Annual training event - UCLG Retreat was held in Barcelona, Spain, from 21 to 25 February 2022. More than 190 offline and more than 200 online participants took place in the event, namely regional secretariats staff, UCLG partners, local and regional authorities representatives.
Annual UCLG Retreat is a weeklong meeting giving an opportunity to the secretariats, UCLG members and partners to identify priorities of their activity and to form an overall work plan for the coming year.
The first days summarized the work of UCLG World Organisation for the 2021.”Welcome to 2022” session provided UCLG World Secretariat an opportunity to discuss the joint realisation of the UCLG development strategy, upcoming events for 2022, the Daejeon World Congress, and key activities that will be focused on during the following three years.
In the afternoon, there were miscellaneous interactive activities from the UCLG Learning Group, thanks to which the participants could share their knowledge from training modules on the SDG localisation. A seminar on communication, which topic was “We care”, created a unique opportunity to show everyone’s creativity and to experiment with the communicative department of UCLG World Secretariat. The participants divided into two teams and painted the meaning of the words “we” and “care” using graffiti.
The second day of the training event was marked by holding the Assembly, a meeting of regional UCLG departments and UCLG World Organisation. Secretary Generals and UCLG departments’ staff submitted crucial questions, which will determine their region policy, and the influence these questions will have on the overall UCLG strategy. Among priorities, shared by the secretary Generals, were protection of the planet, reduction of inequality between men and women, strengthening of the coordination between departments and secretariats of UCLG, and building of local democracy and mechanisms necessary for protection of the local self-government.
Secretary General of UCLG Eurasia Rasikh Sagitov also shared the secretariat priorities for 2022, speaking about the activity in the field of sustainable development goals, research work, upcoming events, involving of new members from the CIS and so on. Saida Zagidullina, development director of UCLG Eurasia, spoke about the importance of the climate activity in the secretariat work.
In addition, within the second day program there was a seminar on voluntary subnational reviews that allowed the participants to share their experience with all UCLG sections. Tansylu Nurieva, projects coordinator, made a speech on this session from UCLG Eurasia.
The program of the third day of Retreat contained a session, dedicated to question of solidarity and peace. It was based on the work done over the past few years by the World Organisation for strengthening peace processes. It included the World Forum on Cities and Territories of Peace, the UCLG Peace Prize and joint work with mayors on such issues as demilitarisation, and ensuring coherence between different world elements directed at agenda actualisation for the entire organisation.
The fourth day of the training event gathered representatives of local and regional authorities for a meeting of the Global Taskforce. The participants discussed the calendar of events for 2022, which includes the 11th World Urban Forum in Katowice, UCLG World Congress in Daejeon, the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF), UN climate change conference in Sharm El-Sheikh and others. The cooperation between UN and UCLG was also discussed, in particular, establishing of a special consultative body of local and regional self-governments to the UN General Assembly.
There was a further plenary meeting, dedicated to the review process of the New Urban Agenda. Ilsur Metshin, UCLG Eurasia President and the Mayor of Kazan, stressed that the values and commitments of the New Urban Agenda remain as relevant as they were in 2016. They represent a fundamental catalyst for the SDG achievement and a prerequisite for further changes.
On Friday, Retreat last day, there was a meeting of UCLG Presidency, which was followed by high-level political debates on the Equality Agenda.