Following a meeting of the Task Team (made up of representatives of UCLG Africa, UCLG MEWA, FLACMA, Platform and the UCLG World Secretariat) on the 24th of June, the EU Policy Forum on Development (PFD) in the Latin America and the Caribbean region was held in Lima, Peru, on 25-26th of June.
The PFD is not a negotiating forum; rather it is a space to discuss EU and global policies for development and to reach a common understanding of how development policies can support local authorities and civil society. The meeting brought together more than one hundred representatives of all Latin American countries, including fifteen mayors and other representatives of local authorities.
The opening session included statements by Ms Irene Horejs, Head of the EU Delegation in Peru; Mr. José Miguel Castro, CEO of the city of Lima, Mr. Jorge Balbis, on behalf of CSOs and Mr. Guillermo Tapia, Secretary General of FLACMA, who spoke on behalf of local authorities.
Mr. Angelo Baglio, European Commission Head of Unit Civil Society and Local Authorities, described the inclusive nature of the PFD, explaining that the dialogue process aims to build a joint effort and sense of shared responsibility. Mr. Guillermo Tapia underlined the importance of the recent EC Communication on “Empowering Local Authorities in partner’s countries” in building a new stage in the relationship between local governments and the European Commission.
The first part of day one was focused on the “Global Scene” and included the presentation of the EC Communications on the Post-2015 Agenda and on Private Sector in Development, and the programming process of the EC for the period 2014-2020, in which Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Local Authhorities (LAs) are included. The second part focused on the presentation of EC regional programmes in Latin America, particularly on climate change and the preparation of the COP 20 in Peru in December 2014.
On the new Communication of the European Commission on Private Sector in Development, Mr. Rolando, Mayor of Costa Rica, presented the position of local authorities and highlighted the concept of decent work and the need to consider how decentralization policies relate to the contribution of the private sector.
After the presentation of the position by the EU on the Post 2015 Agenda, a discussion was held on “Localizing the Post-2015”, introduced by José Dallo, representing the UNDG. The session was chaired by UNDP and by UCLG, which represented the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments. Ms Milagro Navas, Mayor of Antiguo Cuscatlán (El Salvador) and President of FLACMA gave the perspective of local authorities, stressing the need to recognize their role in facilitating the implementation the future development agenda. More than sixteen people representing local authorities, NGOs, trade unions, cooperatives, and womens organizations from all over Latin America contributed to the debate, and agreed on the need for: improving participatory planning at local level, better multilevel governance and coordination between local governments, strengthening of local authorities and CSOs, promoting local alliances, supporting local development policies and fiscal decentralization, and promoting a human rights approach.
The second day was focused on the presentation and the debate on the thematic programme on Civil Society Organizations and Local Authorities for the period 2014-2020. The debate was followed by recommendations for improving implementation from each group of stakeholders. Local authorities stressed the need to keep a specific budgetary line for local authorities, welcomed the innovative “territorial approach” included in the programme, and requested the development of a “road map” to strengthen the dialogue and partnership with the European Delegations and to support the implementation of the communication on local authorities. Finally, they proposed that the policy forum be centered on a high level policy debate.
In the closing ceremony, the Mayor of Bogota, Mr. Gustavo Petro stressed the role of local democracy and local autonomy in Latin America and the critical role of citizen participation in local decision making. He also called for the strengthening of cities networks in order to better represent the voice of the population and contribute local solutions to global challenges.
Please click here for more information about the PFD.