An Advisory Board Meeting on the Voluntary Local Review (VLR) to be prepared by Fatih Municipality was held on February 1, 2022 at the Fatih Municipality Library in Istanbul.

The meeting was co-organized by Fatih Municipality and UCLG-MEWA and attended by representatives of UNDP, UN-Habitat, and Local Government Associations. The meeting was aimed at reviewing the progress on the upcoming VLR, conducting a discussion on its methodology and thematic areas, and seeking an answer to the question of “how to improve” Fatih Municipality’s VLR?

UCLG-MEWA aims to increase its regional participation in the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), in which local governments are now represented through their VLRs with the facilitation of UCLG World Organization. In this aspect, UCLG-MEWA will conduct this process along with Fatih Municipality in Istanbul, following Sultanbeyli, Karatay and Izmir Metropolitan Municipalities which prepared the first VLRs in the MEWA region. After the training session organized for department heads of Fatih Municipality, an Advisory Board Meeting was held with representatives from different sectors.

While addressing the participants at the meeting, Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, said that Fatih is one of the most important city centers not only of Istanbul, but also of Turkey and even of the MEWA Region. He further added that it would be an encouragement for other cities in our region to get informed about Fatih Municipality’s VLR process which will provide an insight into the municipality’s activities through the lens of global agendas. Duman also added that this work will play a supporting role in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) prepared by the Presidency of Turkey and improve the communication between the central government and Fatih Municipality.

M. Ergün Turan, Mayor of Fatih, in his keynote speech, said that providing equal opportunities for all is the utmost priority of Fatih. He emphasized that eliminating the disadvantages of the underprivileged groups should be the main goal of local government and that the concept of civilization was born in cities. Mayor Turan also highlighted that Fatih’s VLR should be universal, pointing out to Fatih’s central place in Islamic civilization.

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