Assessment of 2015

2015 has been a good year for ORU Fogar. We have improved our organisation’s structure, our network has broadened and we have been able to place and reinforce our positioning in numerous global debates.  I would like to thank all actors with whom we have worked during this year, as their support and collaboration has been crucial improving the global governance and the leading role of regional intermediate governments. 

In March, we held an Executive Bureau in Ivory Coast hosted by ARDCI, showing our increasing presence in Africa. We had been concerned for a few months at the disappearance of the Senegalese regions by government decision and the consequent loss of one of our most loyal members: the Association of Senegalese Regions. In the end, the Bureau agreed on the Senegalese departments taking its place.  Furthermore, we have strengthened our relationship with the Kenyan Council of Governors, a strong leader in the Anglophone Africa because of the decentralising process it is implementing. The Kenyan Council represented ORU in a UNDP meeting in Botswana and ORU took part in the annual meeting of the Kenyan Governors. 

Our strong presence in America consolidated in September, in Montevideo, Uruguay, where we held an Executive Bureau and a Seminar on cross-border issues, hosted by the Consejo de Intendentes de Uruguay and attended by Brazilian, Argentinian, Paraguayan and Uruguayan Governors. Besides, thanks to a revived relationship with CONAGO, Mexico, we have established contact with numerous Mexican states. 

At the European level, we have built new bridges with some Italian regions and German Lands.   We took part in the XII Assembly of the Northern Forum, a meeting space that has our full support to structure the arctic regions and be the regional voice in the Arctic Council. ORU has also built bridges with some Chinese provinces.  

ORU’s members have taken part and had an impact on some of the major global debates of the year.  We congratulate the work teams of nrg4SD, Rhône-Alpes, Baden-Wurttemberg, California, Euskadi, ARDCI, PACA and R-20 for their contribution to the Climate Change debates at COP21 in Paris. The III Local Economic Development Forum held in Turin, Piamonte, Italy, was also a success. It was a pleasure for us to work with the city of Turin and its Mayor, Piero Fasino, and to continue to work with UNDP, UCLG, FAMSI and SEBRAE. ORU provided an important regional presence and a territorial message that is slowly getting through in the global discussions.  Particularly noteworthy is the work carried out by our Food Security Core Group and the remarkable involvement of its President Jean-Paul Bachy.

Over the course of this year, ORU has strengthened affinities with other actors.  With Platforma, we have carried through a European project that allowed us to explore and better understand all regional networks in the world. In the training sphere, we have conducted a Leadership Course with the Public Administration School of Catalonia. In order to consolidate and extend this offer, we are currently exploring new paths with   Euskadi, Asturias and the AIRF. In addition, we have signed collaboration agreements with the University of Monterrey, Mexico, and the University Blanquerna, Barcelona, which allowed us to reinforce the Secretariat in Barcelona and has helped us achieve the targets set in our 2015 Action Plan.  In the final quarter of the year, we have developed projects with our Latin American members to submit them to EU grant calls, which we hope will provide a good outcome. Lastly, we have made a proposal to UCLG to enhance our joint work so that together local and regional governments can tackle some thematic issues of the global debate. 

As ORU’s President, I would like to thank everyone involved once again for the great work done to make this flourish.  Even so, we are very aware that we have much work in front of us, but we face it with optimism, hope and enthusiasm. We are optimistic for the year coming and the VII Summit of Intermediate Regional Governments than will be held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. As in Cartagena de Indias in 2014, we are expecting the massive presence of leaders from regional, intermediate and federal states governments from all over the world. The preparations are advancing well, with the commitment and support from the Governor Luiz Fernando Pezao, and the coordination of the international team led by Pedro Spadale.

In 2016, ORU will continue to participate and make the voice of the intermediate governments heard in the discussions to address the great challenges of the international community. In this regard, my nomination as member of UNACLA, in my capacity as President of ORY, directs us to the Habitat III debate. We are also determined to work on the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda, out of the conviction that intermediate governments are paramount. 

I wish you all the very best for 2016 and hope meet you and count on your participation in Rio de Janeiro.

Paul Carrasco



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