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Dear members, partners and colleagues,
 
It is with great pleasure that I announce that, on 28 January, for the first time ever, the main global and regional associations of local governments signed a Political Agreement for a Strategic Partnership with the European Commission.

This historic moment took place in the presence of the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, and political representatives of all five networks (AIMF, CLGF, CEMR-PLATFORMA, UCLG and UCLG Africa). UCLG was represented by its President, Kadir TopbaÅŸ, Mayor of Istanbul.
 
This strategic partnership will enable each of our organisations to enhance its activities, but also challenges us all, collectively, to seek common goals, develop new means of collaboration, and work together to build our capacities.
  
I wanted to give you this important information, tell you how happy we are, and to thank you all sincerely for your ongoing support.
 
Josep Roig
Secretary General of UCLG
"By strengthening the structure and capacity of local authorities, as well as their capacity
to influence the interests and practices of national governments, we can make a real difference in development
".  

Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
 The Strategic Partnership will strengthen the network and contribute to its sustainability. It will support our transformation and enable us to serve members with changing needs. This will be most challenging, and all of us must play a part. It is our conviction that we will be able to build stronger political networks which are resilient, more inclusive and with an even wider reach. Last but not least, the partnership will promote cooperation among local governments and foster the development of a stronger learning agenda in UCLG.     
 
Kadir TopbaÅŸ, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG. 
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