United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia (UCLG-MEWA) Executive Bureau virtually convened under the auspices of Gebze Municipality on 5 May 2021. A congratulatory message was delivered at the meeting on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of UCLG-MEWA.
In Executive Bureau Meeting where we aim to increase the role of local governments in addressing the problems in the Middle East and West Asia from the perspective of UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau members, the UCLG-MEWA Report of Activities for the 22.10.2020-05.05.2020 period, UCLG-MEWA Supervisory Board/Financial Management Committee Report, the Committee Report of Activities, and UCLG-MEWA Financial Report for the 01.01.2020-31.12.2020 period were presented. Then, discussions were held on the membership movements, evaluation of membership applications, requests for withdrawal from membership, the status of the members who have not paid membership fees, status of the members who applied for membership before 2016 but have not paid their fees, the 2021 Program of Activities, and determination of the city to host next UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau Meeting.
During the meeting, Fatma Şahin, President of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, said that the solutions to common problems of the world should start from the local level. Then, speaking on behalf of Mansur Yavaş, Mayor of Ankara and UCLG-MEWA Ombudsman, Ramazan Kabasakal, Head of the Foreign Relations Department at Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, stated that the ombudsman institution is one of the basic elements of good governance. Also, UCLG-MEWA President Mohamed Saadieh reminded that the meeting was “the first Executive Bureau Meeting that is held with the presence of Kadir Topbaş, the late founding president of UCLG-MEWA.”
Afterwards, UCLG Secretary General Emilia Saiztalked about the World Forum on Intermediary Cities to be organized by UCLG in Turkey in October 2021 and Culture Summit to be held in September 2021. UCLG Co-President Uğur İbrahim Altay highlighted “the importance of UCLG MEWA, which guides our region to recognize trends related to local governments in the world, as well as brings the experiences of local governments in our region to the UCLG World Organization.” Also, Altay gave messages regarding the vaccination process.
Lastly, UCLGPresident Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, expressed the importance of making the voice of local governmentsheard across the world as one unified voice.
The main themes of the meeting were Covid-19, resilient cities, and the 17th anniversary of UCLG-MEWA. In the meeting, it was decided that the next UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau Meeting would be hosted by Adana Metropolitan Municipality.