Group praises Uruguay's effort to strengthen cities

URUGUAY CITIES | 15 de mayo de 2018

Montevideo, May 15 (efe-epa).- Uruguay's innovative decentralization efforts are observed "with great enthusiasm" across the region, the executive secretary of the Latin American Federation of Cities, Municipalities and Municipal Associations (Flacma) said here Tuesday.

Sergio Arredondo spoke to reporters after a meeting he and Flacma head Ivan Arcianega held with Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez and the leader of the Uruguay Mayors Council, Jose Luis Falero, to discuss the XII Western Hemisphere Summit of Mayors and Local Governments, set for August in the coastal resort of Punta del Este.

Decentralization efforts in Uruguay coincide with Flacma's campaigns to revert "the long history" of centralization in Latin America, he said.

"People want cities with greater institutional capabilities to respond to their needs, with substantial improvement in public services, and that is the agenda for the August summit," Arredondo said.

In recent years, Uruguay "took a clear turn" with reforms aimed to strengthen local governments, such as creating "a third tier of government helping to bring solutions closer to citizens," he said.

"This is not happening in other Latin American countries, and that is why we observe with great attention this decentralization process in Uruguay, and that's why we want to come and acknowledge it directly," Arredondo said.

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