Commenting on the event, Goshtasb Mozaffari, Director of International Relations at Tehran Municipality said: “One of the achievements of this session, according to foreign guests, is becoming acquainted with the developments of the city of Tehran and strengthening of friendship and close relations among regional cities and nations for establishment of peace.”
What follows is an exclusive interview with Mozaffari on the trend of the session and its importance.
Q: What are the programs of the present session?
The United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) organizes a meeting in one of the member cities and this year the members were guests of Tehran Municipality. Programs of the session in its first part include speeches by the mayors and officials participating in the session. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, vice chairman of UCLG-MEWA, the mayor of Gaza, representative of Istanbul mayor and Mehmet Duman, Secretary General of the organization delivered speeches.
In his speech, Duman delivered a report on the activities of the organization in the past year as well as the message of the session to the cities in West Asia and the Middle East. Also, upon a proposal of Gaza mayor that was unanimously approved by the participants Tehran mayor was elected the chairman of UCLG. In the second part, the participating mayors and officials became acquainted with different dimensions of urban management in Tehran and experiences and successes of Tehran Municipality in the area of public transportation, social-cultural issues, retrofitting and urban development. In this part, members enthusiastically participated in programs to inspect Tehran, including Abbasabad area, transfer of Qasr Prison into a garden museum, and Tehran observatory which has been operated by Tehran Municipality and is unique in the Middle East. After the inspection tour members expressed their views about Tehran in a meeting. Recent reports of UCLA-MEWA were discussed and most of the members congratulated Tehran mayor on these achievements.
The third part included two specialized workshops the themes of which were chosen with regard to the conditions of the cities of the region. Speakers from Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey delivered speeches in the workshops.
Q: Were programs of UCLA-MEWA in the next year announced?
According to the approvals of the meeting, the next session is scheduled to be held in Konya and Turkey would be the next host of the gathering. UCLG has a general congress which is held once in three years but it has also annual meetings. With regard to the approvals, the next year meeting would be held at the mausoleum of Mowlana.
Q: What were the aims of the session and in your opinion was the session successful in realizing its objectives?
One of the major achievements of this session was to familiarize foreign guests with the progress Tehran has made in the region and the participants in the session expressed joy over visiting Tehran. Many of the guests were visiting Tehran for the first time. Among other achievements of the session was consolidation of friendship among regional cities and nations for establishment of peace and in my opinion great successes were achieved in this regard.