Coverage of the UCLG World Council – Day 2


The agreement reached at the UCLG World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Daejeon mandated the leadership of UCLG take the shape of a collegial presidency, with the mayor of Montevideo Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Konya Uğur İbrahim Altay, Mayor of The Hague Jan Van Zanen, and Mayor of Daejeon Lee Jang-Woo taking the mantle of UCLG President for each year.

The UCLG World Council in Konya, thus, saw the Mayor of Montevideo Carolina Cosse, who has been president for the year 2023, pass the baton to the Mayor of Konya Uğur İbrahim Altay, who will guide the organization throughout 2024, with the UN Summit of the Future as the key milestone

”We aim to bring a more dynamic UCLG to the international sphere, to strengthen our cities and municipalities. Our goal remains to create global peace, curb climate change, eliminate inequalities. With all of you, our members, we are ready to leave a better planet for future generations” Uğur İbrahim Altay.

Mayor Cosse took stock of her year as President, highlighting how the value of care had inspired the work of the organization and the unfolding of the Pact for the Future. Mayor Cosse placed an important focus on the feminist aspect of the movement, celebrating the milestones in 2023 and urging the organization to continue working for a more feminist world. 

Her intervention included all of the activities of the research, learning and advocacy areas and highlighting, in particular, the work made to ensure local and regional governments are at the global decision-making table through the presentation of our coalitions at the SDG Summit, as well as the creation of the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Group, a landmark achievement to propel the role of local and regional governments within the UN to the next level.

“Our future is at stake, and our united movement is part of the answer to solving people’s problems, which are the real problems of the world”. Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo, Member of the UCLG Executive Presidency. 

Mayor Altay, in his address to the World Council, thanked Mayor Cosse for the work made and laid out the priorities of UCLG for 2024, with the Summit for the Future as the key milestone, advocating for a more peaceful, more egalitarian world.

The UCLG Executive Bureau and World Council were held consecutively. The Executive Bureau announced the next stage of the Local4Action HUBs (L4H). Seven new Local4Action HUBs, whose total number is now 20, as well as the Local4Action HUB facility, which aims to evolve the collective spaces to renew our strategic partnerships.

“The L4AH Manabí collaborative innovation for a smart and sustainable territory is the heritage of the entire 2030 Agenda and is materialized, localized and customized to address the specific needs of a region”, Mr. Leonardo Orlando, Prefect of Manabí. 

“Wonderful work supporting cities like mine through the L4H. We opened ours earlier this year. It is very exciting, it is focused on small business incubators and focuses on sustainability, social enterprises and businesses led by marginalized groups. Localization of the SDGs. Incorporated in our strategic plan.” Berry Vrbanovic, UCLG Copresident, Mayor of Kitchener.


The World Council noted the changes made to the Copresidency, with the Mayor of Astana, Mr. Zhenis Kassymbek, and Mayor of Xi’an, Mr. Ye Niuping, are both newly elected copresidents.  as well as the final composition and agendas of the renewed policy councils and consultation mechanisms. Special mention was made to Prefect of Pichincha Paola Pabón, who was elected President of the Consortium of Provincial Governments of Ecuador and became Vice President of UCLG for the Forum of Regions. 

The Council also took note of the report of the meeting of the Standing Commitee on Gender Equality, presented by UCLG Copresident and President of Nouakchott Fatimetou Abdel Malick, who reminded the Council of the mandate of the committee: to contribute to the global agenda on gender, identifying gaps in regards to women participation, and to mainstream gender equality across the organization.

The work of the renewed Policy Councils was introduced by the three Special Envoys of the World Organization: Carola Gunnarsson, Councillor of Sala and UCLG Special Envoy for Freedom, Solidarity and Fighting Violence against Local Political Leaders; Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen and UCLG Special Envoy on Food Systems and Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria, UCLG Special Envoy on the New Urban Agenda.

“The commons unite us and make us all responsible. We need to fight for support for the realization of new essentials, innovative public services, accessibility, food systems, water, education, decent work, housing, and so on”, Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, UCLG Special Envoy on Food Systems.

“My mandate is that of visibilizing and strengthening the role of regions as a means to strengthen UCLG, to create a strong framework for innovation and capacity-building, to give solutions to communities” Paola Pabón, Prefect of Pichincha, UCLG Vice President for the Forum of Regions. 

The Policy Council on Multilevel Governance: Regaining Trust met today to address, among other issues, the lack of trust between communities and their representatives, and the state of the current multilevel instruments that are unable to build bridges. In a session that gathered policy councillors, members of the World Council and other elected officials, participants reiterated their commitment to renewing trust, to protecting local democracy and the people who represent their communities, to ensure everyone has the opportunities that they need.

“Government repression of civil society is worsening, the quality of elections is worsening. The COVID 19 pandemic and the wars have strengthened the movement towards centralization and that is why the focus on this debate has been on trust and decentraliation”, Carola Gunnarsson, Councillor of Sala and UCLG Special Envoy for Freedom, Solidarity and Fighting Violence against Local Political Leaders.

In this context of multiple crises, and with growing distrust in the governance system, in academia, in scientists and in journalists, this Policy Council must make it a priority to promote lines of action to reverse this dynamic and promote transformations to achieve a renewed governance system and regain trust.” Bheke Stofile, UCLG Copresident, President of SALGA.