About us

Who we are

The World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments would like to welcome you to the largest organization of local and regional governments in the world. You, we, stand on the shoulders of countless women and men who have worked tirelessly to empower each other for over a century, to lift up their communities and to collaborate with one another in order to achieve real change.
UCLG, as a global network of cities and local, regional, and metropolitan governments and their associations, is committed to representing, defending, and amplifying the voices of local and regional governments to leave no-one and no place behind. Together we are the sentinels of the hopes, dreams, and aspirations held by individuals in communities around the world — searching for a life in which the ideals of the SDGs are a lived reality.

Through collaboration, dialogue, cooperation, and knowledge-sharing, we as a World Organization walk the walk, working to advance global response and action through ground breaking commitments and agreements that become common threads that transcend borders and tie communities together, to uplift and empower the local level.

How we amplify the voices of local governments:

Strengthening the UCLG network

Enhancing political participation, creating new tools for synchronized action, renewing partnerships with different actors and ensuring shared ownership across the membership enhances our transparency, democratic participation, and accountability.

Policy and advocacy

We strive to amplify the voices of territories internationally. This includes making proposals concerning the role and perspective of local and regional governments on the definition of the next phase of the global development agendas, and increasing national and international support and recognition for the role of local and regional governments in the implementation process.


Our aim is to identify and foster efforts by our membership to achieve the global agendas at the territorial level.


Through training, creating a learning culture throughout the organization and promoting decentralized cooperation as a key tool of international cooperation and development programmes.

Monitoring and reporting

Our aim is to ensure that local and regional experience influence the implementation and assessment of the global agendas, by contributing to local and regional governments’ storytelling, and informing the reporting done by national governments.

UCLG is a convener of the whole global local and regional governments constituency through the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, the mechanism through which the local and regional governments constituency deliberate and agree upon its political voice in the international agenda.



Currently, the President of UCLG is Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo.

Following the UCLG World Congress and World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders held in Daejeon in October 2022, the UCLG leadership came to an agreement to develop a collegial Presidency, with a rotating President for a mandate of one year, as follows:

Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo, year 1: from the Daejeon Congress to the end of 2023.

Uğur Ibrahim Altay, Mayor of Konya, year 2: end of 2023-end of 2024.

Jan Van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, year 3: end of 2024-end of 2025.

Lee Jang-Woo, Mayor of Daejeon, year 4: from the end of 2025 to the 8th UCLG Congress at the end of 2026.

The Co-Presidency is composed of:

Johnny Araya, Mayor of San José, President of FLACMA.

Bheke Stofile, President of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, President Emeritus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of Nouakchott Region, as chair of the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality.

The Treasury is composed of Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat,.

Special Representation

The UCLG World Congress appointed mayors and local leaders to represent the World Organization, as follows:

Ambassadors of the Pact for the Future

Ada Colau, City Councillor of Barcelona, as Ambassador for the Future of People.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, as Ambassador for the Future of the Planet.

Yücel Yilmaz, Mayor of Balikesir, as Ambassador for the Future of Government.

Special Envoys

Carola Gunnarsson, City Councillor of Sala, as Special Envoy for Freedom, Solidarity and Fighting Violence against Local Political Leaders.

Carlos Martínez, Mayor of Soria as Special Envoy for the New Urban Agenda.

Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen, as the Special Envoy for Food Systems.

Vice - Presidency

The Vice-Presidency counts with:

Oumarou Dogari Moumouni, Mayor of Niamey, as Vice-President for Africa.

Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, Mayor of Dhulikhel, as Vice-President for ASPAC.

Aysen Nikolaev, Head of the Republic of Sakha, as Vice-President for Eurasia.

Carola Gunnarsson, Vice-President of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), as Vice-President for Europe.

Yücel Yilmaz, Mayor of Balikesir, as Vice-President for Middle East and West Asia.

Fernando Gray, Mayor of Esteban Echeverria, as Vice-President for Latin America.

(To be confirmed), President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), as Vice-President for North America.

Claudia López, Mayor of Bogotá, as Vice-President for Metropolis.

Paola Pabón, Prefect of Pichincha, President of the Consortium of Provincial Autonomous Governments from Ecuador (CONGOPE), as Vice-President for the Forum of Regions.

World Council and Executive Bureau 2019-2022

The World Council is the principal policy-making body of the World Organization. It decides the World Organization’s policies and ensures that general policies decided by the General Assembly are implemented.


The Executive Bureau is responsible for initiating proposals and carrying out the decisions of the World Council. It is in charge of the World Organisation’s administrative and financial management. Composed of 115 members, it meets twice a year and usually gathers around 200 participants.

UCLG Sections

UCLG Sections

The UCLG network is a decentralized structure composed of 7 regional sections, 1 metropolitan section and 1 section for regional governments. Sections set their own policies and administer their own affairs while providing institutional support within their agreed geographical area. They also reinforce the policies and activities decided by the governing bodies of the World Organisation and perform a policy, programming and administrative role.


