Executive Bureau meeting of UCLG in the beautiful city of Lyon in France
Source: VNG International
Together with Peter Rehwinkel, mayor of the city of Groningen and chair of the Committee on European and International affairs of VNG, and my colleague Renske Steenbergen, I participate in the Executive Bureau meeting of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) in the beautiful city of Lyon in France. UCLG is the world organisation of local and regional governments and their national associations in the world and the Executive Bureau functions as its daily board.
This year we will celebrate that the international movement of local goverments started 100 years ago, with the establishment of IULA, the predecessor of UCLG, in Gent in Belgium. It is always impressive to realize how local political leaders, despite their huge local responsibilities, devoted time to build up an international network to promote the importance of democratic local governance and to organize solidarity between local governments over the years. It resulted in growing recognition for the role of local authorities by the UN and a small world organisation with 22 staff in the office in Barcelona, membership in all continents and an annual budget of 2.5 million Euro.
Peter Rehwinkel presented the outcomes of the UCLG mission to the local governments bordering Syria which are coping with the influx of refugees. An emotional experience for all the participants in the mission. His proposals for further action, a concrete project for local governments in Jordan and Lebabon and a feasibility study info the possibilities to establish a professional Local Government Disaster Preparedness and Respons Centre within UCLG, were well received.
Peter Knip, Lyon June 5