Trabzon Metropolitan Municipality hosted UCLG-MEWA Forum on Resilience & Executive Bureau on June 21-23. Opening Session, High-Level Dialogue:  Resilience, Resilience Training, Executive Bureau Meeting, and Trabzon Resilience Declaration (TRD) signing ceremony were held as part of the Forum.

Resilience Training for Turkish Cities was organized in collaboration among UCLG-MEWA, UCLG Learning, and UNDRR, and the concerned departments were informed about disaster and resilience. The subject of the training, with the participation of  Dr. Emin Yahya Menteşe from Tomorrow Cities, Sezin Üskent from RESLOG, Sara Hoeflich, UCLG Learning Director, and Hilmi Abidin from UCLG-ASPAC, was shaped around disaster risk reduction, disaster governance, and Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework. At the end of the training, enriched with learning games, the participants were given certificates by UCLG-MEWA.

The UCLG-MEWA Forum on Resilience & Executive Bureau started with the Opening Ceremony on June 22. In his opening speech, Mayor of Trabzon and UCLG-MEWA Co-President Murat Zorluoğlu greeted the participants and wished that the event would be beneficial for the participants.

UCLG-MEWA Secretary General  Dr. Mehmet DUMAN, while addressing the opening after the video describing the UCLG-MEWA, focused on earthquake and resilience and explained the work of UCLG-MEWA on the subject. Subsequently, the Mayor of Girne and UCLG-MEWA Co-President  Murat Şenkul commemorated the Champion Angels who came to Türkiye for the competition from Cyprus and lost their lives in the February 6 Earthquakes.

Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya and  2023-2024 Term UCLG President said, “Since the 19th century, due to globalization, local governments have not been limited to the local, but have a global vision. UCLG and UCLG-MEWA are heirs to a great bridge legacy.” He emphasized the rich history of international municipal action with his words.

High-Level Dialogue Resilience

Following the Opening Speech, High Level Dialogue: Resilience panel was held with the participating Mayors moderated by Dr. Mehmet Duman, Secretary General of UCLG-MEWA. Murat Zorluoğlu, Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Qalqilia Faisal Shraim, and Mayor of Ajloun Hamzeh Zghoul shared their ideas on resilience at the panel.

The Panel was moderated by our SG Dr. Mehmet Duman.

“We Accelerated Our Resilient MEWA Program This Year”

Dr. Mehmet Duman: “We accelerated our “Resilient MEWA” program, which we started before, based on the emerging requirements and the needs of our municipalities.” He conveyed the vision of UCLG-MEWA with the participants with his words. Duman explained the importance UCLG-MEWA attaches to the concept of resilience by exemplifying the activities carried out by the organization.

Murat Şenkul also commemorated the Champion Angels who lost their lives in the earthquake and expressed his condolences to the survivors and mercy from Allah to those who lost their lives.

“As the UCLG family, the world’s largest union of local governments, we have a great legacy, experience, and influence.”

Uğur İbrahim Altay emphasized the UCLG 2023-2024 Term Presidency and said, “Local and regional administrations are no longer limited to the local, but have started to undertake a global vision. Today, We are witnessing the existence of cities that open up to the wider world, strengthen their international role and have effects that shape the world. Our organization, which continues to work with successful policies that put people and nature at its center, continues to build the future with the experiences of the past and contribute to the development of our cities in all areas,” he pointed out the historical roots of UCLG’s global municipal mission.

While speaking in the Resilience panel, Faisal Shraim, Mayor of Qalqilia, Palestine, shed light on the unique problems that Qalqilia has experienced due to the occupation.

In the continuation of the panel, Dr. Mehmet Duman underlined the need for local government leaders to take the initiative and act together with NGOs during disasters.

“NGOs and Municipalities Were Very Important Actors in the February 6 Earthquakes”

Finally, Murat Zorluoğlu said, “NGOs and municipalities were crucial actors in the February 6 Earthquakes. Especially in the first days, local governments with the capacity to take the initiative with their local teams came to the forefront.” He drew attention to decentralized cooperation and the action capacity of local governments.

UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau

Executive Bureau Meeting, presided by Murat Zorluoğlu, started with  Dr. Mehmet Duman’s address to the participants. Subsequently, UCLG-MEWA’s activities, membership changes, and budget discussions were held at the Meeting.

Trabzon Resilience Declaration

At the end of the Executive Bureau Meeting, the Trabzon Resilience Declaration was signed by going to the ceremony area. The first signatories to this nationally and internationally valid declaration were Murat Zorluoğlu, Prof. Dr. Alim Işık, Murat Şenkul, Juan Hobeiche, and Ali Yıldırım Sezer.

The declaration presents a vision to local governments for urban resilience. It guarantees the safety of citizens with various commitments.

While ending his speech at the ceremony, the Mayor of Trabzon thanked UCLG-MEWA and UCLG. He said, “I would also like to thank the UCLG-MEWA team who worked devotedly on the text of the declaration, and I hope that the Trabzon Resilience Declaration will achieve its main purpose. I would also like to thank the UCLG World Organization and the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Agency for their support during the declaration’s preparation.”

After the signing ceremony, it was stated that these events held in Trabzon were productive and nutritious, and the closing was made.

Click on the picture for the Trabzon Resilience Declaration!

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