Istanbul mayor Topbas elected head of UN United Cities organization
Istanbul Greater Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbas on Saturday was elected president of the United Nations' United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) through 2013, the Anatolia news agency reported. The UCLG has thousands of members, including local administrators from 136 of 192 UN countries. Speaking at the third UCLG world congress in Mexico City, Topbas said that a new era had begun for the body. "There will be a stronger and more recognizable UCLG which will be able to meet all demands," he said, adding that all of its leaders will be responsible for meeting the millennium development goals. Lisbon Mayor Antonio Costa, who left Topbas the only candidate when he withdrew from the race, advocated dialogue between cultures and religions, saying, "I would like to work with Topbas, who is a very prestigious president and mayor of Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe." Mayors and local authority representatives from all around the world created the UCLG in 2004, and its next world congress is slated for Morocco in 2013.