Taking advantage of a recent stopover in Turkey, UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos made a brief call on Istanbul's Mayor, Mr. Kadir Topbas, who is also the President of the United Cities and Local Governments body (UCLG).
The meeting dealt with topical issues on the international agenda such as the upcoming UN Summit on sustainable development, known as Rio +20, and the increasing role that local governments have in sustainable development.
Since Dr. Clos and Mr. Topbas took their respective offices at the end of 2010, both institutions have increased their cooperation. This has been both at a technical level, with the joint implementation of projects such as the GOLD III report on basic urban services, and at a political level, with the goal of raising the profile of local governments in the development arena, where urbanisation is becoming a key issue.
The two leaders will meet again during the High Level preparatory event leading up to Rio +20 scheduled in New York 23 April. The Secretary General of the United Nations and the Presidents of the regional sections of United Cities and Local Governments will also be present.