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Local Government Pays Attention to All Voices

Source: Commonwealth Local Government Forum

If the objective of leaving no one behind as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be achieved, local government must be empowered to effectively engage all people at the local level, according to CLGF’s Chairperson Cllr. Rev. Mpho Moruakgomo.

Speaking on the first day of the 2016 South African Local Government Association (SALGA) annual conference in Johannesburg, Rev. Moruakgomo said that inclusion means paying attention to all voices including women, youth, the poor, the displaced, and local government is the sphere of government that is best placed to do this.

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Governance and Citizenship

Source: Council of European Municipalities and Regions          Author: Frédéric Vallier, Secretary General

"Towns and cities: creating solutions to face global challenges." - CEMR secretary general

Climate change, globalization or reducing inequalities: the main challenges facing the world today cannot be overcome without the determined commitment of towns and cities.

This leading role for towns and cities was clearly acknowledged by the UN in the scope of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), but also within the Paris agreement on climate and the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III).

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Habitat III: A New Approach to Urban Development?

Source: The Contemporary                       Author: Maggie Poulos

While researching social movements in Mexico earlier this year, I had the privilege of meeting with Román, a sustainable farmer from Oaxaca. We discussed the traditional farming techniques he relies on to live, but also the threat of forced urbanization on his community. With the support of the Mexican government, transnational mining corporations are displacing farming families to develop their land. Román’s story is that of millions of Latin Americans, whose traditional ways of life are incompatible to the urban policies of their governments.

Perhaps with the pressure of the international community and shifting global norms, Latin American governments will be encouraged to approach urban development in a more inclusive and peaceful way for their citizens.

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Environment and Health for European Cities in the 21st Century

Source: World Health Organization

With more than 80% of Europeans expected to live in urban areas by 2030, a rapidly ageing population and increasing migration to cities, urban, man-made environments have become the dominant environmental determinant of health and well-being. Cities provide a vital setting where different policies converge and can be integrated and leveraged to reduce inequality, increase the social and physical resilience of communities and promote and protect health and well-being from environmental threats. For the first time, a meeting bringing together representative of cities and local authorities, intergovernmental organizations, agencies and Member States was convened by the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn, Germany, on 27–28 June 2016.

The meeting explored how the European Environment and Health Process (EHP) could support the implementation of relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets through the establishment of new forms of collaboration with representatives of European cities and local authorities.

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World Human Rights City Forum – Gwangju (South Korea) – July 2016

Source: World Human Rights Cities Forum 2016

The 6th World Human Rights City Forum was gain hosted by Gwangju, Republic of Korea on 21 to 23 July 2016. In the Final Declaration issued on 1 August, the Forum first expressed deep condolences and solidarity with those affected by the tragic events in Nice, France on 14 July and Munich, Germany on 22 July. The Declaration then went on to issue a reprise of the events of the Forum, which may be found at the above link.

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National Conference on Social Innovations for Improving Urban Sanitation (SIIUS): Lessons for Scaling-Up – New Delhi (India) – 14 December 2016

Source: Participatory Research in Asia

PRIA and Centre for Policy Research (CPR) are organising a daylong National Conference on Social Innovations for Improving Urban Sanitation: Lessons for Scaling-up at The Theatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 14th December, 2016. The conference will highlight various social innovations by civil society organisations (CSOs) derived from local contexts to improve access to sanitation.

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2016 National Human Rights Days of Action – Atlanta (GA, USA) – 10 December 2016

Source: The US Human Rights Network

In the wake of the recent Presidential elections in the U.S., many are legitimately fearful about the future of the rights and protections that are no longer guaranteed protection by federal authorities. This makes it even more important that we work to strengthen the role of local and state agencies in defending against discrimination and other human rights violations.

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International Conference 'Human Rights in the City' – Utrecht (The Netherlands) – 13 December 2013

Source: EUROCITIES

A selected group of European cities have formulated a local human rights approach, just as the relevance of local human rights has been recognized by European organizations like the Council of Europe and the Fundamental Rights Agency. Moreover, the city of Utrecht is also exploring the meaning of human rights on the local level.

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