Last week (9-13 November), more than 300 representatives from local and regional governments gathered in the online UCLG World Council meeting. The digital meetings were hosted by the city of Guangzhou, which had planned to accommodate us all in their city originally. Please find some elements of the meetings with relevance for the CIB network below.
Interactive policy dialogues
The statutory meetings were interspersed with three high-level policy dialogues, in the presence of representatives from the FAO, WHO and different UN agencies. The topics of these debates built on important priorities of the world organisation, and of UCLG’s members: i) ecological transition; ii) addressing inequalities (also in view of the GOLD IV report which will be published in 2022) and iii) COVID-19 recovery. The documentation of the meetings contained a lot of interesting background on these files and the associated international agendas and conferences; all of this might be of interest to your own organisations, in view of your (upcoming) capacity building programmes.
Launch of the work on UCLG’s strategy for 2022-2028
The UCLG presidency announced that the world organisation will renew its strategic priorities in the next year, for the period 2022-2028. The topics mentioned above will surely be a part of that, but there is space for a lot more! Next year will see various consultations among the UCLG network (regional sections, policy council, committees, working groups (including CIB)), to be able to jointly formulate the priorities for the next 6 year-period and build a so-called ‘Pact for the future’.
Renewal of the policy councils
Since last week, UCLG has 5 thematic policy councils: a new policy council on the New Urban Agenda was added to the initial 4 policy councils established in 2017. In Summer, UCLG members were invited to renew their seats in the policy councils or to show their interest to join one. The Policy Council ‘Opportunities for all, culture and city diplomacy’ remains the policy council where CIB can best put development cooperation issues on the agenda.
Earlier this year, UCLG launched their ‘Local4actionHUBs’ initiative. Members were asked to sent in local initiatives which are contributing to the international agendas. Last week saw the launch of the website which will feature the selected Local4actionHUBs; topics of the initiatives very from circular economy to promoting women’s participation in local governance. Read more about the initiatives on the website: https://local4actionhubs.uclg.org/
Joint LGA preparation for the meetings
Prior to the UCLG world council week, several policy advisors from local government associations got together to discuss how they were preparing for the UCLG statutory meetings and how to perhaps jointly position associations. The LGAs agreed that they would repeat this exchange prior to the UCLG retreat 2021, in February.
High-level dialogue on development cooperation – 8 December
Chair of the VNG Jan van Zanen, who also holds a seat in the Policy Council ‘Opportunities for All, Culture and City Diplomacy’, announced that CIB is co-organizing a ‘Cities are listening’ event on development cooperation, with speakers from CIB member organisations ánd national governments and international donor organisations, on the 8th of December. Read more here.