ACCORD’s Executive Director, Dr. Vasu Gounden and Special Project’s Coordinator, Mrs. Karishma Rajoo attended the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Retreat in Spain, Barcelona from 11-15 February 2019.
The UCLG Retreat is an annual event, bringing together an international contingency of foreign council representatives, secretariats and UCLG partners to share ideas through different networks and interactive sessions. The theme for this year’s Retreat emphasised the role of local governments and multi-level governance in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); strengthening support for local action for the Global Goals; building sustainable cities as well as climate resilience. The Retreat focused on joint programming and the co-creation of UCLG’s agenda towards the UCLG World Congress to be held in Durban in November and hosted by the eThekwini Municipality. The current Presidency of UCLG is held by South Africa, under the leadership of Mr. Parks Tau, as the President of the South African Association of Local Governments (SALGA).
ACCORD is also planning to host its Global Peace conference during the November World Congress, and used its participation at the Retreat to meet with relevant stakeholders.
ACCORD shared details of the Global Peace Initiative and the 100 Inter-Generational Dialogues (IGDs) it plans to host in cities across the world, where young people will be given the opportunity to dialogue with their decision-makers about development challenges that will impact their future. Recognising the vast network of UCLG, the presentation at the Retreat was strategic for Global Peace Initiative to connect with mayors and local government associations to seek their support for the IGDs and the opportunity for local leaders to connect with young people in their cities. Dr. Gounden also reflected on multiple and complex challenges that cities will face and its direct impact upon their ability to maintain peace and security. He highlighted the relevance of Global Peace in this context and its commitment to finding innovative solutions to the challenges facing the world and the strategic role that local governments, together with young people, will play in working together to create lasting peace.