UCLG（United Cities and Local Governments） World Council was recently being held online from November 9-13. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG, has visited Guangzhou many times. During this meeting, she had an interview with Newsgd.com and praised Guangzhou for the help it offered other cities during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shed insights into the ways UCLG has been uniting global cities to contain the pandemic.
Photo provided to Newsgd
Newsgd.com: During the pandemic, what contributions have you seen Guangzhou made? What measures are there for other cities to learn from?
Emilia Saiz: Guangzhou was the first city to respond and provided a lot of supplies. Everyone knows that at the beginning, our supplies were very scarce. There was no protective clothing or medical equipment. I think there are hundreds of thousands of masks in the world now from Guangzhou. My team also used masks from Guangzhou. Guangzhou is also very timely in participating in communication, such as providing us with documentation. Once other cities have demand, Guangzhou will help them.
I also took note of this year's Canton Fair. I think the practices of the Canton Fair will set an example for us all. We know that the Canton Fair has now been conducted online, which also provides us with a precedent.
Newsgd.com：Different cities have implemented different measures to fight the pandemic. What do you think is the reason for this?
Emilia Saiz: We have communicated with more than 60 cities. From a basic point of view, I think the measures taken by all cities are the same, but the difference lies in how long it takes us to make decisions and how long these measures should be implemented. The population structure of different regions is also different. For example, in some parts of Latin America, their street economy is very important. Many people do not have formal jobs, so they must go to the streets so that they can find a job and make a living. This also led to the spread of the pandemic.
Newsgd.com: What measures has UCLG taken to promote city cooperation since the COVID-19 pandemic? Did you face any difficulties?
Emilia Saiz: We came together with the World Metropolis Association to collect city cases and exchange experiences. We organized a study group every week.
In the global pandemic, energy also needs to be noted. There are some people around the world who cannot enjoy the benefits of technology. In fact, these problems existed before, but the problems have been magnified under the pandemic.
Newsgd.com：What plans does UCLG have for future cooperation between international cities? What are your expectations for Guangzhou?
Emilia Saiz: Guangzhou has a lot of twin cities and has a long history of connections with many other cities in the world. So, we have been paying close attention to the situation in Guangzhou and some good ideas from Guangzhou. Of course, Guangzhou also brought us a lot of support. In addition, Guangzhou has established the Guangzhou Award, which is conducive to promoting the innovation of the city.
Author | Alice
Editor | Jasmine, Jerry