UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion

Objectives and Priority areas

During its Executive Bureau and Council Joint Meeting in Adana, Turkey on 19 December 2014, UCLG-MEWA established a committee on Social Inclusion. This committee aims to strengthen local social policies, to identify best practices and to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing among UCLG-MEWA members.

The Committee aims to be a regional platform of collaboration and exchange enabling its members to strengthen their capacities and to build a common vision of social services for local authorities of the MEWA region. This will enable our city members to fully participate in the elaboration of national and international development agenda and to implement efficient policies towards on-going social issues. During its first year of work, UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion identified 3 key issues that will require our attention: refugees and migration; children; and participative democracy.

Refugees and Migration

The current refugees and forced migration crisis taking place in the MEWA region is among worldwide greatest concerns. However and although refugees and migrants are proven to be highly present in urban areas, the role of local authorities in managing such a crisis remains under estimated by United Nations organizations, international development actors and donors. The UCLG-MEWA Social Inclusion Committee activities will pave the way towards the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in May 2016 in Istanbul, a major event for the Committee members to present a common vision and to advocate for the role of local authorities.

UCLG-MEWA not only assumes the duty of representing its members before the UN and similar organizations and advocating their rights and interests, but also develops projects and guides its members in implementing these projects. To this end UCLG-MEWA has launched a research project simultaneously in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon on Middle Eastern Urban Forced Migrants Social Inclusion Policies. The research gathers knowledge on local governments’ budgets dedicated to Middle Eastern forced migrants’ social inclusion as well as national and international budgets strengthening municipalities capabilities’ as migration management actor. The data collected point out the lack of recognition of local authorities as actors in the current migration crisis that affects the MEWA region.

UCLG-MEWA has partnered a project led by UN-Habitat office for Lebanon, with the support of the Ford Foundation to the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund to develop knowledge of decision makers and the capacity of city staff in the field of migration management. The project has been accepted and it will last 18 months and be implemented in 4 Lebanese cities: Beirut, Tripoli, Zahle and Saida.


Children and the young generations are at the heart of vibrant and inclusive cities. All along the year 2015, UCLG-MEWA Committee on Social Inclusion has collaborated with UNICEF-Turkey on the Child-Friendly Cities Initiatives, implemented in 10 municipalities of Turkey. The results of the project will be displayed by the end of the year in order to identify the best practices that can be disseminated and implemented among other municipalities of the region.

Participative democracy

In order to continue the development of projects, inclusive of vulnerable populations, migrants, refugees, children, elderly and disabled persons and developing a common vision of social inclusion, the UCLG-MEWA Social Inclusion Committee strongly wishes to increase and strengthen its members’ participation. We believe that your organization will provide significant contributions to this Committee and, on the purpose of taking your precious opinions and suggestions.

UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights

The Committee aims to contribute to articulating a common voice for cities in UCLG on social inclusion, participatory democracy and human rights, and to advise local governments on the design of these policies.

To that end, the Committee fosters political debate, exchange of experiences and the collective generation of new knowledge in order to establish guidelines for designing and implementing innovative local policies on social inclusion, participatory democracy and human rights.

To date, the main outputs of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights have been:

-         The document For a world of inclusive cities, which is now the UCLG's political position on social inclusion.
-      The Inclusive Cities Observatory, a virtual platform that contains 65 case studies on innovative policies for community development, access to public services, gender equality, environmental protection and poverty eradication, among other issues.
-        The Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City, adopted by UCLG in 2011 at the World Council in Florence (Italy).
-         The political promotion of the European Charter for Human Rights in the City, adopted in Saint-Denis (France) in 2000

President: Union of Municipalities of Turkey - Türkiye


  1. Adana Metropolitan Municipality - Türkiye
  2. Beylikdüzü Municipality - Türkiye
  3. Salfeet Municipality - Palestine
  4. Sultanbeyli 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.