24 November 2020 | UCLG ASPAC, a founding member and permanent member of the Advisory Board of the Asia Pacific Mayors Academy  took part in the virtual launch of the Academy’s second class.  The Academy welcomed its second batch of fellows at the virtual opening and conduct of its first module. After a rigorous application and selection process, a total of 16 mayors from 9 countries have been selected as fellows for the class: Onkaparinga (Australia), Sawahlunto (Indonesia), Mahalaxmi and Surat (India), Tehran Districts 9, 11, and 13 (Iran), Hang Tuah Jaya and Kuala Selangor District Council (Malaysia), Cauayan, Iriga, Naga, and Ormoc (Philippines), Puttalam (Sri Lanka), Koh Tao (Thailand), and Mezitli (Turkey).

UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, in her opening remarks, acknowledged the important role and hard work of mayors and local leaders at this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  She appreciated their commitment to further build and strengthen their capabilities through the Academy.  Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific thanked UCLG ASPAC and all partners in the Academy and welcomed the new class of fellows. “Through this joint initiative, we expect that newly elected mayors will become more aware of the technical support and resources available in our region and be able to build a network of mayors that highlights the increasing role and responsibilities of local authorities,” said Ms. Alisjahbana.   “Mayors more than ever need the support, knowledge as well as the  tools to lead and respond to the greatest challenges we face, whether it is on  climate change, as well as on keeping the momentum of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Fellows from the first Academy class, namely Mayor Noraini Roslan of Subang Jaya and Mayor Maria Gina Lizares of Sipalay, shared how they integrated their learnings into the work and leadership of their communities during and immediately upon completion of the Academy. The knowledge they gained  allowed them to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the global development agendas and enabled them to build and leverage a valuable network among peers and the Academy partners.

Module 1 of this year’s Academy introduced a range of sustainable development concepts and frameworks for cities. UCLG ASPAC, together with partners in the Academy, led the development of Module 2 focused on COVID-19 response and recovery.  Given the significant impact of COVID-19 on cities, this new addition to the curriculum, to be delivered on 8 and 15 December 2020, will build the capacities of mayors to respond and develop recovery plans based on sustainable urbanization frameworks and principles.

More information on the Asia-Pacific Mayors Academy is available in its official website: Asia Pacific Mayors Academy.

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