Johannesburg Elected New Presidency for UCLG

On the 15 October, and coinciding with the closure of the Fifth World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, a new president and vice-presidents for United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) was chosen. Mpho Parks Tau, current president of the African Association of Local Governments and former mayor of Johannesburg (South Africa), was elected president for the multilateral organization, beating his competitor, the mayor of Kazan, Isur Metshin, in an exemplary demonstration of a completely democratic election process.

As Parks Tau declared, his priority as President of UCLG will be to “foster new partnerships that will provide new solutions to local communities from across the world and implement the sustainable development goals”. During the day, the rest of the members of the presidential bureau were also elected. Tahir Akyürek,  Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Konya (Turkey), Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona (Spain), Wen Guohui, Mayor of Guangzhou (China), Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg, (France) President of Cités Unies France,  Mauricio Rodas,  Mayor of Quito (Ecuador) and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, elected President of the Standing Committee of Gender Equality, were elected Co-Presidents of UCLG. Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener (Canada) and President Emeritus of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities was elected Treasurer of UCLG and Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of Rabat (Morocco), was appointed Deputy Treasurer.

Taking credit of the new presidency’s diversity, the president announced that the New Urban Agenda that has been built along the past decade and that will culminate in the celebration of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, will be an inclusive Agenda, “for all regions of the world will contribute to its development and learning”. According to the General Secretary of UCLG Josep Roig, beyond the definition of a New Urban Agenda, the greatest challenge that the new Presidency will face is that of getting over the negotiation processes to fully enter the implementation and supervision phase of the agreed development goals.