We'll welcome ORU in Rio with open arms

Rio de Janeiro will host the VII General Assembly of the United Regions Organisation – Global Forum of Regional Associations (ORU-Fogar), on the 14th and 15th of April. This Olympic year, which will definitely be a milestone in our history, we’ll have the great pleasure of welcoming high-level representatives of regions, states and provinces from the world over in the Guanabara Palace, headquarters of the State’s Government, in view of asserting the major role of cooperation between subnational governments as an increasingly important vehicle for contemporaneous international relations.

This year’s General Assembly will discuss strategies to improve the efficiency of Regions from all over the world, addressing fundamental issues such as the territorial management strategies; the ways of financing; the protection of cultural diversity; the relations among the different levels of governance and the preparation for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Urban Development, also known as Habitat III, that will be held in October.

Rio de Janeiro has always acted in a dynamic and proactive way in the international networks, because we are truly convinced that the proximity of the states and provinces to the local problems is crucial to identify the challenges and to implement adapted and efficient solutions. In this sense, the exchange of experiences and good practices proposed by ORU Fogar is of great importance for the social and economic development of the regions, which will directly improve the population’s quality of life.  

Cosmopolitan and multifaceted, Rio de Janeiro has constant dialogue with the rest of the world in its DNA. The public policies implemented here can be replicated in the most diverse regions in the world, depending on their environmental, economic, social and cultural diversity. This is why the government of the State of Rio de Janeiro invests in an international cooperation strategy that has obtained excellent results.  Whether importing or exporting programs and projects, we believe in dialogue with the outside and we take part in the most diverse areas and with the most heterogeneous regions in the world.

With the support of international partners, we have implemented in the last few years a series of public policies aimed at fighting the structural problems that have long affected the citizens’ quality of life. Many of these actions are the result of the exchange of successful experiences with other national and subnational governments, in areas like public safety, health and education.  This continuous flow of learning and adaptation of knowledge is precisely what we are trying to promote by hosting the General Assembly.

Thanks to this wider opening, the State of Rio de Janeiro has regained a vanguard position in the last decade, attracting a large volume of foreign investment and major international sports and cultural events. 2016 will crown this transformation with the holding of the biggest show on earth, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This year, all eyes will turn to the Cidade Maravilhosa, and on the path towards that unforgettable moment, ORU’s General Assembly will have great significance.

In this unique context, this world Summit of will attract great attention to the topics discussed, allowing specific and long-lasting progress in the pursuit of solutions to the main challenges that states and regions the world over are facing. I would like to thank ORU Fogar for the trust placed in our state, and I hope that the meetings will be very productive.   We’ll be waiting for you with open arms!


Luiz Fernando Pezão

Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro

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