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UCLG Congress to be held at Daejeon next month

The official poster of UCLG Congress to be held at Daejeon (Daejeon Metropolitan City)
The official poster of UCLG Congress to be held at Daejeon (Daejeon Metropolitan City)

Daejeon is making the final preparations for the international summit of local and regional governments in October, along with entertainment to welcome visitors.

Daejeon will host the 2022 UCLG Congress World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders at the Daejeon Convention Center from Oct. 10-14. United Cities and Local Governments is the world's largest international organization of local governments recognized by the United Nations, with 240,000 local governments from 140 countries as members.

The UCLG Congress is a triennial event that is marking its seventh congress this year. It is a large-scale event in which heads of local governments gather to promote cooperation among regional governments around the world, share information and ideas from experts and citizens and set the future direction of the UCLG. More than 1,000 local governments and local government councils around the world are to attend the event.

The theme of this year’s congress, “Local and Regional Governments Breaking Through as One,” was decided by an open public contest. Official meetings will be held in each field to solve urban problems such as carbon neutrality, climate change and establishing world peace after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting with the Asian and Pacific Council networking night, which will take place at the Daejeon Aquarium on Oct. 10, the official opening ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 12, with the closing ceremony and a farewell dinner on Oct. 14.

The first day will see “Statutory Track,” a series of meetings of world organizations and local governments to construct various policies which will serve as the basis for the future of UCLG. Meetings separated by continent and branch will be held to discuss over various topics from the second day.

In the open lobby, an agora-type meeting in which the participants sit around the host for open discussion will be held. Participants will be allowed to enjoy various topics, free exchange of opinions and get simultaneous interpretation support for more smooth communication. All meetings will be conducted simultaneously online and offline.

“Daejeon Track” is another of the five main events, marking a first at the UCLG Congress. Experts from 10 organizations, including the Daejeon Sejong Research Institute and the UN project Office on Governance, will attend to run 14 sessions on smart cities, the metaverse, technological innovation and administrative innovation.

In addition to the official events, various types of entertainment to promote Korean culture and enhance the status of Daejeon as a city of science are being prepared as well.

The SmartCity Show will provide a hands-on experience of the latest Korean smart city technologies and solutions at the DCC Exhibition Hall 2 from Oct. 11-14. Every event within the show will be free of charge without registration to participants of the UCLG Congress.

The event will display the seven core service technologies of Korean smart cities: energy, transportation, administration, ecology, data, safety and health care. About 290 booths operated by 70 institutions and companies will welcome visitors.

The city of Daejeon is planning to enhance its status as a city of innovative future technologies based on data, networking and artificial intelligence-based technologies. The city will also introduce contactless industries and information and communication technology infrastructure that have grown based on resources integrated in the Daedeok Innopolis R&D district through the SmartCity show.

Experience-oriented exhibitions such as robot shows and hologram magic shows have also been prepared to entertain visitors.

A series of festivities under the banner “We Care World Citizen’s Festival” will run for the entire period of the congress at Hanbit Square, located next to DCC Exhibition Hall 2. It includes performances by Daejeon City Art Group, Youth Symphony Orchestra and Dance Company. There are also performances where visitors can enjoy Korean culture, such as crossover performances of classical music and traditional Korean music and K-pop concerts. After sunset, drone shows, fireworks and media facade performances will be presented as well.

Visitors can also enjoy the World Beer & Wine Festival, a flea market, hot air balloon rides, university promotion and experience booths and the International Calligraphy Exhibition throughout the whole congress period as well.

Themed tour services with an interpreter and shuttle buses will also be offered. Visitors need to preregister online to participate, but on-site registration is also possible if space is available. The tour includes a K-pop concert, an industry site inspection, a city tour and an individual tour. The K-pop concert will not only include idol groups, but also provide traditional performances like "samulnori," a Korean-style percussion performance, and trot, an early form of Korean pop music.

Daejeon Mayor Lee Jang-woo has been encouraging the member states of the UCLG to visit Daejeon and honor the event. “The fact that the congress is the biggest international event to be held in the city of Daejeon since the Daejeon Expo ’93 adds more to its uniqueness and significance,” said Lee.

He requested that people show a lot of interest in the event, emphasizing the significance of the upcoming congress. “The role of local governments has become more important than ever, which is to discuss and solve various problems confronting the global community. The UCLG Congress will be a field of harmony and cooperation that contributes to the peace and development of mankind.”

By Lee Jung-Youn (