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Under the auspices of the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, the Lebanon Municipal Forum 2012 was organized on the 8th and 9th of June 2012 in UNESCO Palace. This two-day event is part of UN-Habitat Project “Improved Municipal Governance for Effective Decentralization in Lebanon” funded by the Italian Government and implemented jointly with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities – Directorate General of Municipalities.
Organized in partnership with Beirut Municipality and the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, Lebanon Municipal Forum 2012 represents a pioneer experience in the field of municipal work. It seeks to emphasize the fundamental role of municipalities by highlighting a number of outstanding practices and achievements carried out by Lebanese municipalities and unions of municipalities. In specific, the pre-determined event objectives were the following:
• Disseminate the notion of municipal work and its contribution to the local development of the cities, villages and towns.
• Encourage municipalities to initiate innovative developmental projects.
• Promote communication and networking between municipalities and governmental institutions and international donors.
• Enhance experience exchange between municipalities.
The two-day event comprised a varied programme ranging from an exhibition showcasing 21 Municipal Best Practices, a networking platform gathering national and international actors initiating strategic plans in various regions and eight working sessions and roundtable discussions addressing various topics of direct concerns to the municipal sector in Lebanon including:
• Administrative decentralization
• Public-private partnerships
• Role of municipalities in enhancing public safety
• Local and regional planning frameworks
• Role of engineers in developing municipal work
• In addition to other important topics.
The Forum opening ceremony took place on Friday 8th June 2012. Speakers included representatives from UN-Habitat, Beirut Municipality, Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, the Italian Embassy and the Minister of Interior and Municipalities. Additionally, more than 350 certificates were distributed to representatives of the 12 Unions of Municipalities who took part in the training on “Local Strategic Planning”.