Local and Regional Leaders envision the future of multilateralism at the UCLG Executive Bureau


The third day of our Executive Bureau was dedicated to showcasing the vision of local and regional governments towards multilateralism through the celebration of the Global Consultation Towards UN75, in which local and regional leaders from all over the world provided their visions, their hopes and their expectation for how the world will look like in 2045, and how multilateralism will have changed in order to meet this vision.

UCLG will provide a Visioning Report on behalf of the constituency of local and regional governments as a contribution to the UN75 process. The Consultation that took place within our statutory gathering will feed into the Visioning Report, and is part of an ongoing process that includes regional consultations with contributions from local and regional governments from all over the world.

 “The sacrifices made by this generation and the next must be recognized and accompanied by measures to ensure a better future. We are convinced that the framework of the SDGs is still valid for transforming societies in a more sustainable way; and local and regional governments are ready to lead the debate on how to achieve this transformation.” Mohamed Boudra, UCLG President, Mayor of Al-Hoceima

Over 300 participants from all regions of the world, including 100 elected officials and 50 speakers responded to the consultation which was structured along three guiding questions that directly addressed the immediate recovery from the pandemic, and aimed at providing mayors with instruments to imagine the trends in the next 25 years, and how the international system will have changed to, by 2045, include all stakeholders and ensure a true multilateral system.  The event was followed, as well, by almost 300 participants and streamed through the YouTube platform.

 “We need to recover better, breathe new life into the SDGs and environmental protection, redouble our efforts to combat climate change, work on the next generation of multilateralism that fully recognizes the critical role cities and local communities play.” Fabrizio Hochschild, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations

The President of UCLG Mohamed Boudra introduced the Consultation in an opening panel with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Fabrizio Hochschild, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor for the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations; Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, United Nations Under Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director; and Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome as host for the UCLG Executive Bureau.

We need to create deeper and more extensive bonds between people and also make use of technology without losing our identity. We have to support international cooperation based on solidarity and we recognized the UN role in promoting this”. Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that timely and comprehensive approaches make the difference. As mayors you are champions for green, healthy, prosperous urban societies of the future.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

I am convinced that in today’s world, full of great challenges, we need the UN more than ever, we need it to be the common project of human rights defenders.” Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, UCLG Special Envoy to the United Nations.

Participants rose to the challenge to responding to the Consultation by highlighting just how the next years will be critical to overcome the pandemic. With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, equality will be us at the centre of policies, ensuring all people have access to basic services, that public service providers will be valued, and that the next generation of multilateralism will secure everyone has a voice at the decision-making table.

As we began this year we also launched the Decade of Action for the 2030 Agenda. It is clear that if we are to achieve the SDGs, cities will be at the forefront. UCLG has been a critical partner in identifying areas where we must invest time, energy, and vision in support of these shared goalsMaimunah Mohd. Sharif, United Nations Under Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director.

The Business Session of the Executive Bureau took place immediately after the consultation, opened by President Mohamed Boudra who praised the diversity, the creativity and the vision of the network and highlighted the incredible ability of the World Organization to adapt to the new reality while maintaining the priorities shared in Tangier, and addressed the importance of the work of our organization towards the membership, even in this new context.

The session was also chaired by Copresidents Thembisile Nkadimeng, Mayor of Polokwane, and Johnny Araya, Mayor of San José. Copreisident Nkadimeng highlighted how women in the entire world were suffering the pandemic more deeply than male counterparts, and commended the Live Learning Experiences, in particular the one on gender equality, as an opportunity to learn from each other.

Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, addressed the priorities of the World Organization, and how it had been affected by the pandemic. A seat at the global table for our constituency and the localization of the universal development agendas, she argued, are now as important as ever, since the transformation for the post-COVID era needs to consider all stakeholders in the decision-making processes, and it is critical to reshape multilateralism to gear our societies towards the transformation that our communities require.

Johnny Araya, Mayor of San José, commended the UCLG Decalogue for the Post-COVID Era, all the while arguing that the measures are not just intended to be implemented in a few months or years, but are necessary right now in order to ensure that rights are respected, and to maintain the link with the Sustainable Development Goals.