UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture and Tourism

The UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture, which was initially carrying out its activities as a working group, was established with the decision taken during the UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau and Council Joint Meeting held in December 2013 in Konya. UCLG-MEWA Committee on Tourism was established during the UCLG-MEWA Executive Bureau and Council Joint Meeting on November 13, 2015. During the UCLG-MEWA Congress to be held on 9-10 July 2019 in Amman, Jordan, these two committees were merged.

UCLG-MEWA and Cultural Policies

At the Bilbao Meeting of 18-20 March 2015, representatives of cities and local governments from all over the world were invited to the meeting by the UCLG World Organization adopted “Culture 21: Actions” at the first Cultural Summit.

The UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture and Tourism, as a platform for its members in the initiation and implementation of programs and policies highlighting the role of culture in sustainable development; works to put forward the importance of the integral relationship between culture, tourism and sustainable development. It aims to promote culture, cultural diversity and tourism, which is one of the basic steps of sustainable development in spreading “Agenda 21 for Culture”, locally and internationally.

Priorities of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture and Tourism

The priorities of the UCLG-MEWA Culture and Tourism Committee are as follows;

Sustainable Development Goals; Making cities and human settlements embracing everyone, safe, strong and sustainable (Goal 11); Increasing efforts to preserve and protect the cultural and natural heritage of the world (Goal 11.4); It supports the promotion of peaceful and inclusive communities for sustainable development (Goal 16).
• To advocate for all committed areas of “Agenda 21 for Culture” and monitor the implementation by local authorities.
• To support the protection of and defense cultural diversity, which is the main heritage of humanity.
• To emphasize the importance of historical centers and their environment in the development of the region in the protection of cultural heritage in their programs and projects.
• To promote and defense cultural rights.
• To advocate the need for the development of Sustainable Tourism, which interacts with cultural ecosystems.
• To understand the roles and duties of local administrations in tourism, to develop common tourism policies and to establish common standards and collaborate.
• Travel and tourism is an advocate of the Global Ethics Principles in Tourism, which covers the economic, social, cultural and environmental components and is the main framework of sustainable tourism.
• To support the active participation of local people in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public cultural policies.
• To encourage the culture of peace among its members by considering a peaceful solution to the internal and external conflicts of cities.
• To encourage committee members to refer national and international special days for the establishment of culture and peace in their activity programs.
• Since culture is in close interaction with the environment, social inclusion and governance; to develop policies and strategies in cooperation with the Committees on Environment, Local Governance and Social Inclusion.

President: Balıkesir Metropolitan Municipality - Türkiye


  1. Beit Sahour Municipality - Palestine
  2. Kyrenia Municipality - TRNC
  3. Mersin Metropolitan Municipality - Türkiye
  4. Şanlıurfa Metropolitan Municipality Türkiye
  5. Tehran Municipality - Iran
Committee Documents



United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) strongly condemns the terrorist attack resulting in civilian casualties on November 13th in Istanbul, which also hosts the Organization's Secretariat. UCLG-MEWA stays firmly against any terroristic attempt that threatens or disrupts the region's peace, security, and stability. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and wish for a speedy recovery for those injured. In this regard, we express our sincere gratitude to our well-wishers and friends in the local governments for their condolence messages.


“Training on Urban Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction for Arab Cities” organized by UCLG-MEWA, UCLG Learning, UNDRR, and ATO will take place on 1-2 November in Dibba Al Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.


The Executive Bureau Meeting of the United Cities and Local Governments, Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) will be held on 23-24 November 2022, hosted by Gebze Municipality at Bilişim Vadisi (Technology Development Zone).


The 6th Tehran Golden Adobe Award, organized by Tehran Municipality in cooperation with United Nations Human Settlement Program (UNHABITAT), will be held in Tehran on 31 October-1 November. The Award will focus on “People-Oriented Development, Social Dynamism and Cultural Inclusion in City.” The project entries can be submitted to the website until 7 October. .


The second issue of the UCLG-MEWA quarterly magazine MEWA Agora is out. The issue with the main focus on Decentralized Cooperation includes the Feature on cities’ development cooperation in the MEWA Region, the Opinion piece by Sogen Moodley from the Durban University of Technology, the Interview with Tayseer Abu Sneineh, the new president of UCLG-MEWA, and "Wastewater and Municipal Water Systems Management" good practice on decentralized cooperation.


Tehran Municipality’s initiative Asian Mayors Forum, cooperating with Allameh Tabataba’i University from Iran, will be organizing its first international Summer School on Urban Management.


UCLG-MEWA Committee on Gender Equality will organize its first program with the new committee presidency after UCLG-MEWA Congress’22. The program will be held on 5 August 2022, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) under the auspices of the Municipality of Girne


UCLG-MEWA expresses grave concern and sympathies towards the families of the victims of the devastating earthquake in Afghanistan that hit the country's Paktika Province on June 21 and resulted in more than a thousand deaths and many more injuries.

 Iran Smart City Expo 2022

You are all invited to the 3rd Iran Smart City Expo & Conference, which will take place between July 3-5, 2022. The program, hosted by the help of the Ministry of Interior of Iran, aims to develop participants’ networks and provides capacity building opportunities on “Smart City Policies/Practices”.

 Tehran Twin Cities Festival

Tehran Municipality invites its Twin Cities to participate in the 1st Festival and Exhibition of Sister and Twin Cities of Tehran between 5-9 July 2022, to share experiences and display their capabilities and opportunities for joint projects and bilateral or multilateral cooperation.