Media Statements

Delegates Wrap Up Engagements Towards Official Opening of #UCLGCongress

Regional and Local Government representatives from around the world have begun to wrap up build up engagements in preparation for the official opening of Congress.  Mayors, presidents of associations, councillors, and local and regional practitioners have been in Durban since Monday, 11 November for sectoral engagements, learning networks and preparatory meetings as part of the UCLG’s renewed format of engagements between members and partners.

Highlights from the sessions today include:

  • The Future of Culture: The panel discussion deliberated on mechanisms on enforcing the place of culture in sustainable development. The discussions also touched on locating the relevance of traditional knowledge related to the preservation and practices of all people and communities into local strategies on urban development and environmental sustainability.
  • Special Session on The Future of Culture, which focused on leading UCLG local governments on culture to explain innovative key policies considering new challenges including gender. Participants also got an opportunity to deliberate on the relationship between culture and the right to the city, advocacy on culture in cities, and the enhancement of the relations with civil society.
  • A Cities Panel on Local Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy: Discussions were on localising the Sendai Framework 2030 and the creation of resilient cities. Panellists shared experiences and related challenges, opportunities, and good practices on local disaster risk reduction strategies within the context of work done by the municipalities.
  • LAB session on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Decentralised Cooperation: Working on Agenda2030 Locally & Globally. The session exposed participants to a project jointly undertaken by UCLG, CIB, Platforma and the Region of Catalonia to develop the capacity of decentralised cooperation actors vis-à-vis SDG mainstreaming in development cooperation plans and programmes.

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Congress and World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be officially opened this evening at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The official opening marks that start of the main political programme which will also see the election and inauguration of the new UCLG Leadership which will serve the organisation for next three years.

The Minister of CoGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who is also the acting President of the Republic of South Africa, will deliver a keynote address emphasising better, efficient and effective functional municipalities that are delivering on their mandate.

Other speakers will include the President of United Cities and Local Governments, Mr Parks Tau, Chairperson of the ACCORD Board of Trustees, Mrs Graca Machel, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr Frabrizio Hochschild Drummon, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Honourable Sihle Zikalala, Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda, President of SALGA Councillor Thembi Nkadimeng, Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments Ms Emila Saiz and the Mayor of Libreville and President of UCLG Africa Councillor Léandre Nzué.

Members of the media are invited to attend the official opening ceremony scheduled as follows:

  • Date:    Wednesday, 13 November 2019
  • Time:    18:00
  • Venue: Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC),   Plenary Room

Online registration is now closed however, media can still register onsite at the Durban Exhibition Centre, Hall 1, Entrance C, Wallnut Road before 17h00 to be able to cover the official opening of congress and other sessions and events. 

Please check out the summit website and subscribe to the newsletter to receive regular updates on proceedings: You can also follow us on Twitter through @uclg_org and #CitiesAreListening #UCLGCongress

For more information and media queries:

Melody Mathata

+27 66 288 8516

Sivuyile Mbambato
+27 73 897 8519

Mandla Nsele
+27 83 308 2639

Alejandra Salas
+34 6735517 46