On the invitation of Dr Kadir TOPBAS, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UNACLA (United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities (UNACLA), UNACLA members held a working meeting on 24 April 2017 at “Le Grand Tarabya” hotel of Istanbul.
On this occasion, Dr Kadir TOPBAS was surrounded by Mr. Joan CLOS, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and representatives of major umbrella organizations of local governments including UCLG and UCLG Africa, members of UNACLA.
UNACLA took the opportunity of this meeting to present the strategic actions that the institution has to implement over the coming months, following the HABITAT III conference held in Quito in Ecuador from 17 to 20 October 2016.
The main focus areas of UNACLA are based on ‘dialogue’ and ‘political Influence”.
In 2017, UNACLA hopes that local governments will put all their weight to influence the big events and meetings of the United Nations system, including, first of all, the Board of Directors of UN-Habitat which will be held from 08 to12 May 2017, in Nairobi, in order to remind the UN Member States of their commitments to subsidiarity, governance, and fiscal, political and administrative decentralization.
This influence must play on the framework of actions for the implementation of the new urban Agenda, which is being prepared, as well as on the 2030 Agenda.
During the proceedings, a particular emphasis was placed on the need for dialogue between the local and central Governments. UNACLA is trying to promote the opportunities and challenges of implementing the global agendas for local governments.
In this regard, UNACLA is willing to promote the organization of targeted dialogues, promoted by Local Governments in order to raise awareness of specific issues and to support them in the development of indicators on the localization of SDGs and for their contribution to the review of SDG 11 in 2018.
The participants were informed that UNACLA liaison office is open at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This liaison office has three major missions:
– Produce substantial reports on the implications of the global programs in the actions of local governments in the world (UN meetings and ensure reporting to the members of UNACLA),
– Support delegations of mayors and other representatives of local governments during their stay in New York,
– Contribute to animate the network, via Social Media and generate a monthly newsletter and other communication tools to improve communication, information and analysis on the United Nations to the members of UNACLA network.
UCLG Africa was represented at the meeting by Mr. Léhady SOGLO, Mayor of Cotonou in Benin and Mr. Joachim A. M. HUNLEDE, Director of Programs at the UCLG Africa West Africa Regional Office.