UCLG Meets 2018

Europe, Events, Misc., News, Universal Design, February 2 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN:  The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) held the fourth edition of their Annual Retreat and Campus, in Barcelona, from the 22nd to the 26th of January 2018. The retreat was focused on the UCLG Network’s collaborations and achievements, and how to increase the impact of their work towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

UCLG Meets 2018 logo

UCLG Meets 2018 logo

The Retreat included the representation and active engagement of mayors, local government and civil society organizations from around the world. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, formally invited GAATES and World Enabled to join the Retreat as partners of the UCLG and to bring accessibility and inclusion into the objectives of the UCLG’s internal and external activities. The discussions over the four days of the Retreat highlighted the internal objectives and global work plan of the organization, challenges towards realization of the commitments within the 2030 Agenda, and the importance of partnerships for the implementation and localization of internationally recognized development agreements.

Opportunities for All discussion at UCLG

Opportunities for All discussion at UCLG

On the fourth day of the retreat, GAATES was invited to speak during the round-table discussion entitled “Opportunities for All”. The round-table was attended by over 150 participants and speakers included Eric Beaume of the European Commission, Célestine Ketcha Courtès Mayor of Bangangté, Berry Vrbanovic Mayor of Kitchener, Rosa Pavanelli of Public Service International, Carlos Martinez Minguez Mayor of Soria and Federico Batista Poitier of GAATES. The round-table table looked at the engagement of marginalized groups in municipal decision making, towards inclusive policies that ensure that services meet the needs of and recognize the diversity of all persons.

Federico Batista Poitier of GAATES speaking at UCLG

Federico Batista Poitier of GAATES speaking at UCLG

Federico’s intervention summarized the topics discussed during the previous days of the retreat, such as migration, disaster risk reduction and urban resilience. Following the summary, he highlighted the importance of Universal Accessibility and the ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ principle towards achieving inclusive and sustainable development. Federico stated that by designing for all persons from the start – we are designing for resiliency, and concluded his intervention with the two calls to action listed below:
  • A call for local and regional governments, city leaders, organizations and agencies to mainstream disability strategies internally to ensure the perspectives of all persons are included in developing solutions
  • For all present at the Retreat to formally commit to a Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities, at the World Urban Forum 9

The discussions and recommendations from the retreat will guide UCLG’s objectives for 2018 and form part of their engagements at the World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9) and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.

GAATES will be actively engaged in the WUF9 and invite all those present at the Forum (both physically and virtually) to commit to the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities, to ensure that the 2030 Agenda leaves no one behind.

See you next week!

New Urban Agenda logo

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