Training on “Private Sector Participation in Municipal Services,” co-organized virtually by United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia (UCLG-MEWA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) and Kibar Holding, was held on November 4, 2020.

Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, started his opening speech by expressing his appreciation that the program is now being organized in Palestine after the first program in Turkey, countries both of which are in the MEWA Region. He pointed out that the two-day training would focus on urbanization and Sustainable Development Goals. Duman underlined that Goal 11 directly relates to cities and thus to city administrations, and he emphasized the local contribution to global success. Duman, who also mentioned Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR), said that the first initiatives about VLRs have been undertaken in Turkey, and expressed their willingness to replicate it in all regions, notably in Palestine.

Mohamad Saadieh, UCLG-MEWA President, stated following his greeting speechthat local governments and municipalities are important for urbanization and local economy. Referring to the importance of planned urbanization and sustainable local economy in this difficult period, Saadieh said that the role of municipal businesses is fundamental in shaping local economies. Strategies prepared at national and local levels need to be developed according to the differences between rural, intermediary cities and urban areas, Saadieh said. Lastly, he pointed out to the fact that the challenges of urbanization differ from country to country and from city to city. The training continued with modules and presentations.

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