From 21 to 24 July 2016, the 6th World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) will be sponsored by Gwangju Metropolitan City and Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education and organized by the Gwangju International Center with the support of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, and the Korea Human Rights Foundation. In this framework, the Committee will organize its first meeting of 2016.
Since 2011, the WHRCF has gathered key actors and stakeholders engaged in building Human Rights Cities. This 6th edition of the WHRCF aims to pursue the exchanges of experiences among cities committed to human rights around the world while strengthening the global alliance of human rights cities on the basis of Gwangju Guiding Principles for a Human Rights City (2011).
Additionally, the WHRCF will take place in a particular context: the elaboration of the New Habitat Agenda to be defined in the UN Habitat III Conference, which will be held in Quito (Ecuador), from 17 to 20 October 2016. To this end, under the theme of Building Human Habitat Friendly cities, the Forum aims to address the key questions of a Human-Rights Based approach to this Agenda, relating the crucial challenges of Urban Development, Housing and Environment to the internationally recognized human rights norms and to Gwangju Guiding Principles for a Human Rights City.
In this regard, the WHRCF will be held just before the last preparatory Committee of Habitat III, which will take place in Surabaya (Indonesia) from 25 to 27 July. It will be crucial to attend this forum with the outcomes and commitments of Human Rights Cities’ network to show to the international community that Human Rights Cities are possible and necessary. More than nearly 1,000 participants are expected to attend the forum, mainly representatives of human rights cities, including members of the Committee, human rights NGOs, community-based organizations, local parliamentarians and academics, as well as UN human rights experts.
Finally, Dr. Yoon, as Co-President of the Committee and as Gwangju City Mayor, will host this year’s first meeting of the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, in the framework of the WHRCF. An important moment for our committee, this meeting will be the last one before the UCLG Congress and Habitat III in October. Members are required to attend it to contribute to defining the strategies of the committee and to strengthening our collective work towards the coming years.
We sincerely encourage you to participate both in the 6th edition of the World Human Rights Cities Forum and in the Committee’s meeting in Gwangju.