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Editor’s note: As secretary general of United Cities and Local Governments — UCLG — Josep Roig leads the world’s pre-eminent organization of local authorities. Formed in 2004, UCLG brought together a range of globally active city groups ranging from the World Federation of United Cities to the Metropolis organization of major cities (which Roig himself previously led as executive director). In Barcelona, his home city, he filled many academic and then government roles, including secretary of the Barcelona Quality Network and quality coordinator of the Barcelona 2000 Strategic Plan. UCLG is actively championing the position of cities in the run-up to the 2016 Habitat III conference, including the recent publication of a 36-page pamphlet — Shaping the New Urban Agenda — which provides, with broad background and numerous quotes from urban leaders, a leading resource for cities and their allies in the current debates.