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UCLG Congress: The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders Gets Underway in Durban

About 3000 delegates are expected to descend in eThekwini for the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Congress and the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders to continue the dialogue on how to move local government to the higher trajectory.

This important event in the calendar of local and regional governments, is bringing together global leaders, mayors, councillors, professionals representing towns, cities, metropolises and regions, civil society and experts and academia with the aim of establishing links and developing policies that transform society and the way local governance works for and by the people.

The first day of the Congress begun with a scene setting media briefing led by the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) who is also the outgoing President of UCLG, Mr Parks Tau. The briefing was held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban on Monday, 11 November 2019, ahead of a week-long World Summit. The President of UCLG was joined in the media briefing by the with  the General Secretary of UCLG, Ms Emilia Siaz, the Deputy President of South African Local Government Association (SALGA) Mr Sebenzile Ngangalizwe and the Mayor of eThekwini, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda.

The UCLG as an organization that aims to represent the broadest possible range of local and regional governments, is more entrenched in the needs of the people in cities across the world, hence this gathering in Durban came at an opportune time. “The UCLG consolidated itself as a demand-driven, peer-learning network that is devoted, through the involvement of members and partners, to identifying local solutions to global common challenges and to increasing local government capacities in the management and planning of local urban development”, said Deputy Minister Tau.

Painting a picture of the road travelled since his election 2016, Deputy Minister Tau indicated that the current UCLG leadership made a great strides which ensured that the role of local and regional governments was acknowledged and more platforms were available to discuss issues in the sector. To this effect, the visibility of the cause of local and regional governments in the international arena is greater than it has ever been before. It is important to note that this visibility can only be maintained with the commitment of political representatives from the diversity of our worldwide organization.

Throughout time, the UCLG became the voice of local and regional governments which reverberated throughout the global stage, highlighting local priorities, challenges and achievements.

Ahead of the official opening of the Congress on 13 November 2019, delegates begun meetings of sessions as per the agenda allocated themes today. This discussions and resolutions of this sessions will fit in the overall outcomes of the whole congress.

The Local4Action HUB and panel discussion titled “Mayors of the Future”, was well attended by delegates. This discussions emphasised multidimensional leadership approach required for local government.

The African Forum for Urban (AFUS) also hosted a Learning Exchange-Global Conversation, which drew participants from UCLG Africa, eThekwini Municipality, Department of Human Settlements of South Africa, SALGA, South African Cities Network (SACN) and UN-Habitat). The conversation touched on insights from the AFUS Technical Advisory Council research report that seeks to provide data which cities use to make evidence-based policy decisions. The report provides context to the violence against women and girls and offers an understanding of the environmental and social factors that have created and sustained gender-based violence in communities that have endured war and conflicts.

Sectorial engagements will continue until Wednesday and this will include –“ Cities Panel on the UCLG Gender Strategy in Practice: How to advance gender equality at the local level. Delegates will also have an option to participate in a Global Conversation on Raising National Ambition Climate”.

The Tuesday, 12 November 2019 programme will see the continuation of various sessions attended by all the delegates.

For those delegates that are still on the way, accreditation is still open for those who had completed the online registration. Delegates are urged to come in person for live accreditation at the congress.

Members of the media who have not applied for media accreditation are requested to do so before 13 November 2019.

For media online registration, please follow the links:



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For more information and media queries:

Melody Mathata

Email: MelodyM@cogta.gov.za

Cell: +27 66 288 8516

Sivuyile Mbambato

Email: smbambato@salga.org.za

Cell: +27 73 897 8519

Mandla Nsele

Email: mandla.nsele@durban.org.za

Cell: +27 83 308 2639

Alejandra Salas

Email: communication@uclg.org

Cell: +34 6735517 46