UCLG Retreat and Campus 2016: “In the Network We Trust!”

The week-long event witnessed the participation of all representatives and members of the network of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Organization of local and regional governments.

From 15 to 19 February 2016, in Barcelona, Spain, local and regional governments’ representatives from all over the world managed to address several key issues related to the common work carried out by the World Organization and its sections and to ways of strengthening the ties of the network.

In fact, this year’s annual Retreat and Campus program included discussions on the planning for the UCLG World Congress, a presentation of priorities and key issues from 2015 & 2016, a session to analyze the synergies and programming for 2016 and a strategic and visioning exercise about the evolution of the World Organization.

On the first day of the Campus, participants addressed the key topics, aspirations, and challenges for the coming year. They summarized during a brainstorming session the five main opportunities of the UCLG Congress. The opportunities identified are the importance of participation by civil society, the maximizing of financing opportunities for local governments, the promotion of action learning and strengthening the family, identity and representation of UCLG to create a united and strong voice and agenda within the global local government community.

You can watch UCLG Africa Secretary General talk about the importance of the upcoming World Congress in Bogota in this video.

The debates of the second day of the Retreat focused on discussing and sharing innovative ideas to make sure that the upcoming world congress in Bogota is a success. In fact, the participants came up with ideas to outline the Bogota’s summit program and to encourage collaboration and exchange between delegates that will attend the event. The annual Campus of Committees and Working Groups took place in the second part of the day 2.

On Day 3, the delegates addressed ways to increase the visibility and impact of the work of UCLG and its network. In the morning, the UCLG regional sections presented areas of the UCLG work plan implemented in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, West Asia, North America, in large Metropolises and smaller Regions of the world. The Retreat and Campus also dealt with the common priorities of the network for 2016.

The future of UCLG was the main point of the 4th and last day of the Retreat agenda. A listening exercise captured the feedbacks of the members who also shared some suggestions and critiques to add more value for UCLG members. Following this exercise, a session with the political representatives attending the Retreat took place where they had the opportunity to share some powerful words. Members also emphasized the crucial role played by UCLG when it comes to knowledge, exchange, empowerment, and community.

For more information on the 2nd Retreat and Campus, you can visit the website here.

Check out the event photo album on Flickr here.