Three months ago in January I outlined CLGF’s agenda for 2016. Since then we have already made important progress on key organisational objectives, such as establishing our new programme office for the Caribbean in Port of Spain, and appointment of a new CLGF Secretary-General. We have also scheduled the next meeting of the Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network for July and participated in a number of important city and Habitat III related meetings, including through the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments and Cities Alliance, of which CLGF is a member
The theme of the 2016 Commonwealth Day, 14 March is ‘an inclusive Commonwealth’. The Commonwealth, composed of 53 highly diverse countries, both large and small, highly developed and least developed, island states and landlocked states, is by its very nature inclusive. Similar considerations apply to the people of the Commonwealth, which represent so many different cultures, faiths and political affiliations.
New Year’s resolutions are easy to make, but not so easy to keep. CLGF should therefore be selective about its own resolutions for 2016, but this does not mean it should not be ambitious. A core objective for 2016 must be to maintain and expand further CLGF’s own structures and local government network, including its active presence and programme in support of its members in all regions of the Commonwealth. This means sustaining the current regional programmes offices in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and, as planned, starting a new programme and office in the Caribbean. If this is to be done, CLGF will need to successfully conclude new funding agreements with key partners, both existing and new.