World Council Meeting in Paris: 4-7 December 2015

HERE is the list of new members in the organization:

Direct members from Latin America: Municipality of Chignahuapan (Mexico), Municipality of Culiacán Rosales (Mexico), Municipality of Escazú (Costa Rica), Municipality of Juana Koslay (Argentina), Municipality of Mérida (Mexico), State of Sinaloa (Mexico).

New members through Sections in ASPAC: East Kalimantan Province and Pangkal Pinang District (Indonesia); Kiribati Local Government Association.

In MEWA: Municipality of Eyyübiye, Municipality of Yüksekova, Municipality of Mezitli (Turkey) and Municipality of Nablus (Palestine).

Hosted by UCLG’s Co-President Paris Mayor Anne Hildago, the World Council Meeting happened on the occasion of COP21. The UCLG World Council gathered around 600 participants from approximately 60 countries, with representation from all world regions.

The agenda that UCLG brought to Paris was broader than the climate agenda and reflects the variety and reach of its membership.  The meetings in Paris also saw a change of leadership in the UCLG Metropolitan Section, where Mr. Huchon, President of Ile-de-France Region, handed over the Presidency to the Mayor of Montréal during the UCLG World Council session.

Two thematic sessions were also organized in the framework of the World Council:

  • The Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights convened a session on “From COP21 to Habitat III: local governments and citizens at the heart of the challenges”, gathering local and regional governments, as well as representatives from civil society;
  • The Standing Committee on Gender Equality organized a session on “Women Leadership and  Development” that  included representation from  local governments and international partners.

Political motions

UCLG pled for a political approach to the challenges that need to be faced globally. Its membership called for stronger local institutions closely connected to the needs of the citizens to find solutions.

The political motions that different leaders of UCLG presented in Paris reflect the key concerns of cities, towns, regions and their associations around the world. They further summarize the daily concerns of citizens in all continents. The motions will be sent to International Community Partners for information and will guide actions integrated in the Work Programme adopted in Paris.

Paris Mayor Anne Hildago discussed on “Solid Local Democracy and Sound Local Governance: The Basis of a Successful Habitat III Agenda”. In a world where increasing tensions are felt internationally between and within nations, she said, the motion is called for national governments to respect the principles of subsidiarity and self-government. It also called to respect the mandate of local elected representatives, as well as to build on a strong universal political agenda with a holistic approach, going beyond sectors. The   motion  further  called  for inclusive   implementation   and   monitoring mechanisms at national, regional and international level that will acknowledge the role of local and regional governments in the definition, monitoring and implementation of international policies.

Mayor of Madrid invited to co-organize an International Forum on Peace and Participatory Democracy in 2016 in Madrid. The Forum should be seen a space for reflection to solve conflicts without violence and to build cities of well-being for the future. Members underscored the need to link this International Forum with existing UCLG activities related to City Diplomacy and the Peace Prize. They further underlined the importance of linking this issue with education and youth in cities, as well as the links between this motion and the one on the humanitarian crisis. The human aspects of cities in the Habitat III process were also highlighted.

Members of the Council adopted the motion on solid local democracy and sound local governance for a successful Habitat III agenda. Members supported the proposal of Madrid to host an International Forum on Peace and Participatory Democracy and mandated the World Secretariat to collaborate to further define the initiative.

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau discussed on “Local   and   Regional   Governments’   Solidarity   and   Preparedness Instrumental to the Humanitarian Crisis”. The motion emphasized that, as the sphere of government closest to the people, local and regional governments have both a legal and moral obligation to act, not only towards the citizens we represent but also towards those that reach our territories seeking safety. It called on national governments to include local and subnational governments in their deliberations, strengthen capacity building and provide adequate funding to face crisis situations, in particular for displaced persons and the refugee crisis. In this perspective, it was proposed to create a Working Group to coordinate the actions of and enable knowledge exchange between cities that play a role in hosting refugees, in order for our joint demands to reach the relevant states.

