United Cities and Local Governments World Organization (UCLG) Council Meeting was held in Konya in October 26-28. Organized under the auspices of Konya Metropolitan Municipality, the meeting hosted participants from all over the world.
Hosting more than 400 global participants from 50 countries, UCLG World Council lasted for three days. Through the meetings of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), UCLG Financial Management Committee, UCLG Committee on Statutory Affairs, UCLG Eurasia, UCLG Executive Bureau and UCLG World Council, the organization took its administrative decisions. In addition, the council meeting also offered Policy Debates run under various themes such as; Right to the City, Financial and Economies of Equality, Multilevel Governance, Renaturalization and City Diplomacy.
At the first Policy Debate, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General Dr. Mehmet Duman made a call regarding the cruelty faced in Palestine, stating, “From the bottom to the top, I am calling out every single member of the whole UCLG family; for the time being, we all are in an exam, through which our firm commitment to humanitarian principles is re-voiced.”
At the Financial Management Committee Meeting, Dr. Mehmet Duman demanded stakeholders for a solidarity fund and membership fee exemption for Palestinian municipalities.
Turan Hançerli, Mayor of Avcılar, was also among the figures who took the floor at the Executive Bureau meeting. In his speech, Hançerli made a stress on Avcılar’s Eko-Bil Project, which was selected as an UCLG-HUB in MEWA Region.
Situation in Gaza
Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya and President of UCLG expressed his support for Palestinian people stating in his address at the Statutory Affairs Committee Meeting, “As local governments, how come we cannot stand against this? How come we will not raise our voice against this? You cut the water and electricity of secluded people, who have no access to any human rights, you bomb hospitals and schools without considering any civilians, and how come we cannot object this oppression?”
Abdullah Anati, Executive Director of Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), attended the World Council Meeting online and made an evaluation on the ongoing situation in Palestine. Stating that Israeli attacks on the civil and innocent citizens is an act of “genocide,” Anati urged all the stakeholders to take action for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Uğur İbrahim Altay, UCLG President 2023-24
UCLG World Council was concluded with the hand-over ceremony. Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo and the former UCLG President, handed the mission of Presidency over to Uğur İbrahim Altay. At the ceremony, Altay extended his good wishes for the following term of Presidency, for MEWA Region and humanity. “Representing 240.000 municipalities with 175 sections, UCLG is an organization, which is accepted as the formal representative of local governments before United Nations. At the world council, as Mayor of Konya, I take over UCLG Term Presidency from Dear Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo. At the centennial of our Republic, I will be in service of such honorable mission, as Mayor of Konya. May our Term Presidency bring good fortune and benefits to our city, country, region and the whole humanity.”