Why Attend

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, convened by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), is the largest gathering of mayors, presidents of associations, councillors, and local and regional practitioners from around the world. It also gathers the most influential local and regional leaders, councillors, local governments, partners, and actors implicated in the decision making of city and community life.

This year's edition, that will be held on 11-15 November in Durban, South Africa, will count on a renewed format and enhanced collaboration between members and partners.

Building on the centenary-old international movement of municipalities, the World Summit experience will include interactive and innovative formats built on four tracks that will guide participants, together with dedicated sessions for UCLG membership.

The triennial UCLG Congress also builds on the legacy of the commitments of the local and regional governments’ constituency around the world. A commitment to ensure a better future for all through action at local, national and international levels. A commitment to govern and build in partnership, and for cities and regions to take their rightful place at the head of a new international agenda for inclusive and sustainable development.

The Cornerstones of the World Summit of Local and Regional Governments

Local and regional governance at the heart of sustainable development

Local and regional governments (LRGs) understand the global agendas as one single universal framework addressing all of the planet’s most urgent priorities. The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, the New Urban Agenda (among others) – an accelerator for implementation – constitute key assets.

A transformational spirit, driven by LRGs, has been launched to achieve the global agendas. Ownership of the global goals from the bottom-up, and shaping its definition and implementation at the local level will be critical to the achievement of the agendas.

Communities,citizens, and LRGs cannot be seen as mere witnesses of development or recipients of cooperation. Their capacity to catalyse action, as well as their technical and political barriers to achieving sustainable development must be tackled. The World Summit will showcase how Localization is a significant policy instrument and only through the political will of all stakeholders will we be able to implement the agendas in cities and territories to leave no one and no place behind.

The World Summit should inspire local and regional leaders to define their solutions to the major challenges felt across the globe. It should also offer a space to present their cases, but most importantly it should allow the local and regional government constituency to strategize on the local contributions to the global goals.

New Era for Local and Regional Governance

The World Summit will allow our constituency to build strong links among communities, civil society, national governments, the international community and other stakeholders.  

Spaces will be cultivated for stakeholders and urban actors to participate and co-create, together, the future policies of the municipal movement and further, to drive home the point that transformation at the local level is intrinsically linked with stakeholder engagement and multi-level dialogue both at global, regional and national levels.

Equality, local finance, the agenda of intermediary cities, the need to revisit local democracy, the role of local governments in building peaceful societies, as well as constructing a new narrative on migration are but a few areas that our World Summit will address.

Durban will be the scene in which we present to the world the renewed type of leadership that can make future generations thrive; one that will help us shape the intergenerational dialogue that builds a peaceful and sustainable world, with all and for all.

The Summit will define the priorities of the local and regional leaderships and confirm their great potential as the sentinels of communities’ hopes, dreams and expectations. Building the transformation of the global governance system will need to start with diversity, trust and a better way to organise life, leaving no one and no place behind.

The World Summit will consolidate the policies that the constituency has been promoting with a strong focus on local governments as representatives of communities and for communities.

Special attention will be paid to strengthening democracy, the implementation of the right to the city and the development of an intergenerational agenda, so as to foster the idea that sustaining peace is a goal and a process to build a common vision of a society.