project is planned to be firstly undertaken in Turkey as a pilot work, which will later be disseminated throughout the MEWA region.
Speaking in the opening session, Mr. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary-General, stated that the concept of localization emerged as an important value with reference to the Turkish experience after the Millennium Development Goals, and therefore should be adopted as the main line of approach for the implementation process of the SDGs. Mr. Duman added on, by saying: “Vast majority of the projects and activities implemented by the municipalities were already corresponding to the SDGs. However, the needed level of awareness has not yet been formed in most municipalities. This project aims at raising the level of awareness among municipal staff on the issue, and contributing to the inclusion of local projects and activities in the reports submitted to the United Nations on the implementing and monitoring the SDGs. Speaking on behalf of UCLG-MEWA President and representing Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Mr. Fuat Özharat expressed that the call made to municipal assemblies to take a decision on integrating the SDGs into their works, as a result of the negotiations between UCLG-MEWA and the Turkish Ministry of the Interior, has been an important step for creating awareness on the Goals and will advance the efforts to be conducted in this regard. Speaking on behalf of UCLG-MEWA Co-President and representing Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, M. Kemal Çokakoğlu also added that global agendas should be implemented at local level and expressed that they attribute a great importance of role undertaken by UCLG-MEWA to carry these works to different platforms. Mr. Umut Eroğlu, the representative of Nilüfer Municipality, Co-Chair of the UCLG-MEWA Local Governance Committee as one of the target groups of the project, talked about the importance of the MEWA’s contribution to sustainable development with a regional perspective, as an output of the dissemination of the project throughout the MEWA region, in the next phase.
The meeting was enriched with the participation of Mr. Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Seferihisar, known with his insistent reference to the need for local implementation of global agendas through projects and activities, at different platforms. Representatives of Çanakkale Municipality, Esenler Municipality, Erzincan Municipality, Eyyübiye Municipality, Gebze Municipality, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Karesi Municipality, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, Nilüfer Municipality, Sancaktepe Municipality, Selçuklu Municipality and Pendik Municipality were also hosted at the meeting of the project to be implemented with the partnership and sponsorship of World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD). The opening and introductory meeting started with a brief information on the New Urban Agenda, after the exchange of information on the importance of the SDGs for local governments. Following the first part, the content and expected results of the project were shared with the participants. During the second part of the program in the afternoon, participants were introduced the methods observed at the mapping workshops that were held in Nevşehir and Urla in 2018 with the collaboration of UCLG World Organization, as a follow-up of the global intermediary cities agenda. The meeting was concluded with the briefing on the preparatory processes expected from each municipality, and the scheduling of the workshops to be organized within the scope of the project.
Click here to access the photos from the meeting.