3-6 April 2019 | MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay and BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi joined other members and UCLG Sections in discussing the essential role of culture in building peaceful and inclusive society at the 3rd UCLG Culture Summit, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina last 3-5 April 2019. The Summit was followed by UCLG World Executive Bureau meeting that took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 6 April 2019.

The 3rd Culture Summit

The event was conducted under the auspices of UCLG Standing Committee on Culture, in conjunction with the 2019 UCLG Executive Bureau Meeting. The Summit reflected the commitment of UCLG and all the sections to promote the incorporation of culture in urban planning and development. Discussions at the Summit recognised culture as one of the key pillars to promote sustainable development due to the fact that culture and city heritage can mobilise citizens for important actions such as raising awareness about climate change or educating future generation. Furthermore, city provides spaces for citizens to interact. Their respect for each other diversity also allows ideas to flow and creativity to expand.

On the first day, the plenary session “Now or Never: The Impact of Cultural Policies and Practices” took stock of multiple cultural practices that coexist in cities thanks to a host of conditions that favor social inclusion among neighbours, which in turn transform the neighbourhoods and the quality of life of the population. The second-day discussion focused on the promotion of gender perspectives in the formulation of cultural policies that aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 5. The matter was also addressed under UCLG Policy Council on the Right to the City and Inclusive Territories, where initiatives and proposals were put forward on how the cultural rights of citizens can be guaranteed, while making territories more just, inclusive and sustainable. During the meeting “Generational dialogues and creativity: strategies for youth”, which took place under the UCLG Policy Council on Opportunities for all, culture and city diplomacy was further highlighted with the need to integrate citizens, including children and young people, in the development of culture.

The last day of the Summit featured dynamic discussions on the connections between culture, public space and resilience. The session “Experimenting with creativity in public spaces” was conducted under the auspices of the UCLG Policy Council on Safer, Resilient and Sustainable Cities. Mayors and local leader representatives including Chen Yini, Vice Chair of Guangzhou Municipal Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference exchanged initiatives that encourage citizens to better appropriate public space through culture and creativity in order to foster coexistence and safe society. Across all these sessions, research data was presented to provide insights on urban cultural dynamics. It was also demonstrated throughout the three-day meeting that culture is a key dimension for sustainable development as the Sustainable Development Goals and other global agendas cannot be reached without a deep knowledge of local contexts.

Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC spoke at the Session Towards the “Culture2030Goal”: Strategies of Global Networks“ and praised the work undertaken by UCLG Culture Committee in mainstreaming culture in SDGs including the production of “Culture in the Sustainable Development Goals: A Guide for Local Action.” She also shared the activities of Asia Pacific Section in Culture Committee and expressed her full support to Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, leading city of UCLG ASPAC Culture Committee and host of the 2nd Culture Summit, partaking in the Third UCLG Culture Summit.

The Culture Summit produced the Final Communique, which can be accessed here

UCLG Executive Bureau Meeting

UCLG Executive Bureau Meeting is a regular bi-annual meeting where local leaders and representatives from around the world review the work and cooperation implemented, strategise advocacy agendas, and discuss the preparation of upcoming events. The Executive Bureau meeting which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay on 6 April 2019 covered a broad-range of UCLG’s work including in the ASPAC region. The Executive Bureau members also addressed some of the political issues that are prominent in the global municipal movement throughout 2019, such as Gender Equality, the role of local governments in managing migration and crises management, and International Advocacy Agenda.

UCLG ASPAC Secretary General reported the priority of the Section, including the Disaster Risk Reduction, and expressed her appreciation to the UCLG Task Force for Regional Disaster Prevention and Management for collecting the donation to support Palu’s rehabilitation programme. Mr. Eun Chul Lee, Ambassador of International Affairs of Daejeon has expressed his City’s intention to host the UCLG World Congress in the year 2022 and highlighted the world class infrastructure and facilities available in Daejeon to support such Congress.

As importantly, the Executive Bureau discussed the organisation of the upcoming UCLG World Congress which will be hosted by Durban-e Thekwini, South Africa, on 11-15 November 2019. High on the agenda was the preparation for the election of UCLG World’s Governing Bodies, electoral calendar, frameworks and procedures for different regions to put forward their candidatures.