Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on Monday had great deliberations at the on-going retreat of the Executive Board members of the Global Mayors Migration Council hosted at Milleniun Hilton Hotel, One UN Plaza, New York.
Her Worship Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the Mayor of Freetown City, Sierra Leone and Lukwago represent the African continent on the Executive Board which was inaugurated in Marrakech, Morroco in December last year.
The core object and Mission of the Mayors Migration Council is to provide a platform for the implementation of the UN Global Compacts on Migrants and Refugees, advancement of the ideals of the New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and other related international instruments.
Through this global mayors’ forum, mayors seek to institutionalise cities’ participation in the UN and other international policy deliberations and discourse relating to Migration and Refugees, Unlock, direct and redirect resource flows to cities, creating an enabling national policy environment for city implementation of international and regional protocols etc.
In his submissions, Lukwago reiterated a call to colleagues on the Executive Board to include on policy agenda the dire need to address the question of institutional and/or constitutional instability which is at the root of the political instability and economic deprivation, the major adverse drivers of migration and refugee crisis afflicting the Great Lakes Region and, perhaps, the entire African continent.
He also brought to their attention the neo-slave trade practices on the African Continent disguised as migrant labour and the plight of the Ugandan Immigrants in the Middle East who are brazenly abused, dehumanised and tortured with reckless abandon.
The meeting canvassed a wide range of issues relating to Migrants and Refugees and the role of Cities leadership in addressing the same.
“We crowned it with an international media briefing addressed by myself, H/W Giuseppa Sala, the Mayor of Milan, Italy; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, United kingdom; Valeria Plante, Mayor of Montreal, Canada; Bruno Covas, Mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Corine Mauch, Mayor of Zurich, Switzerland.”
Lukwago took off time for a light moment with H/W Valerie Plante, the Mayor of Montreal city, Quebec, Canada and H/W Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown City, Sierra Leone.
He called them charismatic political leaders who defied societal stereotypes to become first female mayors in their respective cities.
“They have amazing stories to tell, imbued with revolutionary and inspirational ideas,” Lukwago said.