Some 500 representatives of local and regional authorities, as well as their partners - international institutions and national ministries – congregated in Guangzhou for the World Council and Executive Bureau meetings.
The United Cities and Local Governments members were invited by the Guangzhou Mayor who is also a Co-President of the organisation Mr. Zhang Guangning. The members held some 30 meetings including sessions by most of the 18 committees and working groups at the meeting which ran from 10-13 November.
The meetings were presided over by Mr. Bertrand Delanoe, Mayor of Paris who is the organisation’s president, and the co-presidents Amos Masondo, the Mayor of Johannesburg as well as Mr. Kadir Topbas, the Mayor of Istanbul.
The Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. XI Jinping, opened the World Council and praised the body for its role in bringing cities together and in combating the economic crisis. He laid out his conviction that cities must contribute increasingly to opening up and that they are accelerators of innovation and development.
On his part, Mr. Delanoe challenged international institutions to understand just how much local and regional officials, local actors, are effective partners. Recalling that innovation is the motor of growth, Mr. Guangning highlighted the fact that his city placed the environment at the top of its priorities. Several mayors of cities from across the globe, including Johannesburg, Frankfurt, Rosario, and the President of Metro Vancouver, shared the solutions they implemented in their cities when confronted by the global economic crisis and its repercussions on local finances.
William COBBETT, Director of Cities Alliance - the joint urban development programme of the United Nations and the World Bank - presented the latest trends in international development cooperation.
The members of the UCLG World Council elected the Mayor of Quito, Mr. Augusto Barrera, as Co-President and accepted the offer of the Mayor of Chicago, Mr. Richard M. Daley, to welcome the UCLG Executive Bureau to the city in April 2010.