The opening ceremony of the United Cities and Local Communities (UCLG) World Council was held on November 12. More than 280 participants participated in a performance of the Guangzhou Youth Choir.
The guests participating in the conference are Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Liu Qibao; President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) Lin Songtia, and Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou and UCLG President and Mayor of Al-Hoceima Dr. Mohamed Boudra.
China will cooperate with world cities
“We are willing to increase our communication and coordination with the rest of the world, especially the municipal and local governments around the world, join hands with them in tackling the pandemic and the economic challenges, improve opening-up efforts and deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation” According to Liu Qibao, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Lin Songtia, President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) said, UCLG has provided us with support to facilitate sharing of experiences. Our joint efforts demonstrate solidarity and partnership in times of difficulty, aiming to enhance multilateral cooperation, boost cooperation between cities and national governments in beating the virus.
“The pandemic once again shows us that the world is a community with a shared future. Guangzhou has always been committed to promoting innovation, governance improvement and cooperation among cities so they can contribute to this shared future”. According to Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou.
Policy Debate on Addressing Inequalities
The Opening was followed by a Policy Debate on Addressing Inequalities, key in the COVID era, which introduced the upcoming GOLD VI Report. Director General of the International Organisation for Migration, Antonio Vitorino, Qu Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ms Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat framed the debate. Representatives from Academia Caren Levy, Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College of London and from the Civil Society Adriana Allen, President of the Habitat International Coalition, who framed the importance of developing new pathways to address inequalities.
“A world without covid-19 is possible, up to us to make it real. The international municipal movement has a crucial role to play in recovery. Cities and local gov should be the points of departure for the recovery.” Stated Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.
‘Many cities and communities have been exposed to food insecurity, obesity is on the rise, and there is a rapid diffusion of non-communicable diseases. Mainstreaming urban food systems, green spaces and people well-being are key areas for sustainable development”, According to Mr Qu Dongyu, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Adriana Allen, President of the Habitat International Coalition said:“We need reform of multilateralism, but perhaps something new: plurilateralism”. Local and regional governments bring something to the global table that other stakeholders cannot: legitimacy, political willingness, organizational structure to sustain change.
The UCLG World Council was held online from November 9th to 13th. A total of about 350 representatives from 48 countries, 189 cities and international organizations around the world attended the meeting.
Author | Alice
Editor | Will, Jerry