Organized with the initiative of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality; Inaugural Congress of the World Administrative Cities Association took place on 4-6 September 2018 with the participation of representatives of local governments and experts from the capital cities of various countries.
Following the World Administrative Capitals Forum held in Sejong, the administrative capital of the Republic of Korea, organized by the initiative of the municipality with the participation of Ankara (Turkey), Sejong (Korea), Putrajaya (Malaysia), Islamabad (Pakistan), Brasilia (Brazil) and Beijing (China); the organization of the Forum was made permanent and the World Administrative Capital Cities Association was established. Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Co-President of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on City Diplomacy and Development, was elected as the Term President of the Association.
Speaking at the opening session of the program, Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Tuna, Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, stated that the World Administrative Cities Association aims to create an international platform where information and experiences are shared in order to increase the development and prosperity levels of administrative capitals throughout the world, as well as developing solutions to the common problems faced by administrative cities and establishing a close and dynamic communication network between them. As the Term President, Mayor Tuna underlined that this Association would also play an important role at the point of strengthening mutual understanding, friendship ties and peace culture among cities. One of the important names addressing the participants at the opening was Murat Kurum, Minister of Environment and Urbanization of the Republic of Turkey. Minister Kurum pointed out that the cooperation between the cities of the world from urban transformation to migration, from humanitarian aid to climate change has become obligatory, and today a new world order has been established in which cities are the economic power, rather than the countries.
Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep & President of Union of Municipalities of Turkey & UCLG-MEWA President, defined in her opening speech that capital cities are the places where the heart of country beats. President Şahin expressed her conviction that she would find common solutions to existing problems, through sharing experiences and making the city administrations stronger.
Two sessions were held under the program titled "Best Practices for Urban Transformation, Smart Cities and Administrative Cities," in which mayors and experts joint the discussions. After the "Mayors Session", moderated by Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Tuna, Mayor of Ankara, the "Experts Session" was chaired by Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General. Experts from Brazil, Australia, Mozambique, and South Korea shared their knowledge and experience with participants, during the session.
Following the panel discussion, Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Tuna, Mayor of Ankara and Co-President of the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Development Cooperation and City Diplomacy, and Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, discussed the preparations towards the administrative meeting of the Committee to be held at the end of 2018, and exchanged views on upcoming activities of the Committee.