VI World Congress of the United Cities and Local Governments organization took place in the South African city of Durban from 11 to 15 November. Over 3000 representatives of cities and towns around the world took part in this event. UCLG-Eurasia was represented by more than 70 delegates from 39 Eurasian cities.
13 November, Wednesday
Although business sessions started on Monday, the official opening ceremony was held on November 13. Together with their colleagues from UCLG-ASPAC, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Astrakhan Alena Gubanova and Mayor of Turkestan Rashid Ayupov told about priority areas of the Eurasian Section and shared further plans of the organization for the near future. Thus, urbanization, resilience and heritage preservation were highlighted as the most relevant to the Eurasian region issues.
During plenary sessions Chairman of the Ekaterinburg City Duma Igor Volodin told about prospects of housing policy in the region. Along with Ekaterinburg, Mayors of Barcelona, Taipei, Strasbourg, etc. presented practices of their cities at the special session ‘The Future of Housing’.
At the same time Chairperson of the Krasnoyarsk City Council of Deputies Nataliya Firyulina took part in the plenary session ‘Climate Actions: Perspectives from the Regions’, where she presented initiatives of her city for usage of alternative energy sources and told about collaboration of UCLG-Eurasia with the international association ‘The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy’.
The meeting of the Executive Bureau was held as well. From UCLG-Eurasia it was attended by mayors and representatives of Yakutsk, Astrakhan, Kyzyl, Nur-Sultan, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Bishkek and Moscow. Within the framework of the Executive Bureau reports and recommendations of organizations’ policy councils were heard. The report of the Global Observatory on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD V): the Localization of the Global Agendas was presented during the meeting.
14 November, Thursday
The meeting of the UCLG-Eurasia Council was held during the Congress of the World organization. The report on the section’s activities for 2018-2019, proposals of candidatures to the UCLG World Council from the Eurasian Section, statutory and work activities for 2020, etc. were among the issues under consideration. Particularly worth mentioning is the resolution on the accession of new members to UCLG-Eurasia, among which are Voronezh, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Turkestan and Ufa.
Further, the special session “Future of Resilience” took place. At this session Vice-Mayor of Osh Zhasur Azimov told about the experience of Kyrgyzstan in disaster management and heritage preservation in drastically changing climate.
In the evening, at the meeting of the UCLG General Assembly, Aisen Nikolaev, Head of the Sakha Republic and Vice-President of UCLG-Eurasia, presented a report on the section’s activities for 2017-2019 and told about X International Conference of Eurasia World Heritage Cities that will be held on June 26-27, 2020, in the city of Yakutsk.
The General Assembly elected the new World Council for 2019-2022. The World Council is the principal policy-making body of UCLG composed of 342 representatives of local and regional governments from all over the world. Among them are mayors of Paris, Madrid, Beijing, Seoul, Istanbul and other major cities. From UCLG-Eurasia representatives of the following cities, regions and associations were elected to the World Council: the Union of Communities of Armenia, Nizhnekamsk, Sukhumi, Nur-Sultan, Turkestan, Bishkek, Osh, Ulaanbaatar, Stavropol, Grozny, Omsk, Ufa, Bugulma, Voronezh, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Astrakhan, Khabarovsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, the Council of Municipalities of the Republic of Dagestan, Cheboksary, the Sakha (Yakitia) Republic, Yakutsk, Kaliningrad, Irkutsk, Perm, Izhevsk, Dushanbe, Ekaterinburg, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Ulyanovsk, Kyzyl, Agryz, Innopolis, Kirov, Magas, Chistopol, Zelenodolsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Moscow and Khujand.
15 November, Friday
On the final day of the Congress the World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments was held under the leadership of the Global Taskforce. Chairperson of the City Duma of Krasnodar Vera Galushko delivered an address at the plenary session ‘Collaboration of Local and National Governments’ organized within the framework of the Assembly. In her speech Vera Galushko highlighted the experience of UCLG-Eurasia in participation in preparing the Voluntary National Review of the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals jointly with the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation.
Participants of the plenary session ‘Intergenerational Dialogue for Peace and Solidarity’ discussed challenges that local and regional governments face working with the youth. Head of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Aisen Nikolaev took part in this session.
The highlight of the whole Congress was the meeting of the UCLG World Council, during which Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin was elected as President of the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA). For the first time the representative of Russia has assumed this senior post, which demonstrates the high credibility of the country in the international arena.
‘In a global world, cities, wherever they are located, are facing similar challenges. We need to strengthen collaboration between municipalities, enhance their role in addressing global issues, share best practices in order to make life of our citizens more comfortable’, Ilsur Metshin highlighted.
Mayor of Al Hoceima, President of the Moroccan Association of Presidents of Communal Councils Mohamed Boudra was elected UCLG President for 2019-2022. Among other candidacies for this position were Mayor of Lisbon Fernando Medina and Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau.
Mayor of Konya Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of San José Johnny Araya, Mayor of Utrecht Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of Xi’an Li Mingyuan, Mayor of Polokwane Thembisile Nkadimeng and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo were elected as co-presidents of the World organization.
The UCLG Treasury is composed of Mayor of Iriga Madelaine Y. Alfelor-Gazaman and Mayor of Kitchener Berry Vrbanovic. And Head of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic Aisen Nikolaev became UCLG Vice-President for Eurasia for the third time.
Representatives of Moscow, Kazan, Stavropol, Grozny, Rostov-on-Don, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Izhevsk, Ekaterinburg, Khujand, Samara, Osh and Turkestan became members of the Executive Bureau for 2019-2022.
The World Council adopted the resolution that the next UCLG World Congress will take place in 2022 in the South Korean city of Daejeon.
Photos are available by the link.