“Local governments need a seat at the negotiation table!”
1 mayo 2016
Local governments want a seat at the Habitat III negotiation table. That is the message PLATFORMA and CEMR put across at the Habitat III Hearings for Local Authorities, on 16 and 17 May at UN headquarters in New York.
These hearings gathered over 100 representatives of sub-national governments from around the world. PLATFORMA and CEMR took part as members of the Global Taskforce for Local and Regional Governments (GTF). Participants shared their vision for the New Urban Agenda, and to call for states to listen to cities at the final Habitat III conference in October in Quito (Ecuador).
PLATFORMA was represented by Andreas Wolter, vice-mayor of Cologne (Germany) and CEMR by Ilmar Reepalu, Councillor of Malmö (Sweden) and CEMR spokesperson on Urban Affairs.
Mr Wolter raised the profile of city-to-city and region-to-region cooperation, both for neighbouring towns and cities and on an international level, as an important instrument for the implementation of the new Urban Agenda. He made clear that local governments will need adequate funding and that accessibility to development funds should be a priority. Currently, a large amount of funding meant for local development is channelled through NGOs rather than subnational governments, which PLATFORMA believes is inefficient and unproductive.
As the first UN consultative process to recognize and treat sub-national governments as a specific constituency, the Local Authority Hearings represented a milestone for the international municipal movement. Furthermore, the hearings treated cities and countries as equals, with each on the same level, occupying half of the floor space. This arrangement was an important symbolic gesture to the role of local leaders in the New Urban Agenda.