Hundreds of participants from local governments, local governments associations and city representatives from countries all over the Asia-Pacific region gathered for the UCLG ASPAC 2021 hybrid online Council Meeting on 25th February 2021.

One important agenda is the election of the new president of the ASPAC Regional Section, Mr. Ashok Kumar Byanju Shresta, Chair of the Municipal Association of Nepal (MuAN) and Mayor of Dhulikhel, which also marked the end of Ms. Tri Rismaharani UCLG ASPAC presidential term, with particular note of her newly appointed position as the Republic of Indonesia’s Minister of Social Affairs.


In beginning new chapter of UCLG ASPAC’s presidency, Mayor Ashok called for the continuation of close cooperation and collaboration to move forward as a region in the times of global crisis, particularly in transforming commitments and values adhered by UCLG ASPAC into active and recovery-based action. One of the ways is through knowledge exchange between successful and least developed cities as well as engaging cities and towns to actively network and participate in more collaborative knowledge-sharing.

Amidst the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Ashok remains confident and encourages mayors, leaders, city officials, and local governing bodies all around the Asia Pacific region to gather in discussing pressing priorities, as well as re-evaluating global commitments upon the new governing body period of 2020-2022.

“Despite the challenges brought forward by COVID-19, we should also motivate cities to work together on existing issues such as Disaster Reduction and Management, climate change and poverty reduction to name a few. At the same time, our work should contribute more in terms of globally recognised measurable parameters such as SDGs and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, and other global commitments.”

Before embracing his newly elected position within the UCLG ASPAC governing body, Mr. Ashok Kumar has served as Co-President representing the South and Southwest Asia sub-region. Throughout the term, he has contributed several innovative initiatives in Nepal and Bangladesh, such as including 22 exclusive rights for local governments in the Constitution of Nepal under the “Municipalities Network Policy Advocacy on Sanitation in Southeast Asia” programme under UCLG ASPAC. On his closing remarks, Mr. Ashok Kumar expressed his positive outlook and the readiness to commit in implementing the new UCLG ASPAC Manifesto 2021-2025.

The UCLG ASPAC Secretariat welcomes Mr. Ashok Kumar into the UCLG ASPAC new Governing body of 2020-2022!