United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), present in 140 of the 191 UN member states in seven world regions, works promote participatory local governance by representing the interests of local governments around the world, regardless of the size of the communities they serve.
The organization, as stated in its mission, represents “the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government” and seeks to promote its values and interests through cooperation with local governments and the wider international community. UCLG advocates for the increase of the role and influence of local governments and its representative organizations in global governance, supports international cooperation between cities and their associations, and facilitates programs, networks, and partnerships to build the capacity of local governments. UCLG serves as a gateway to access relevant information about local government around the world.
UCLG’s work on decentralization and local democracy is focused on the three areas of access to basic services, decentralization, and local finances.
1) Access to basic services: UCLG has identified access to basic services as a central topic for the World Organization. The Third Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD) Report to be published in 2014, on the eve of the date set by the international community for the assessment of the Post-2015 Agenda, will focus on the governance of basic services.
2) Decentralization: the UCLG Committee on Decentralization and Local-Self-Government, a network of mayors and representatives of national associations and local governments active in local finance innovation and advocacy, aims to strengthen decentralization and local-self government processes to improve local governance in every region of the world. The Committee contributes to the strategy of the World Organization of UCLG in this area.
3) Local finances: the UCLG Committee on Local Finance and Development promotes sustainable local finance as an essential component to the decentralization process. The UCLG’s 2nd GOLD Report in 2011 focused on the issue of local government finance and examined the architecture of fiscal decentralization in more than 100 countries and metropolitan regions.
UCLG spearheaded the creation of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 and Habitat III, a working group consisting of local and regional governments and representatives from various international organizations, to develop a joint strategy that ensures local representation in the creation of the post-2015 development agenda.
To learn more, go to UCLG website.