President: Fatimetou Abdel Malick, President of Nouakchott Regional Council

Secretary General: Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi

22, rue Essaadyine, Quartier Hassan, Rabat, Maroc
Tel: + 212 537 260 062 / + 212 537 260 063
Fax: + 212 537 260 060
Email: info@uclga.org


President: Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, Mayor of Dhulikhel.

Secretary General: Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi

City Hall of Jakarta, Building E, 4th Floor
Central Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
Tel +62-21 389 01 801
Fax +62-21 389 01 802
Email: secretariat@uclg-aspac.org


President:  Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan, Chair of UNACLA

Secretary General: Rasikh Sagitov

8/1, Mislavsky str., Kazan 420111, Russian Federation
Tel/Fax: +7 843 292 09 34
Email: uclg@yandex.ru

Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)

President: Gunn Marit HELGESEN, Councillor of Vestfold and Telemark, President of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS).

Secretary General: Fabrizio Rossi

1 Square de Meeûs B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 5117477
Fax: +32 2 5110949
Email: info@ccre-cemr.org

General Secretariat - FLACMA

President: Johnny Araya, Mayor of San Jose de Costa Rica.

Secretary General: Sergio Arredondo / Secretario General de la Federación Nacional de Municipios de México (FENAMM)

Del Carmen, 04100 Ciudad de México,
CDMX, México
Tel  +52 1 55 6721 60 27
Email: consejoconsultivo@cc-flacma.org

Adjunct Secretariat - Mercociudades

President: Carolina Cosse, Mayor of Montevideo.
Executive Secretary: Fabiana Goyeneche, Montevideo.

Permanent Secretariat: Jorge Rodríguez, Montevideo

Mercociudades, Sede Permanente, Edificio Mercosur, Montevideo, Uruguay
Dir: Luis Piera 1992 Edificio Mercosur, Planta Baja, Oficina de Mercociudades. CP 11800
Tel: +59819509483
E-mail: jorge.a.rodriguez@imm.gub.uy, comunicastpm@mercociudades.org

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President: Tayseer Abu Sneineh, Mayor of Al Khalil (Hebron)

Secretary General: Mehmet Duman

Yerebatan Cad 2 – Sultanahmet 34410 Istanbul, Türkiye
Tel +90 212 511 10 10
Fax +90 212 513 44 87
E-mail: uclg-mewa@uclg-mewa.org

Representative of Lebanon: Béchir Odeimi, President of United Cities of Lebanon
Rue Toufic Salem, Imm Sakr, 3e et, Beirut, BP 16-5094, Lebanon
Tel + 96 11 64 99 00



President: Claudia López,Mayor of Bogotá

Secretary General: Jordi Vaquer

Carrer Avinyó, 15 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Tel +34 933 429 460
Fax +34 933 429 466
Email: metropolis@metropolis.org

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FCM - Federation of Canadian Municipalities

President: Taneen Rudyk, City Councillor of Vegreville, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)

Secretary General: Carole Saab

24 Clarence Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5P3 Canada
Tel +1 613 241 5221
Fax +1 613 241 7440
Email: info@fcm.ca

UCLG Vice-President for Regional Governments and President of the Forum of the Regions:

– Paola Pabón, Prefect of Pichincha, President of the Consortium of Provincial Autonomous Governments from Ecuador (CONGOPE)

– Antònia SABARTÉS, Secretariado mundial de CGLU

Calle Avinyo 15
08002 Barcelona (España)

The World Secretariat

The World Secretariat

About the World Secretariat

With the creation of UCLG in 2004, the World Secretariat was located in Barcelona after an international call to member cities wishing to host the headquarters. After several proposals presented by cities, the members granted the headquarters to the city of Barcelona, which made the premises available to UCLG.

The World Secretariat houses a team of around 35 permanent staffers and is led by the Secretary General.


About the Secretary General

The Secretary General is the chief executive officer of the World Organization. She/he directs the daily activities of the World Organization, manages the Secretariat and carries out the activities, programmes, and finances of the organization under the guidance of the Presidency and the responsibility of the Executive Bureau.

The Secretary General of UCLG is appointed through an international selection process.

Emilia Saiz Carrancedo is the current Secretary General of UCLG since her appointment in Hangzhou in December 2017.  She has worked with the international movement of local and regional governments in different capacities since 1998, leading programmes and initiatives on institutional capacity building, the participation of women in local decision-making and decentralized cooperation.

 Previous Secretaries General 

Josep Roig was Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments since September 2011, and until November 2017. He previously held the position of Secretary General of Metropolis, from 1999-2011.

Elisabeth Gateau was the first Secretary General of UCLG, elected in 2004 at the Founding Congress of UCLG in Paris. She held this position from 2004-2010. She previously held the position of Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions until 2002.