The Virtual UCLG Presidency meeting has brought together the UCLG Presidency and Vice-Presidency in which they discussed the proposal for policy recommendations: “COVID-19 Aftermath: An opportunity to take responsibility towards future generations – Directives/Decalogue of local and regional governments for the post-COVID-19 era”.
The Virtual UCLG Presidency Meeting that took place on April 20 2020, was an opportunity to share updates on UCLG state of affairs regarding the COVID-19 crisis and update the work plan. During the meeting, participants reflected on how local governments on the frontline are combating COVID-19 in creative ways. UCLG President Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, opened the meeting and emphasized that the key to overcoming this challenge is to coordinate between spheres of government in solidarity and subsidiarity in order to guarantee wiser and more resilient societies for the years to come. “We need a commitment to support the work of our members, to support vulnerable populations and to prevent the health crisis from drifting into a broader social crisis.”
The Local and Regional Governments Decalogue for the post COVID-19, which wa discussed during the meeting is the product of what was learned during the exchanges throughout the weekly sessions, and it aims to position UCLG as the reference of the political voice. Participants gave their input and presented their comments during the meeting. The Decalogue aims to serve as a basis for political reflection by the Presidency.
UCLG Co-President Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, stated that the coordination of local governments with central governments is key to survive through this process: “The first contact point of people who are directly affected by this situation is local governments”. Additionally, Mohamed Saadieh, President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities and Vice-President of UCLG for MEWA, provided some exemplary actions of some MEWA cities in response to the epidemic. , “We need a comprehensive planning based on human rights to say that leaving no one behind is a reality. We need full cooperation at all spheres of government”, Mr. Saadieh said.
This pandemic has revealed how critical the role of UCLG and its networks is in raising public awareness and maintaining the functionality of basic public service provisions and also the need for the rapid development of new and adapted services to support sanitary measures, all while ensuring the protection of local public officials who facilitate them. In the way forward, UCLG will be making special efforts to support the most vulnerable in cities and towns, fostering solidarity among territories and putting measures in place against discrimination, exclusion, and addressing inequalities.