Local government leadership to define global agenda of cities

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Deputy Minister Parks Tau has welcomed the 6th triennial United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) World Congress to take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal next week.

The UCLG World Congress and World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, which start from 11 - 15 November 2019, will bring together local government leadership and representatives from across the world to South Africa to define the global agenda of cities and regions for the coming years, and to develop inputs for the upcoming international processes.

Tau, who is also the UCLG President, said the UCLG is an important moment on the global stage.

“It has evolved into a complete experience that now encompasses various themes, formats and encapsulates the diversity of our century old movement,” Tau said.

Tau said the decision to host the Congress in South Africa is a confirmation of the importance of the country as a destination of choice for many tourists and a preferred venue to host important international conferences.

“I know that South Africans will in the spirit of Ubuntu [will] open their arms to welcome all delegates to our beautiful country and the city of Durban,” the Deputy Minister said.

Tau said the UCLG, as a voice and global spokesperson for local and regional governments, emphasises the cities and regions as being important spheres of government that are closest to their citizens and where all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) objectives must be met.

“The UCLG Congress provides a space for multi-stakeholder engagement and a space for the dialogue that will enable us to begin fostering the critical transformation of the governance system. It charts the way forward and define the global agenda of cities and regions for the coming years and develop inputs for the upcoming international processes,” Tau said.

The 2019 meeting will be the first UCLG Congress to coincide with the implementation phase of global agendas such as the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the 2030 Agenda for SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The Congress will provide an opportunity to present progress in the implementation of the SDGs and their impact at local level, at the same time allowing us to evaluate the evolution of the role of local and regional governments in the international agenda,” Tau said.

Strides made across UCLG sectors

The road from Bogota in 2016, where Tau was elected President of UCLG, has seen a tremendous progress and strides made across all sectors of the UCLG.

The organisation has gained more traction with the “Local 4 Action Hub”, the incorporation of the Global Fund for Cities Development into UCLG, facilitation of the restructuring of the UN Habitat leading to the formation of the United Nations Local Government Forum (UN LGF), consolidation of local government unity in numerous political geographical regions, and the recent launch of the global report in New York.

Throughout the 5th term, the organization has ensured that local and regional governments don’t face the global challenges by themselves.

The 5th term have enhanced and expanded collaborations with sister organizations and even brought new partners on board, thus ensuring that new partnerships are part of the global compact by cities programme.

All systems go to successful Congress

Meanwhile, the Committee on Statutory Affairs said it was all systems go to a successful UCLG Congress.

The committee held a meeting in Barcelona on 31 October 2019 to look at amongst others, the preparations for congress. The meeting also noted that eligible candidates are confirmed, and all necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure a smooth voting system at the 6th UCLG Congress.

Tau, as the outgoing President, will hand over leadership of the UCLG to the new leadership who will continue to build on the good work done by the outgoing leadership. – SAnews.gov.za