Ms. Emilia Saiz is a jurist by profession and has devoted her professional life to promoting the role of local government in development as well as fostering relations between cities and their associations worldwide. She started her journey as local government international advocate in the founding organization of UCLG, IULA in 1997.
She has led programmes dedicated to institutional capacity building and decentralized cooperation. She has actively promoted women empowerment, social inclusion, and international partnerships. She played a critical role in setting up the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments and has followed and represented local and regional governments in iconic international processes such as the Rio and Beijing +20 as well as the Climate Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Habitat III. She has further deeply involved in the institutional development of United Cities and Local Governments into a network of networks. During her work in the World Organization, she has been appointed to numerous panels both in her personal and professional capacity. Her involvement in Cities Alliance, the General Alliance of Partners and the Cities Programme of the Global Compact are worth highlighting.
Her mission as Secretary General of UCLG started in 2018. When asked about her priorities for coming years she mentioned, ensuring that the global agendas are built from local priorities and that international action of local governments is understood as an indispensable role to fulfil local needs with solidarity, justice, and accountability at the centre.