— Mr. Joseph , you were recently elected UCLG Secretary General. What does it mean to you?
— I have worked with cities during many years. In the era of urbanization I experience it as a great challenge to work in the development of United Cities and Local Governments. It is further a great honor for me to have been entrusted this task by leaders that I greatly respect in a multicultural and diverse environment. I very much look forward to working with the local and regional leaders from
— How you see the current status of the organization at world stage? What do you think has to be improved? What activity lines in the Organization are you thinking to develop in particular?
— UCLG has made great achievements in its 6 first years of existence. A lot of energy has been put in consolidating its membership and affirming common values. As the President said in Mexico, it is now time to take a step forward, to set goals for the future. I am very excited about pursuing the strategic exercise and hearing from members and partners their expectation and vision. I am very keen in developing interregional dialogue and making use of the full potential of modern technologies.
— What is the future of the Organization as you see it? What innovations are you planning to implement in the Organization activities?
— UCLG has great potential to become a true network for global action. UCLG can become a network of networks where the work developed by specialized organizations, regional and national associations can be enriched and up scaled, fostering global decision making and definition of strategies.
— In your opinion, what can be an incentive for cities to become UCLG members? How can we make UCLG membership more prestigious and selective, so that only chosen cities could become part of UCLG?
— In my view the strength of UCLG is its global and diverse nature. All local and regional authorities can find their place in the organization. UCLG should be the place to test ideas, present plans and define global strategies together. Different types of involvement should be possible in different topics and diverse opinions are welcome in our organization. I hope we will be able to convince many more cities of important things to be learned and shared.
— Please, describe what you think the relations between UCLG and its sections should be?
— A full partnership, shared strategies and very fluid contacts, is the best way I would describe it. I very much look forward to developing this relationship and establishing regular communication with the help of new technologies.
— The decentralization level in Eurasian cities is still low and exists rather “de jure” than “de facto”. What boosters of decentralization and democratization of the Eurasian local governments can you see? What are you thinking to undertake to improve the situation?