The 7th World Summit of Leaders and Officials of Cities and Regional governments organized by the United Cities and Local Governments in Daejeon, South Korea, on October 10th to 14th 2022, gathered over 3,000 cities and regional governments and their partners to discuss and adopt the UCLG Pact for the Future of Humanity focusing on the future of People, the future of Planet and the future of Government.
The Summit was attended by a strong African delegation coming from 30 countries of the continent.
The African delegates participated in several activities of the various tracks of the Summit and organized many sessions, among which a peer learning session on “Promoting the principles of effective governance in Africa”, held by UCLG Africa-ALGA (African Local Government Academy); a session on the celebration of the 10 years of existence of REFELA (Network of Local Elected Women of Africa); and a series of sessions on the climate agenda, particularly concerning the participation of cities and regional governments in the upcoming COP27 on November 6th to 18th in Charm-El-Sheikh, Egypt.
During the Summit UCLG Africa signed 3 MoUs’ with: 1. Mercociudades, the association of cities and local governments of the Mercosur regional regrouping in Latin America; 2. UCLG ASPAC regional section; 3. The Hague Local Government Academy.
Also during the Congress, a partnership agreement was signed between the city of Xi’an in China and the city of Rabat in Morocco. An agreement was also signed between the city of Chefchaouen in Morocco and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to finance the renovation of public lighting.
The Congress was also the place to renew the office bearers of the organization. In that regard, the UCLG World Assembly ratified the election of the members of the World Council, the World Executive Bureau and the Vice Presidents-elect following the electoral process conducted by each UCLG section.
With regards to the leadership of UCLG to be elected by the UCLG World Council, including the President, co-Presidents, Treasurer, and President of the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, the African delegation invited the different UCLG sections to adopt a consensus approach to appoint the office bearers on the aforementioned positions. This approach embraces the values of shared responsibilities, collegiality and a shared common purpose for the strengthening of the world municipal movement.
The African delegation reminded the spirit that defined and shaped the approach on how to handle the 2021 leadership transition occasioned by the loss of mandate of the previous president of UCLG (Honorary President Mohamed Boudra), wherein the tradition of promoting collegiality and sharing of responsibility received consensus. This meant that the members of the presidency shared the leadership role of president for the remainder of the term.
Consistent with the success and proven benefits of that model in the strengthening and the consolidation of unity in this fairly new organisation, after lengthy consideration of the risks and advantages of the consensus approach by the delegates of the different UCLG sections , following the good offices of the African delegation, the designation of the UCLG leadership by consensus was finally adopted, and this leadership was elected as follows:
Collegial Presidency ticket by rotation Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo, Uruguay, Latin America – LATAM (year 1); Ibrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, Turkey, Middle East and West Asia – MEWA (President year 2); Yan Van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, The Netherlands, EUROPE (President year 3);
Lee Jang-Woo, Mayor Daejeon, South Korea, Asia Pacific – ASPAC (President year 4)
Li Mongyuan, Mayor Xi’an, China, ASPAC
Stofile Bekhe, President SALGA, South Africa, AFRICA
Kulginov Altay, Mayor of Astana, Kazakhstan, EURASIA
Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, Canada, NORAM
Johnny Araya, Mayor of San Jose, Costa Rica, LATAM
Rhalalou Asmaa, Mayor of Rabat, Morocco, AFRICA
President, UCLG Gender Equality Standing Committee
Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President Nouakchott Region, Mauritania, AFRICA
Special appointments for UCLG Representation
Pact for the Future Ambassadors
• Ambassador for the Future of People (Ada Colau, Mayor Barcelone, EUROPE)
• Ambassador for the Future of the Planet (Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, EUROPE)
• Ambassador for the Future of Government (Yucel Yilmaz, Mayor of Baukesir, MEWA)
Special Envoy for the New Urban Agenda
Carlos Martinez, Mayor of Soria, EUROPA
Special Envoy for Food Systems (Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, AFRICA)
Special Envoy for Freedom, Solidarity, and fighting violence against local political leaders (Ms Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, EUROPA)
Finally the General Assembly received the offer to host the 2026 UCLG World Congress from the following candidates: City of Cairo, Egypt; City of Tangiers, Morocco; and Cyprus. The UCLG World Secretariat was requested to continue the negotiations with the different candidates to come up with a consolidated candidatures file to be submitted to the next UCLG World Council in Konya, Turkey in 2023.