The 2021 UCLG Executive Bureau meetings took place virtually from 18 to 20 May under the theme “Care at the heart of local service provision for an inclusive recovery” with more than 200 participants.
The 1st day started with a thematic Session on “A renewed role for local and regional governments in development cooperation: towards a new UCLG Policy” which addressed the importance of development cooperation for SDG localization, and how the pandemic is calling on us to reinvent ourselves and renew our relations with partners, national governments, and international community among others. The Financial Management Committee presented the draft budget for 2021 as well as the membership requests. The session was chaired by Treasurers Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, and Madelaine Y. Alfelor-Gazman, Mayor of Iriga, who noted that UCLG has shown resilience in continuing to do the work in a different way with the support of members and partners.
On the 2nd day of the Executive Bureau, the Opening High-Level Policy Dialogue was conducted under the theme of “Inclusive digitalization: present and future of service provision.” In the meeting, the participants have discussed the right to privacy and to open data, the need for equitable access to technology and broadband for all residents, and open governance mechanisms. Also, vitality of the digitalization of public services was highlighted. Following that, the session of the Committee on Statutory Affairs addressed the roadmap of the Forum of Regions and the preparations of the 2nd UCLG World Forum of Intermediary Cities which will take place in Kütahya, Turkey. The session also addressed the External Evaluation of UCLG, one of the priorities that the Presidency identified as a means to analyze the performance of the Organization and its capacity to adapt to a changing ecosystem. During the meeting, Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya & UCLG Co-President, made a speech in regard to the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine, calling for Israel to stop its attacks and systematic violations against the Palestinian people, their properties and their sacred sites.
Closing the day, UCLG Executive Bureau held the meeting of UNACLA, a historic session for the mechanism, with representation from the networks of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments. During the meeting, Mohamed Saadie, UCLG-MEWA Co-President and President of the Union Municipalities of Dannieh, noted that all our political actions must ensure and foster social equity, sustainability and resilience, which are three axes of the new urban agenda.
The last day of the Executive Bureau started with the session “High-Level Policy Dialogue: Healthy people and territories leading our wellbeing.” The session brought together local and regional governments, representatives from the health community including World Health Organization (WHO) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) 2030, and policymakers to discuss the future of health in cities. Speaking during the session, Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, Turkey and UCLG Co-President, stressed the importance of equal access to vaccines for all, calling for a waiver of COVID-19 vaccine patents to support global vaccination efforts, especially in poor countries. The business session of the Executive Bureau took place on Thursday, 20 May, 2021. It started following a Policy Debate that focused on local policies and its role to shape a caring society. In the first segment of the business session, the Committee on Statutory Affairs and the Financial Management Committee reports of UCLG-Executive Bureau were presented and approved. Furthermore, President Boudra introduced the updates of UCLG 2021 work plan. Information about the upcoming UCLG Culture Summit in Izmir was also presented. The second segment was dedicated to three items; The Lampedusa Charter on Migration, the Policy Paper on Development Cooperation, and the involvement of UCLG in the Generation Equality Forums. The final segment included the Essentials of UCLG priorities, among them is the commitment of UCLG to stay in high-level of solidarity with the Palestinians during the current conflict situation.