UCLG ASPAC and Wakatobi win media’s attention for Asia-Pacific Conference

THE Asia-Pasific Conference on “Local Government Voices toward HABITAT III on a New Urban Agenda” has just won national media’s attention, as a press conference is held here in Central Jakarta, 1 September 2015. Representing Wakatobi in this media gathering is Mayor  Hugua,  Bernadia  represents UCLG ASPAC and Jordan Pascua, special guest from UCLG World from Barcelona.

Meeting with the press and sharing with them about issues to be discussed in the Asia-Pacific Conference is the main objective of this press conference.  Dozens of journalists from various media outlets attended the conference with strong enthusiasm.

Reasons for this keenness are, first, they were eager to know more about UCLG ASPAC. Second, Wakatobi has been becoming the nation’s new maritime tourist destination and many people know little about the tiny archipelagic territory in Southeast Sulawesi Province. Third, the upcoming Wakatobi Conference is significant for the media to cover.

As vision and mission of UCLG ASPAC was briefly delivered by Bernadia to inform the media with basic knowledge of the organization, Mayor Hugua presented a glimpse of Wakatobi about which Indonesian media and ordinary citizen know very little about.

The presence of UCLG ASPAC as a ‘united voice’ of local governments in Asia-Pacific Region, explained Bernadia, is very significant to promote the interests of local governments in shaping a new urban agenda. And this important issue, added by Mayor Hugua, would be discussed by dozens of mayors and local government representatives during the Wakatobi Conference.

A document entitled Wakatobi Declaration will be released during the conference as a “united voice” of Asia-Pacific local governments and Indonesian authority ahead of the High Level Regional Preparatory Meeting to HABITAT III in the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum next October 2015. HABITAT III will be taking place in Quito, Ecuador in 2016, and the urgent concerns of the Asia Pacific region must be taken into account in this international agenda.

“Two memorandums of understanding will also be signed in Wakatobi between Wakatobi and Jeju Province on solid waste management and between Wakatobi and Haikou from People’s Republic of China on low carbon society,” said Mayor Hugua.

Jordan Pascual, a committee member of UCLG World’s Committee on Culture from Barcelona, explained that UCLG ASPAC’s existence is very significant. UCLG ASPAC covers the world’s most culturally diverse and most populated region, and promotes the ‘united voice’ of the Region to the world through significant events such as the upcoming Wakatobi Conference.

Asked by the media on how far UCLG had contributed to the world, Pascual explained that advocacy and capacity building have been some of the strengths and best practices that UCLG World and UCLG ASPAC has achieved and continues to perform.