A Message from the World Secretariat


Dear members,

We hope this letter finds you healthy and in good spirits in these trying times. None of us would have imagine a 2020 like it looks today.

We imagine your day-to-day work is challenged by this difficult context and we want to transmit the acknowledgement of such on behalf of the World Secretariat Team in our capacity as citizens of your cities and towns.

Thank you and your councils for taking care of us all!.

As it is the case for all of you, the situation that we are currently going through has made your team at the World Secretariat rethink how we work, how we communicate, and even how we live.

The team has been working from home since 13 March, the team is very used to working remotely and we have all the equipment and means to continue working. Despite the exceptional circumstances, spirits are high and we meet regularly, including twice a week as full team.  

Our Priorities Ahead

Responding to members

The response to the demand on the COVID-19 crisis is our priority and all of our teams – from learning to policy and communications – are focusing on delivering training materials, documents and platforms. UCLG is experienced as the relevant medium for city-to-city, and association-to-association for effective exchange to be guaranteed, and we plan on continuing to delivering on this. Below you can find more information of our first initiative, which was a learning experience.

Equality and Governance as key topics on the agenda

Our research agenda continues. The team is working with experts to put in motion our analysis on the role of local governments in Addressing Inequalities and adapting governance to new situations. As you can imagine, both issues become even more visible in the face of this crisis.

Also in the context of this crisis, we will be making additional efforts to ensure that the most vulnerable groups, migrants, slum dwellers, and individuals with disabilities continue to be at the centre of the efforts of our membership, in particular in the global South.

Localization even more relevant than before!

Our Localization Agenda is still strong. Materials for a first call of the Local4Action Hubs (experiences put in place by our membership) will be done in the coming weeks.

Our seat at the global table still at the forefront of our efforts

The preparations of our inputs for the UN75 consultations are ongoing! The team has developed a toolkit for our Sections and a reference document with the draft structure of the report. A team of experts is being set up to work with UCLG ́s policy team in the actual drafting of the report.

Update on work programme: Virtual Executive Bureau 28-29 May

After exchanging with the Mayor of Rome and in light of the trends and measures taken at the international level, the Presidency has agreed to cancel the face to face Executive Bureau meeting, planned in Rome.  

The Executive Bureau will take place through a newly set up platform that will allow for virtual exchange during 28 and 29 May coinciding with the original dates of our Executive Bureau. In this manner, we will ensure critical decisions to be made and we will also allow for the adapted work plan to be adopted and carried out.  

Meeting of the Presidency

The Presidency team is in regular contact and commitment to maintain systematic meetings. A full Presidency meeting will take place around 20 April.

The agenda would cover updates on the work plan and state of affairs in the different parts of the network and the Executive Bureau Agenda.

The Presidency continues to call all members, and all actors involved to make special efforts to support the most vulnerable and avoid discrimination or exclusion during this proving times.  The Presidency is committed to ensure that local and regional governments, will continue to work tirelessly to avoid this health challenge from turning into a broader social crisis.

The Presidency further calls national government to support our membership in guaranteeing the service provision which are the backbone of the sanitary and health measures.

As UCLG, we stand in solidarity with the relentless efforts that local and regional governments around the world are making to contain and combat the virus effectively.

Our conviction, that the local level holds the key for a more sustainable and resilient future, has only been strengthened in the past days and weeks.

Our resolve as a team to put our capacities to the service of the network is more emboldened than ever. We remain active and as creative as we possibly can to ensure that UCLG remains meaningful and relevant to you all!.

Emilia Sáiz

Secretary General of UCLG on behalf of the World Secretariat Team