7 October 2013- The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day with the intention to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. This year’s theme "Urban Mobility" reminds us that local and regional governments are at the forefront of development because essential basic services such as mobility are essential to a life if dignity for all in a world which is increasingly urban.
On this World Habitat day, UCLG and its members would like to highlight that Urban Mobility is not only an environmental issue but also a matter of inclusion justice and human rights. This is a challenge faced every day by cities, local and regional authorities in towns, big and small. It is about governance accountability and sound service delivery.
The Rabat Declaration recently adopted during the World Summit of Local and Regional Leader held in Rabat from 1st to 4 October emphasizes the importance of constructing democracy from the bottom up and involving citizens in decision making as a guarantee of sustainability and peace.
Under the theme Imagine Society, Build Democracy, UCLG and its members are appealed to the imagination and acknowledged the great achievements that peoples from around the world have managed, working together and building communities.
Universal service provision that takes care of those most vulnerable in society will need to continue high in our agenda and included in the document that this Congress will adopt.
The Summit clearly called for a broad understanding of urbanization, bridging the urban rural divide, including cohesion and a special approach based on solidarity and cooperation beyond political borders and administrations.
Making our communities resilient and tackling the unavoidable urbanization process and climate change in an efficient manner will imply a greater role for local and regional authorities in international policy making, in particular UN processes that define agendas that will affect communities world-wide.
Finally the Declaration takes notes of the aspirations of local and regional authorities in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals and for the upcoming Habitat III Conference, Climate Change negotiations and Financing for Development processes.
UCLG and its members call for a greater role of local and regional governments in international policy and commit to contributing together with partners through the Global Taskforce In Post 2015 and towards Habitat III.
Please click here to read the Declaration of Rabat.