From April 17-19, 2024, the Executive Bureau of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) convened in San Jose, Costa Rica, marking a dual commemoration: the 120th anniversary of the local governments movement and the 20th anniversary of their unity under the UCLG umbrella.

The meeting, themed “Local Governments: The Power of the People,” brought together key leaders from local and regional governments worldwide to reflect on past achievements and strategize for future challenges.

This year’s meeting was particularly significant as it underscored the pivotal role that local governments play in addressing global issues. The program included sessions that revisited the history of the movement, evaluated the current status of local governments, and discussed necessary institutional enhancements to strengthen their influence on the global stage.

A major focus of the discussions was preparing local governments for their participation in two upcoming critical global forums: the World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia from May 18-24, 2024, and the UN Summit of the Future in New York, USA from September 22-23, 2024. The preparation aimed to consolidate the role of local governments as legitimate and effective political actors on the international scene, especially in dialogues concerning local and global environmental, social, and economic issues.

The meeting also tackled the urgent need to revise the international financing architecture to better meet the challenges posed by climate change. This includes fostering sustainable development through innovative financing solutions that support local governments in their climate resilience efforts.

Moreover, the role of diplomacy in cities and territories was highlighted as a fundamental component for building global peace and cooperation. Participants discussed how strengthening city-to-city and cross-border collaborations could lead to more cohesive and effective responses to international crises and conflicts.

Throughout the event, the leaders emphasized the importance of unity and collective action among local governments to amplify their voice and impact in global affairs. The discussions concluded with a commitment to continue working towards a unified approach to solve pressing global issues, leveraging the power of local governance to initiate meaningful changes.

This year’s UCLG Executive Bureau meeting not only celebrated significant anniversaries but also set a proactive agenda for local governments to become more influential on the world stage, promoting a future where local issues receive global attention and solutions.

Comments are disabled