UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau 2022: For Cities and Local Governments to be Balanced and More Sustainable  

9-10 June 2022 | UCLG ASPAC and Xi’an Municipal Government organised an International Forum “Join Hands to Build Robust, Green, and Balanced Cities for the Future,” back-to-back with the First Session of UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau Meeting 2022. The Forum came at the right time as it provided valuable insights from distinguished local leaders for cities to be balanced and more sustainable in the new post-COVID-19-pandemic era. The first session of UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau Meeting 2022 also made substantial decisions as guidance for the organisation to move forward and contribute further to local governments.

The International Seminar

Distinguished local leaders from Asia and the Pacific region shared the practices of their cities. The insights included various alternatives that cities had explored and implemented to find the balance between economic/industrial development and the environment as well as valuable lessons learned from the challenging COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Mr. Huh, Tae Wan, Ulsan Metropolitan City Ambassador for International Relations shared that the city is moving to a green local industry structure. Declared as an international hydrogen city in 2019, Ulsan has set several goals related to industrial development and addressed the environmental challenges, such as the production of hydrogen-electric vehicles. In his presentation, Mr. Huh acknowledged the importance of collaboration and encouraged more cities to embrace sustainable development.

Mr. Zhao Bo, Vice Mayor of Kunming Municipal People’s Government, shared that the natural environment has been an important aspect of the city and, thus, the city has implemented the concept of green development and green mountains, promoted energy conservation, and made efforts to decrease the carbon emission. Actions taken are varied, from enhancing the green manufacturing system and building green parks and green factories, to protecting biodiversity. Mr. Zhao Bo also invited other cities to collaborate with Kunming.

Mr. Zhang Yong, Vice Mayor of Xi’an Municipal People’s Government, in his presentation, explicitly mentioned that “Nature and humans need to co-exist. It is a central task for the government to take this as an important matter.” Related to this, he further shared that Xi’an is combining technological transformation and innovation with the utmost efforts of protecting its abundant biodiversity and wildlife resources.

In line with that, Mr. Stuart Crosby, President of the Local Government of New Zealand, shared that the New Zealand Government released a draft of national adaptation plans for climate change, despite the challenges faced.

Valuable experience in facing the COVID challenge was also shared by cities. Mayor Marlen Abigail Sombillo Binay of Makati City (the Philippines) explained steps taken by her city to support the local people amidst the pandemic, such as Makati Assistance and Support to Business (MASB), Makatizen Economic Relief Programme, and Resiliency Innovation Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (RISE).

In Semarang, Mayor Hendrar Prihadi shared that collaboration has become key in facing the pandemic challenge, including citizens, academics, private sectors, and the press.   

In the discussion session, all leaders agreed that awareness to protect the environment is important as well as including the local people and ensuring that they take ownership.

The Executive Bureau

During the first session of UCLG ASPAC Statutory Meeting 2022, members of the UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau also achieved several agreements below, reflecting the next steps of the organisation, the balanced contribution of members, and optimum benefits for local governments.

  1. He Xiong (Mayor of Zhengzhou) as the new Co-President representing the East and Northeast Asia sub-region.
  2. Dhulikhel Municipality will host the UCLG ASPAC Executive Bureau in April/May 2023.
  3. Yiwu Municipal People’s Government will host the 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress in 2023.
  4. Li Mingyuan, Mayor of Xi’an Municipal People’s Government, as the candidate for Co-President representing Asia and the Pacific region for the UCLG Governing Bodies 2022 – 2025.
  5. Approval of new members:
    • Nepal: Harion Municipality, Godawari Municipality, Tarakeshwor Municipality, and Dhunibeshi Municipality
    • Indonesia: Ogan Komiring Ilir Regency and City of Makassar
    • South Korea: Association of Districts of Daejeon Metropolitan City, Gimhae City, Namgu Busan
  6. A regional consolidation meeting of UCLG ASPAC representatives at the UCLG Council and Executive Bureau is scheduled for the end of June 2022.

Prior to the Executive Bureau Meeting, UCLG ASPAC Committees Meetings were also held. Respective Committees updated their activities and workplan, as well as called for enhanced collaboration among members. Besides, the momentum was fully optimised by Tourism Committee, led by Xi’an, to hold its first-ever Committee’s Congress, which launched the Committee’s website and logo, shared how the Committee could benefit members and called for collaboration from all participants.

UCLG ASPAC thanks all members, speakers, and participants for the great support, insights, and participation in the First Session of Statutory Meeting 2022. See you at the UCLG ASPAC Council Meeting 2022 in Daejeon!