Betty De Wachter from the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities (VVSG) spoke on behalf of PLATFORMA at the UN City Hall Talk on the Habitat III process, organized by the UN Training Centre for Smart Sustainability (CIFAL) on August 30 in Antwerp (Belgium).
Ms De Wachter
sketched out the four main demands reflected in PLATFORMA’s declaration on the new Urban Agenda
: granting local and regional governments (LRGs) a seat at the global table of negotiations, ensuring the coordination of all the different international agendas as well as their localization, recognizing the diversity of LRGs and taking into account the needs of small and medium cities, and strengthening bottom-up governance.
Regarding the seat at the global table, Ms De Wachter
pointed out that “although in Flanders two thirds of public investments are done by local governments, VVSG
has not yet received any invitation from the Belgian government to take part in the country’s delegation to Habitat III” final conference.
Moreover, she called for “the involvement of local governments in the design, implementation, and monitoring of public policies through formal partnerships between all levels of governments”.
The new Urban Agenda will be adopted at the Habitat III Conference
taking place in Quito (Ecuador) in October. Despite the progress made on the content of the new Urban Agenda during the third Preparatory Committee
in Surabaya (Indonesia), a number of important points remain pending. These include the Quito implementation plan, the concept of “right to the city”, and, most importantly, the role of LRGs in the implementation of the new Urban Agenda [Surabaya’s draft report