On 2 September, the UCLG Working Group on Territorial Prevention and Management of Crises gathered to discuss the UCLG International Solidarity Fund Chart and to lay out the work plan for the coming year.
Sami Kanaan, Mayor of Geneva, Pablo Jurado, president of CONGOPE and UCLG Vice President, Emilia Saiz, UCLG, Secretary General, together with representatives from the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD), the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Cités Unies France, the Technical Office of Lebanese Cities, the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, and the International Association of Francophone Mayors, and the Provinces of Santa Fe and Azuay gathered to debate the use of the solidarity fund.
“Numerous international organisations and humanitarian institutions have their headquarters in Geneva. We have experience and can contribute to facilitate interaction between international institutions” Sami Kanaan, Mayor of Geneva and president of the UCLG Working Group on Territorial Prevention and Management of Crises.
“The pandemic is a current issue. However, we’ve been facing crises since years such as climate change, migration. Whether you’re in the countryside or in cities, we’re all facing crises. Municipalities, regions, provinces must react because the lives of our fellow citizens matter” Pablo Jurado, Vice-President of UCLG for the Forum of Regions and President of the Consortium of Provincial Autonomous Governments of Ecuador (CONGOPE):
The international Solidarity Fund Chart is a tool meant to help the international community, and those communities that have suffered disasters, communicate. Participants argued on the goals for the ISFC, and what purpose it needs to fulfill. The goal, speakers argued, is not to be the “next red cross”, but rather to allow communities to define, by linking them together through the Charter, the kind of resources they will need, as well as prevention measures and communication.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the crisis in Beirut and in the Lebanon. Participants at the meeting of the UCLG Working Group coincided on the need to help all cities in the Lebanon, since it is loca and regional governments that a re at the forefront of the crisis, and to provide a common response and have a greater impact on the cities that are suffering.
The ISFC can be a useful tool, participants highlighted, since it can help understand the specific needs of Lebanese cities and thus ensure that the help they need arrives in a more efficient manner. A Donors’ Committee meeting is set to take part on October 9th to aid lebanese local governments.
The Chart will be presented for action to the Executive Bureau in November of this year in the framework of the UCLG World Council.