This special year 2020 and what we are all going though has made clear that we have an important task ahead.
Fighting inequality, promoting transformation towards a more just, more peaceful and more sensitive world that answers to the aspirations of our people.
As President of UCLG, I am proud of the commitment we have demonstrated with the global challenges, through our solidarity. I am proud of the commitment of local and regional governments with multilateralism and I am very happy that our Vision report in the framework of the United Nations anniversary reflects that.
An inclusive multilateralism will only be achieved if local governments and regional governments are truly at the decision-making table.
I am grateful to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, whose call I am proud to answer in a time in which our communities need us the most, and I make my gratitude extended to UN Deputy-Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild, whose work has been integral to involving us in this conversation. We offer full support as a municipalist movement to transform the world for the next 25 years.
The joint vision and leadership of local and regional governments around the world and the networks gathered in the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments has been critical to respond to this call, and it is critical that our perspectives and actions lead the way in the future of the multilateral system.
Our challenges know no borders and the solutions need to start at home, locally. As close to the communities as possible.
We are ready to contribute to the realization and localization of the global agendas. Only thinking local and acting global we will be able to ensure sustainable societies that leave no one and no place behind.
COVID-19 has acted as a magnifying glass of the shortcomings we already were aware of: we can no longer ignore the persistence of inequalities, discrimination, and exclusion in our cities and territories.
The struggle against the virus is also a fight against poverty and structural inequality. This is particularly evident at the local level, which is at the frontline addressing the effects of this crisis
The report of our constituency to the UN75 is showing that the pandemic has galvanised the critical role of local and regional governments in raising awareness, in maintaining public service provision, and in protecting those who care for us.
Carrying out basic services, doing so with the ownership of our communities, is what we have been defending for many years under the mantle of localization. The local-global movement for localization is growing, but it is still doing so in an irregular manner and without adequate support from other spheres of government.
Public local service delivery around the world is in jeopardy if the adequate means are not put in place. Local and regional governments have been and continue to be in the front line in combating the multiple facets of the crisis but we also rely on civil society, volunteers, and communities. Without this collaboration, no measure would have been successful.
Our hearts are in the right place but we cannot do this alone. Basic services, the cornerstone of the recovery, are still an afterthought in the global debate.
It is essential to develop an environment that fosters the delivery of basic services. It is critical to fully collaborate among spheres of government, and involve all stakeholders in the process.
The sustainability of the planet is at stake. We need to act now, and we need to rethink our priorities. We cannot underestimate our capacities and potential acting together, and we need to bear in mind the generations to come to truly fulfill the dreams of our communities. Let solidarity and sense of humanity guide us.
Dr. Mohamed Boudra
Mayor of Al-Hoceima, President of UCLG