11-15 November 2019 | DURBAN – The World Summit for Regional and Local Leaders took place alongside the 6th UCLG World Congress, in Durban, South Africa, from 11 to 15 November 2019. The global gathering brought together over 3,000 delegates and other stakeholders to review and build on a legacy of UCLG’s commitments and advanced role in shaping the multilateral agenda from local and regional perspectives.

Aiming to “co-create” the course of UCLG over the next three years and to shape its contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the event was attended by mayors, presidents of associations, city councillors, local and regional practitioners from around the world. The pre-event was held on 11-12 November for sectoral engagements, learning networks and preparatory meetings, as part of the UCLG’s renewed format of engagements between members and partners.

The event was officially inaugurated on 13 November by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs of South Africa, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who called for better, efficient and effective functional municipalities that are delivering on their mandate on the SDGs and other development agendas.

Representing the largest regional section of UCLG, UCLG ASPAC members from Asia and the Pacific played an important role at the event. With 150 participants from the region, including 10 mayors, 2 vice governors and elected councillors from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines and South Korea, UCLG ASPAC strongly contributed to the Statutory Meetings as well as the development and presentation of Regional Position Papers. The Position Papers aimed to define a compendium of policy recommendations presented to the World Assembly. They also framed the challenges in local implementation faced by the region, explained in details on how the policy strategy linked to continental strategies and presented key recommendations and actions to the general assembly.

The Eurasia and Pacific Assembly Track was led by Mr. Dave Cull, President of New Zealand Local Government Association (NZLG) and supported by UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandaradewi. Key speakers included UCLG ASPAC President, Mayor of Surabaya Ms. Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Xi’an Dr. Li Mingyuan and Vice Governor of Jeju Mr. Jun Sung-tae. Discussions addressed the theme “Aligning Local Priorities with the 2030 Agenda, Resilience, Urbanisation and Heritage, and Public Space.”

The discussions presented a broad range of  recommendations to the World Assembly namely: to accelerate the localisation of SDGs especially in the field of education, health and housing; to tackle climate change and promote climate resilience in our cities and communities especially in achieving target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); to encourage young people and women to involve themselves more on local economic development; to develop strategies on waste water systems that are efficient and low-cost to improve the well-being of the poorest citizens; and to prioritise sustainable transportation, connect public space, taking into account environmental resilience and cultural heritage.

Beside the regional assembly track, UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with Cites Unies France (CUF) organised a special session on UCLG international solidarity fund, to promote a new tool to help local governments facing crisis build back resilience. This session was designed as a learning session to share how city can help each other when facing crisis and emergency. Surabaya City Government Mayor Tri Rismaharini shared her experiences on post disaster relief and humanitarian fund-raising mechanism. Mayor of Iriga City, Ms. Madelaine Alfelor shared community engagement on early warning system to prevent and reduce the potential risks and loss.

During the World General Assembly, former UCLG President Mr. Mpho Parks Tau emphasised the importance of UCLG’s function as a learning network, noting this is enhanced through training programmes on localising global agendas such as the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework on DRR and the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

The 6th UCLG World Congress concluded with the election of Mr. Mohamed Boudra, Mayor of Al Hoceima, Morocco, and President of the Moroccan Association of Communal Council of Presidents (AMPCC), as UCLG President. With the full support from Asia-Pacific members, Mayor of Xi’an, Dr. Li Mingyuan was elected as UCLG Co-President and Mayor of Iriga City, Ms. Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor as UCLG Treasurer, the first ever lady mayor for the position.

Moreover, the City of Daejeon, South Korea has also been selected as the Host of the 7th UCLG World Congress in 2022. Mayor Heo Tae-jung of Daejeon has delivered his acceptance speech at the World Assembly. UCLG ASPAC will support the host city including the possibility of conducting joint activities prior to the events. It will be the second Korean City hosting the world congress after Jeju in 2007.