Who We Are

THE HISTORY of United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) starts with the emergence of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA)

IULA was established in 1913 in Belgium with its headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, while IULA ASPAC, headquartered in Jakarta, was set up in September 1989 during the 29th IULA World Congress in Perth, Western Australia.

UCLG ASPAC is one of the Regional Sections of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), an amalgamation of International Union of Local Authorities, United Towns Organization (UTO), and World Association of the Major Metropolises (METROPOLIS). UCLG was established on 1 January 2004 and is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain.

Following this unification, UCLG ASPAC was established in Taipei on 14 April 2004, as the new entity of IULA ASPAC. UCLG ASPAC is the key knowledge management hub on local government issues in the Asia Pacific region, and the only officially recognized voice of local governments by the United Nations. 

With connections to more than 7,000 cities and local governments, UCLG ASPAC represents well over 3.76 billion people – more than half of the world population, along with nations that are rapidly developing economically like China, India and Indonesia. 

Primarily, UCLG ASPAC is to serve its member cities as a key knowledge hub on all local government issues in the Asia-Pacific region. It enables collaboration between cities, local governments and their associations, and it encourages democratic local governance. 

It also makes partnerships, networks, and programmes to build capacity of local governments and its associations possible. Additionally, UCLG ASPAC advocates for local governments politically within the international community, including with the UN and its agencies. 

Furthermore, UCLG ASPAC supports inclusive societies that uphold social and economic justice, equality, and sustainable development. The local economic development, climate change, disaster resiliency, culture, strategic planning, decentralisation, municipal finance, gender equality, women’s leadership and environment, and good governance, are all the thematic fields in which UCLG ASPAC is actively involved. 

Here are the specific objectives of UCLG ASPAC: 

  1. To promote strong and effective democratic local self-government throughout the region/world by fostering unity and cooperation among members. 
  2. To ensure effective political representation of local government to the UN and other international communities. 
  3. To be the worldwide source of key information on local government, learning, exchange, and capacity building to support democratic local governments and their associations. 
  4. To promote economic, social, cultural, vocational and environmental development by enhancing the services to citizens based on good governance. 
  5. To promote race and gender equality, combating discrimination, promoting decentralised cooperation and international cooperation between local governments and their associations. 
  6. To promote twinning and partnership between local governments and peoples. 

Scope of Work: 

  1. Decentralised cooperation (cities/local governments to cities/local governments exchange)
  2. Advocacy 
  3. Capacity building and training
  4. Research and knowledge management 
  5. Project development and management

Finally, in order to fulfill its purpose, UCLG ASPAC has also developed a Strategic Plan referred to as a Manifesto, with a particular emphasis on the Localisation of the Global Agenda, provision of equal and basic services, the significance of effective democratic self-governments and promotion of good governance. As the COVID-19 has brought various impacts, UCLG ASPAC’s work also includes advocacy, and capacity building relating to the recovery of cities and local governments in the Asia-Pacific.