In adopting the motion, members of the World Council committed to supporting displaced persons and contributing to finding adequate solutions for their refuge. Members referred to the need to embed the motion in human rights and the principles of gender equality, inclusive participation, accountability to affected populations, non-discrimination and the right to remedy violations.

Members also recalled the need to make reference to the Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City, adopted at the UCLG World Council in 2011 and to work in  close coordination with the existing Taskforce on  Local  Government Disaster Response, linking this resolution to the World Humanitarian Summit that will take place in 2016 in Istanbul.

Members  of  the  Council  adopted  the  motion  on  local  and  regional governments’ solidarity and preparedness. Members supported the proposal to create a Working Group to coordinate actions on the roles of cities hosting refugees and mandated the World Secretariat to further define the steps ahead.

Dakar Mayor and the President of UCLGA Khalifa Sall discussed on “The Local Dimension of the 2030 Agenda”. Members reiterated that by paying specific attention to sustainable urbanization in SDG 11, the new agenda is triggering the type of transformation in our joint action that will lead to the world we want. Members highlighted that all the SDGs have a local dimension, which is essential to their achievement, and that local governments have a responsibility to contribute to the achievement of all SDGs.

The  motion  stressed   that  localization  of   the  2030  Agenda  is   not  the implementation of a global or national agenda at local level; but rather building adequate conditions at local level to achieve the global goals. Members called for a strong mechanism for the implementation of the SDGs at local and regional levels.

Members further called to create an Intergovernmental Panel on Sustainable Urbanization under the auspices of the High-level Political Forum, with representation from local and regional governments.

Members of the Council adopted the motion on the local dimension of the 2030   Agenda  and   called  to   set   up   a   strong  mechanism  for   the implementation of the SDGs at local and regional level.

Members  called  for  the  creation  of  an  Intergovernmental  Panel  on Sustainable Urbanization under the  auspices of  the  High-level Political Forum.

Policy decisions includes:

  • Adoption   of   Work   Plan   and   implementation   of   the   Strategic Partnership with the European Union.
  • Activities in 2016 will focus on two key processes that will impact the work of the whole network; namely, Habitat III and the UCLG World Congress in Bogotá.
  • UCLG will need to ensure enhanced facilitation of the Global Taskforce and the implementation of the  process  of  the  second  World  Assembly  of  Local  and Regional Governments.

Decisions to be made as the following:

  • Members of the World Council adopted the work plan and agreed that it should be further defined during the next UCLG Retreat in February2016.
  • Members took note of the progress made in the implementation of the Strategic Partnership.

Issues on Local Economic Development

Decisions are made as the following:

  • Members of the Executive Bureau agreed to promote the policy recommendations for Local Economic Development presented by Mayor Francisco Toajas Mellado of Las Cabezas de San Juan.
  • Members were encouraged to support the work of the Working Group on Local Economic Development and to revise the policy paper produced in order to ensure its adoption in 2016.

Habitat III preparations and the Second World Assembly

Important progress has been made since the second Preparatory Committee for Habitat III held in Nairobi. The achievements and reports on actions undertaken well as the next steps to be taken and the calendar for 2016 were presented to members.


  • Members took note of the achievements of the Global Taskforce.
  • They mandated the World Secretariat to continue facilitating the Global Taskforce.
  • Members were encouraged to actively participate in the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments that will take place in Quito in conjunction with Habitat III, following the UCLG World Congress.

A Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments for the 21st Century

In 2015, UCLG has organized three large consultations in Barcelona, based on different   types   of   local   and   regional   governments   (metropolitan   areas, intermediary cities and small towns and regions). It was highlighted that this multi-dimensional and participative approach is useful, not only to collect inputs from the ground and from practitioners working towards the Global Agenda and the Fourth Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization, but also to strengthen and expand our network and ownership of the Agenda using inputs from all our members and partners.


  • Members of the Executive Bureau took note of the reports of the three consultations held in  Barcelona, delivered by  the  Mayor  of  Rosario, Monica Fein.
  • Members were encouraged to get involved in the development of the Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments for Habitat III.
  • Members were also encouraged to participate in the next consultation and preparatory meetings, and share their contributions with the UCLG World Secretariat.

