Vice President of Uganda, HE Edward K Ssekandi, today launched the 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference to a packed audience of stakeholders including development agencies, the private sector, local councils and the diplomatic community at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala. The conference, run by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, will take place in Kampala in May 2013, hosted by Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Local Government and in cooperation with the Uganda Local Governments Association. The conference is held every two years and 2013 will be the first time it has been held in East Africa.
The launch provided an opportunity for the wider community in Uganda – including relevant donor, diplomatic, research and community organisations, the private sector and the media – to learn about the conference and associated events and mark the date in their diaries. The organizers are hoping to get support from many of these groups in the running of the event.
The Commonwealth Local Government Conference is the most important international event in the local government calendar. The conference is expected to attract some 600 high-level politicians, policy-makers and practitioners including ministers responsible for local government, mayors and city and council leaders and other senior decision-makers and practitioners in local government from Africa, Europe, the Pacific and the Caribbean to meet and learn about new ideas, approaches, and practice that can support their councils to deliver better services. It is also attended by partners from the private sector, development agencies and civil society. Its outcomes will be reported to the Commonwealth Heads of Government when they meet in Sri Lanka later in 2013.
CLGF Secretary-General, Carl Wright, said,
“This conference is CLGF’s flagship event that brings together some 600 delegates who are key decision-makers in local government at both national and local level, members, from across the Commonwealth.
“We have invited the business sector, development agencies and groups to this launch today to inform them about the event seek their support and involvement in the 2013 Commonwealth Local Government Conference event.
“This is a key opportunity to engage with senior local government practitioners from the 54 Commonwealth countries and beyond.
“The private sector is an important partner. They also have a key role in helping local government play its developmental role by working with local government to provide the basic services needed to improve social and economic well-being of our communities, and to help provide vital infrastructure – not just roads, airports and so forth but also things like telecoms and broadband capacity for local governments to create the best environment for their citizens to prosper.
Mr Wright also noted the importance of the involvement of development agencies in this particular event because of the theme: Developmental local government: putting local government at the heart of development.
He said that the conference will: bring the debate on local government’s role in development to CLGF’s members to get their input on the opportunities and challenges in the way forward, and input in the issues being considered in the post-2015 debate ion sustainable development targets including a greater emphasis on democracy and governance, social inclusion and community cohesion and what has been termed the ‘well-being’ of communities and individuals.
Local government’s essential contribution to development in general and the realisation of the MDGs in particular is only now being properly recognised and integrated into the development and decentralisation policies of many countries and international donor agencies – thanks to the advocacy work of CLGF and other international agencies
The conference will be opened by HE President Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, who is also an honorary patron of CLGF, and will have high-profile speakers from around the world including Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma. Speakers at previous conferences have included former New Zealand Prime and now UNDP Executive Director Minister Helen Clark, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Prof Jeffrey Sachs and captains of industry such as Microsoft and Tata.
Note to editors
The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) was founded in 1995, as a focus for action on local democracy in the Commonwealth. It works to promote and strengthen democratic local government across the Commonwealth and to encourage the exchange of best practice. It has some 200 members in 45 Commonwealth countries including national ministries of local government, local councils, and local government associations. Both MOLG and ULGA are members of CLGF.