18-20 May 2021 | UCLG ASPAC represented cities and local governments in Asia and the Pacific at the UCLG World Executive Bureau Meeting (virtual). The world statutory meeting centred the discussion on the theme “Care at the heart of local service provision for an inclusive recovery.” A newly elected President of UCLG ASPAC, Mayor Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha took this valuable opportunity to share the voices of local governments across Asia and the Pacific at this global gathering. He emphasised the challenges brought forward by COVID-19 and urged the Network to work together on disaster reduction and management, climate resiliency and poverty reduction to name a few.

Mayor Madelaine Alfelor of Iriga (UCLG Treasurer) chaired the Financial Management Committee meeting of UCLG World. And Mayor Li Mingyuan of Xi’an (Co-President) also attended and enriched the forum with perspectives in their respective role.

Discussion of the three-day forum ranged from migration to human rights and inclusive digitalisation. Participants acknowledged the importance of protection for vulnerable groups as well as inclusivity in the advancement of technology.

At the session on “A renewed role for local and regional governments in development cooperation: Towards a new UCLG Policy”, the narrative and importance of development cooperation and international municipal relations were discussed. Mr. Pok Sokundara, Secretary General of the Association of Sub-National Administration Councils in Cambodia, shared how ongoing projects funded by the government of Canada through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities are building the capacity of local governments in Cambodia. Ms. Li Xiaoyan, Deputy Director of Xi’an Municipal Foreign Affairs Office, underscored the need to promote closer partnerships among local governments.

A thematic session dedicated to migration, “From managing migration to a community-based approach to human mobility: Towards the Lampedusa Charter”, tackled key issues that need to be addressed by the Charter and how partners can contribute to the process. As local and regional governments are the guarantors of rights, they play an essential role in the protection of migrant rights.

In addition, there was the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Governments (UNACLA) meeting addressing the upcoming United Nations High-Level Meeting on the Review of Implementation of the New Urban Agenda and Quito +5.

UCLG ASPAC, as the largest section of UCLG World, has aligned its vision as an Organisation to be able to contribute to the global agenda as well as the needs of cities and local governments. UCLG ASPAC has been supporting cities and local governments in the localisation of Sustainable Development Goals through various forms and approaches, and one of them is through human rights. UCLG ASPAC has also developed an initiative on city solidarity to support recovery in Palu in collaboration with CUF and UCLG and promoted climate resilience and migration amongst cities and local governments in this region.