3rd ASEAN Mayors Forum

26

Mayors calls for collaborative efforts for bright urban future

Representative Image

Taguig: United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and City of Taguig jointly organized the 3rd ASEAN Mayors Forum at Shangri-La The Fort in Bonifacio Global City on July 26th and 27th, 2017.

The foremost objective of the Forum was to empower local governments and city leaders in the development process of their respective cities by working together. It was reflected in the two-day Forum that witnessed participation from a host of mayors from all ASEAN countries and beyond. The mayors committed to connect the ASEAN’s vision for city development with the global approach for good city governance. The significance of people-to-people connectivity, institutional connectivity and physical connectivity among ASEAN as highlighted in Master Plan ASEAN Connectivity 2025 was also deliberated upon in detail. The focus was on opening the borders and ‘prosper together’ so that the regioncan flourish as a single community.Mayor of  Taguig Maria Laarni L. Cayetano the Host of the 3rd AMF welcomed the participants in her city. She said: “We at the local governments are confronted with opportunities and challenges at daily basis. It is definitely hard to do it alone. I think it is the best that we learn from each other, collaborate and cooperate and work in synergy with one another.” [sic.]

UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, in her opening remarks, said: “This event underlines the critical role and participation of local governments in the process of regional integration. In this Forum, we aim to enhance the responsiveness of local governments on ASEAN, and to be a valuable platform where the governors, mayors, vice mayors, and other local stakeholders can learn from their peers and grow a supportive network for local governments in South
East Asia.”

“In the face of growing global disorder and straining of ties between nations, the ASEAN is an ideal example how nations can prosper together with strategic collaborations at multiple level. The fundamental question has become unescapable: can it be done without cities and the pro-active role of their leaders? The obvious answer is: no.”

She further added that a large population lives in cities in ASEAN countries and more are expected to arrive; cities also generate a huge portion of national wealth. Moreover, ASEAN countries would have over 250+ new cities. They would require technical, institutional and financial support and handholding from the existing cities to direct their growth trajectory in the right direction.

Mayor Edgardo D. Pamintuan, Angeles City, LCP National President, said that the Forum is organized to explore ways and means to promote cross-border interactions between local governments. It is acting as a platform to establish partnerships to improve the quality of life and environmental sustainability within the region in accordance with the ASEAN Blueprint.

Secretary Catalino S. Cuy, Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines also stressed on collaborations and co-operation between nations and local governments for building better cities and bringing prosperity for all. He added it was nice to know that our counterparts from other ASEAN nations share the common desire and aspiration advanced by mutual support and cooperation persistent about peace and development in the region.

The Forum discussed key policy frameworks and instruments, ways to facilitate knowledge sharing and mutual learning among mayorsand a number of international organizations, working in the field to foster sustainable development and achieve stronger community in ASEAN region. The mayors signed an agreement with counterparts from private companies. The agreement acted as a message to the leaders in the region on the importance of engaging corporations in local sustainable development. The Forum also agreed to establish a Secretariat of Mayors Network. It will function as a platform for mayors and local governments to learn and connect, and also work as a supporting mechanism for cities and local governments to plan and implement their joint projects or programs.

At the 3rd AMF, UCLG ASPAC, and one of its newest members, Bogor City in Indonesia also signed a memorandum of understanding to augment the pace of development by prioritizing the city needs and improving service delivery mechanism and capacity building of its municipal personnel. Several other MoUs were signed between cities to improve knowledge sharing and improve relations between respective cities. DatoMaimunahMohd Sharif, President, Municipal Council of Seberang Perai, Penang (Malaysia) and Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary General, launched a publication ‘Borderless Mobility and Connectivity in ASEAN’ during the event. It contains best practices and strategies executed in ASEAN cities that foster peer to peer learning, as well as address different urban challenges. With local government leaders and champions in mind, its readers are sure to find practical and engaging content in the publication. 

A series of sessions at the Forum covered multiple sets of themes, issues and agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), New Urban Agenda, Local Economic Development, Resiliency, Youth and Women Leadership, keeping people at the center.

In conclusion, it was agreed that AMF would be held on annual basis and in line with ASEAN Chairmanship. Participants adopted the Taguig Action Agenda that is designed to strengthen local government participation in the realization of ASEAN objectives through concrete actions at the local level. City leaders and representatives of local governments from various ASEAN cities committed to organize an entity dedicated for ASEAN local governments that will serve as regional platform for collaboration that will be accredited and supported by the ASEAN Secretariat. Everyone also agreed to participate actively in formal ASEAN meetings and processes to articulate issues and challenges besetting local governments across the region, in order to improve alignment and coordination for policy implementation, and to build stronger partnerships.

All the participants collectively agreed to review the progress of the Taguig Action Agenda and undertake to convene as a unified body every two years. The Action Plan is also for forging a more resilient future by reducing disaster and climate related risks, preventing the generation of new risks, and adapting to a changing climate through the implementation of economic, social, cultural and environmental measures which address exposure and vulnerability and strengthen resilience. The Agenda also stressed on establishing a cadre of innovative and inspiring local leaders that will continuously engage key stakeholders and members of the communities to participate in the realization of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 that highlights people-centeredness in its growth agenda. The Agenda also underpinned the resolve to implement key areas of existing global commitments that call for an active role of local governments including the Sustainable Development Goals, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, New Urban Agenda, and Financing for Sustainable Development.

Catalino Cuy
Secretary, Interior and Local Government

Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines stressed on collaborations and co-operation between nations and local governments for building better cities and bringing prosperity for all. He said: “it was nice to know that our counterparts from other ASEAN nations share the common desire and aspiration advanced by mutual support and cooperation persistent about peace and development in the region”