Solidarity support, prevention and policies related to natural disasters & earthquakes were at the forefront of the XVIII NALAS General Assembly that took place in Istanbul, Türkiye on 15 March 2023.
In the opening speech, Mr. Cvetanovic, stated that “When we look at all different layers of crisis of different nature piling up in the past couple of years, the pandemic, the economic and social crisis, the energy crisis as the consequence of the war in Ukraine, the ever more often draught and floods due to climate change, to culminate most recently with the devastating earthquake of epic proportions in Turkiye, it prompt us to think – are we prepared to face such tremendous and multiple challenges? Do we have resilient cities?”
He then invited mayors to reflect and exchange on their experiences on how can the response to crisis be improved and can more solidarity be mobilized in such cases.
Mr. Cvetanovic, also acknowledged the presence of the esteemed guests, the leadership of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the President of its Chamber of Local Governments Mr Bernd Voehringer and the Congress Secretary General Mr Mathieu Mori who addressed the delegates of the General Assembly.
Mr. Bernd Vöhringer, the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, stressed that “Municipalities and regions are key to answer crisis. They unfortunately had to show it many times in the past years. Involving them in structured crisis prevention and action plans at national and European plans is crucial. Let’s learn from past crisis management shortcomings and change our practices.”
Mathieu Mori, Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities highlighted that “The topic of the General Assembly could not be more relevant in today’s context, and I am glad that it is taken up by NALAS, a long-standing partner of the Congress in upholding and strengthening local democracy, even in difficult times. The Congress will continue to engage with NALAS to promote more resilient and sustainable cities and regions.”
In line with the rotation presidency system, Mr. M. Ergün Turan was inaugurated as the President of NALAS for 2023-2024 on behalf of MMU.
“I take this role of NALAS President convinced that the strength of the network comes from its members, which is you, the local government associations and your members local government authorities. Each and every city and municipality in our region can benefit from NALAS’ knowledge, experience and expertise. During my presidency, I will be working on expending NALAS’ coverage, so that it includes the whole geographical South-East Europe” – emphasized the new President, Mr. M. Ergün Turan.
During the statutory meeting delegates also approved the NALAS 2022 Annual Narrative and Financial Reports as well as the NALAS Strategic Plan 2023-2027, which were presented by NALAS Executive Director, Mr. Kelmend Zajazi.