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UCLG official statement before United Nations Human Rights Council

Patrick Braouezec, President of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights of UCLG, represented the Organization at the 30th session of the UN-OHCHR for the presentation of the Report on "the role local government in promoting and protecting human rights". A breakthrough in the recognition of the role of local governments in ensuring universal rights!

A report that contributes to build fair and sustainable territories and cities 

On September 22, the Advisory Committee of United Nations Human Rights Council presented the conclusions of its research on the "Role of Local Government in the promotion and protection of human rights" before representatives of the 57 member states of the Human Rights Council and the observer ones.

This investigation was initiated in 2014 by the Republic of Korea, Egypt, Chile and Romania, which had requested the production of this report to the Advisory Committee.

After nearly two years of work with the participation of representatives from civil society and from UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, the Advisory Committee presented a report consisting of 17 pages, which establishes the international recognition of the role and responsibilities of local authorities in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Patrick Braouezec (President of Plaine Commune and co-president of the CSIPDHR) attended this event in Geneva to represent UCLG in the presentation of the report. He welcomed its conclusions of and invited states representatives to integrate its recommendations, as well as the right to the city, in the New Habitat International Agenda (Habitat III Summit). Patrick Braouezec also invited the Human Rights Council and its Member States to work closely together with local governments and their organizations towards the definition of the New Urban Agenda, to build democratic, just and sustainable cities.

Two main conditions for the implementation of rights at local level: real decentralization and partnership with civil society

In its presentation before the Council, Patrick Braouezec also stressed the importance of developing partnerships between local authorities and civil society to protect the rights, both at local and global level.

Finally, he invited UN Human Rights Council and Member States to promote the European Charter for the Safeguarding of Human Rights in the City, Gwangju Guiding Principles for a Human Rights City and the Global Charter-agenda for Human Rights in the City (documents cited in the report) in order to strengthen democracy and human rights at the local level around the world.

Besides the presentation of the report, the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights participated in a side event organized by the core group of states that promoted this report. Around 40 participants from States’ permanent missions and civil society attended this side event. The Committee emphasized the importance of implementing effective decentralization and strengthening work with civil society to implement rights. It also invited present states to consider the importance of the Right to the City and integrate it in models of urban development in order to build fair, sustainable and solidarity-driven cities. It recalled that this right is interdependent with other civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights defined by treaties and reflects socio-spatial welfare of the inhabitants of a city. The Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights also introduced the important work of promoting the right to the city, held at the Global Platform for the Right to the City.

To Access to UCLG’s statement on the report on the Role of local Government in the protection and promotion of Human Rights