We are living in difficult times, times in which no one can, we cannot, neither individually nor as a society, remain oblivious to the global and international situation we are going through. We have seen that no city, however small it may be, and none of the people who live in it, can ignore the problems of their peers, whether they are neighbours or thousands of kilometres away. We are living in times of crisis, meaning crisis in all its meanings and in all its aspects. We are facing a geopolitical crisis, with armed conflicts, invasions and threats never before imagined; we are suffering an economic crisis that can only be fought by combating inequality between territories and people; and we must combat a crisis of values that allows populism to be fuelled by simplistic messages and a growing distrust of politics. The growing tension of war and its spread in different parts of the world requires us to be proactive.
For all these reasons, we must assume our responsibility as public representatives and as the voice of local and regional governments grouped in United Cities and Local Governments and we must show our commitment to peace. As the Sustainable Development Goals state, conflict, insecurity, weak institutions and limited access to justice continue to pose a serious threat to sustainable development. Respecting the Purposes of the Charter of the United Nations must be a priority for all of us here present who have the obligation, from politics, good politics, to promote international cooperation as a solution to international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian nature, and as a tool to promote development and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.
As local and regional leaders of the world we commit ourselves to facilitate peace and democracy, through all available governance mechanisms, and to promote constructive dialogue.
We speak with one voice when we say that nothing can justify war, the targeting of cities and the loss of innocent civilian lives. There must always be room for dialogue.