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Acting President official opens UCLG

Delegates were given a warm, vibrant KwaZulu Natal welcome with eThekwini’s own literary artist, Gcina Hlope reciting a poem and the song of world renowned Ndlovu Youth Choir reverberating through the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC at the official opening of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) Congress held on 13 November 2019.

The Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, acting on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, officially opened the congress. She said, ‘This congress has the responsibility of reimaging our futures by exploring new and innovative ways to reverse the economic fortunes of the majority of our citizens.

Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda, welcomed the 3000 delegates saying that the conference will lead to a renewed commitment from cities, to govern with a strong commitment to democratic values, a human rights culture and the building of partnerships for cities to take their rightful place as the leading site of a new international agenda for inclusive and sustainable development. He continued, “The summit will allow leaders and partners to strategize on all local contributions to the global goals of sustainability, resilience and inclusion and inspire us to build unity, ethical leadership and tangible plans for gender equality, youth and people with disabilities.

President of UCLG, Parks Tau, said: “The world congress is about the consolidation of strategy, and the beginning of a new era. We will be speaking of migration, spatial planning, the environment, finance and resources and the safety of women.”

Global Peace Chairperson, Graca Machel, handed over a declaration of intent to present a Global Peace Charter to the United Nations to convene a Global Peace Forum in 2020 for people of the world to unite against hatred, racism, war, discrimination and marginalization. 

As a symbolic gesture and launch of the ‘Plant Trees not Bombs Campaign’, a tree was planted by Global Peace and the National Defence Force at the ICC, urging nations of the world to join in to plant 75million trees by October 2020, thereby also mitigating against climate change.

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