United Cities and Local Governments World Organization (UCLG) held its first Executive Bureau meeting of 2018, on 23-26 May 2018 in the European Parliament, under the auspices of the City of Strasbourg. Salim Korkmaz, General Coordinator, Randa Alsabbagh, Senior Project Officer, and Tuğçe Karataş, Project Officer, attended the meeting representing UCLG-MEWA Secretariat. Among MEWA countries; representatives of Adana Metropolitan Municipality, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, Karesi Municipality, Konya Metropolitan Municipality and Sancaktepe Municipality from Turkey; representatives of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities from Lebanon and of Greater Amman Municipality from Jordan, were among the participants.

During the closed meeting held on the morning of 23 May 2018; representatives of UCLG World Organization and sections shared their work programs for 2018, and discussed alternative ways of implementing complementary and coordinated works, both among sections and with UCLG World Organization. Following this, during UCLG Financial Management Committee meeting held on the afternoon of the same day, the status of UCLG’s current financial structure and membership fees were discussed.

Meetings on 24 May 2018 started with the presentations of representatives from different national and local governments in the achievement of the 11th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 11), at the Sustainable Cities Dialogue that was organized with the partnership of UN-HABITAT, UNACLA and UCLG. A report on the outcomes of the meeting that hosted various countries for discussing the problems encountered and the solutions found in their works towards SDG11, will be presented in the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2018. Held with the esteemed presence of Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Parks Tau, UCLG President, Emilia Saiz, UCLG Secretary General, and different representatives from the European Commission and the United Nations agencies working in the field of sustainable development, was followed by the UCLG Committee on Statutory Affairs meeting. Main agenda items of the Committee, which gathered for taking advisory decisions to be submitted to the UCLG Executive Bureau, included: discussing the actions which UCLG plans to take for detained mayors in different parts of the world; sharing the philosophy of UCLG Ubuntu to be functioning as an advisory board; identifying the steps to be taken for changes in the UCLG Presidency; reviewing the preparations towards the meetings of UCLG governing bodies in 2018-2019 and examining membership applications coming from the sections.  

During the following two days, members of the UCLG Policy Councils convened with various ministry representatives and mayors from different parts of the world, to conduct current situation analyzes and debates in thematic areas. At the meeting of Policy Council on Resilient Cities held on 25 May 2018, Osman Toprak, Deputy Mayor of Gaziantep, made a presentation and talked about their works in the city and goals in the short-medium terms. Held in the same day, the first meeting of UCLG Committee on Local Economic and Social Development, hosted the discussions on the structure and functioning of the committee and the activities to be carried out under the leadership of UCLG Capacity and Institution Building Working Group (CIB).

During the UCLG Executive Bureau Business Session that took place on 25 May, the progress report of 2018 Work Plan was evaluated. Following up, the new structure of Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) and the Municipal Investment Fund (MIF) to be established under UCLG leadership were discussed. Another agenda item in the meeting was the presentation of priorities by UCLG sections. Representing UCLG-MEWA; İsmail Erdem, Mayor of Sancaktepe & Member of UCLG Executive Bureau, presented UCLG-MEWA 2018-2020 Strategic Plan.

Winners of the 3rd UCLG-Mexico-Culture 21 International Prize were also announced in UCLG Executive Bureau Meeting. With regards to its cultural innovation efforts despite being under occupation, Nablus Municipality of Palestine from the MEWA region became one of the six municipalities receiving special mention award. Following the approval of UCLG Financial Management Committee report, UCLG Executive Bureau approved the applications to the UCLG membership, as per the advisory decision of UCLG Committee on Statutory Affairs, and decided to re-evaluate the new applications for memberships from Lebanon.

Last agenda of the UCLG Executive Bureau Meeting was UCLG Motion on the Escalation of Conflict between Palestine and Israel, which was a follow-up of the Motion on Jerusalem, adopted in Hangzhou, China. Following the statements of Carlos Martinez Minguez, Mayor of Soria & UCLG Vice-President, the Motion was approved by UCLG Executive Bureau with five abstentions.

In accordance with the recommendation of UCLG Committee on Statutory Affairs, UCLG Executive Bureau announced that the next UCLG World Council will convene in November 2018, in Madrid, Spain.

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