United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) represents and defends the interests of local governments on the world stage, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. Headquartered in Barcelona, the organisation’s stated mission is:“To be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community.”UCLG has a targeted work programme, which focuses on:
- Increasing the role and influence of local government and its representative organisations in global governance.
- Becoming the main source of support for democratic, effective, innovative local government close to the citizen.
- Ensuring an effective and democratic global organisation.
United Cities and Local Governments supports international cooperation between cities and their associations, and facilitates programmes, networks and partnerships to build the capacities of local governments. The organisation promotes the role of women in local decision-making, and is a gateway to relevant information on local government across the world. The UCLG network is a decentralized structure composed of seven regional sections, one metropolitan section and one section for regional governments. Sections set their own policies and administer their own affairs while providing institutional support within their agreed geographical area for the World Organisation in the pursuit of its missions and objectives. They also reinforce the policies and activities decided by the governing bodies of the World Organisation and perform a policy, programming and administrative role. UCLG is present in 140 countries, has 240,000 member authorities and represents 5 billion people worldwide.