UCLG Awards

UCLG has approved the creation of three awards: in 2012, on Urban Innovation; in 2013, on Culture; and in the same year, on Peace. Members noted the updates provided on the three UCLG Awards: the UCLG City of Bogotá Peace Prize, the International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21, and the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.


  • Members of the Executive Bureau took note of the updates related to the three UCLG awards namely: on Peace presented by the Mayor of Den Bosch and  the  Secretary  of  Social  Inclusion  of  Bogotá;  on  Urban Innovation presented by Mr. Liu Liu and on Culture presented by Mr Cardenas, General Coordinator of International Affairs of Mexico City.
  • Members were further encouraged to present candidatures and circulate information on the awards in their respective networks.

Section of Regions

Members recommended that the Province of Santa Fe, Argentina, take on the role of interim Vice President for Regional Governments until the Bogotá Congress. The World Secretariat will undertake the management and facilitation of the Section of Regional Governments. Members supported the initiative of the Province of Santa Fe to organize an international gathering of Regional Governments in 2016.


  • Members of the Executive Bureau took note of the situation reported by Vice President of the Rhône-Alpes Region, Mr Bernard Soulage, and recommended to keep working on strengthening a Section for Regional Authorities within UCLG, under the interim leadership of the Province of Santa Fe. Members supported the initiative of the Province of Santa Fe presented by Mrs  Maria  Julia  Reyna,  International Secretary of  the region, to hold an international gathering of Regional Governments in 2016.

World Congress

The 5th UCLG World Congress will take place in Bogotá, Colombia, from 12 to 15 October 2016 under the title “Local voices for a more human future”. The next World Congress will also be the occasion of the third Local and Regional Leaders World Summit, and will take place back-to-back with the Habitat III Conference, which will be held in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October. Delegations would be able to travel from Bogotá to Quito on 16 October.

Decision: Members  took  note  of  the  progress  made  in  the  preparations  for  the Congress and reaffirmed the will to construct the Congress as strong contribution of the local and regional governments constituency towards the Habitat III Conference.

Statutory Issues

To strengthening the UCLG Network and Sections: In line with the objective of strengthening the network, members agreed to  continue enhancing the sense of ownership of UCLG, increasing UCLG’s capacity to act as a “network of networks”, and continue working on the agreements with Sections.


  • Members of the Executive Bureau took note of the actions being taken in relation to our goal of strengthening the network, leadership and governance of UCLG.
  • Members were encouraged to use to the new tools being developed.
  • The members  further  highlighted  the  importance  of  continuing  to organize an annual retreat and to dedicating a specific session to the follow-up of the listening exercise.
  • UCLG Executive Bureau took note of the initiative led by UCLG-Eurasia on a World Cities International Activity Rating and mandated the World Secretariat to look into possibilities of implementation in collaboration with the Committee on City Diplomacy.
  • Agreements with UCLG Sections should be finalized over the course of 2016.

Call for the next UCLG Congress

The UCLG World Congress – the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders – is organized every three years. It traditionally brings together over 3,000 local and regional elected representatives and practitioners from around the world. The venue of the 6th UCLG World Congress will be announced at the 5th World Congress, taking place from 12-15 October 2016 in Bogotá. The deadline for the submission of candidatures is 20 June 2016.

Changes in the Leadership

UCLG Treasurer Mr. Oualalou did not run for an additional term in the city of Rabat and has consequently presented his resignation as UCLG Treasurer. The Committee recommended that UCLG Deputy Treasurer Mr. Vrbanovic assume the role of Treasurer until the Bogotá Congress. The President of Metropolis Mr. Huchon handed over the Presidency of Metropolis to Mayor Coderre of Montreal during the UCLG World Council.

Decision: Members agreed that all officials leaving their posts in UCLG would be acknowledged as Honorary UCLG members.


According to the Terms of Reference of the Committee on Statutory Affairs, membership requests and related information are presented to the Committee for recommendation to the Executive Bureau. (MH)