for the construction of a Social Forum in resistance to Habitat III, continuing
the legacy of other Social Forums held before UN Habitat mega-events, such as
the People’s Alternative Urban Social Forum in Medellin (April 2014), the Urban
Social Forum in Naples (September 2012) and the World Assemblies of Inhabitants
in Tunisia (2013 and 2015). All interested organizations are invited to take
part in this process.
Quito, the capital of the Republic of
Ecuador, located in the north of the central Andes region at 2,850 metres above
sea level (9,350 feet), will be hosting the UN Habitat III conference, taking
place from 17 to 20 October 2016.
It was in Ecuador – a country located
in the north west of South America – that the People’s Committee for Our
Territories was created in opposition to Habitat III. In November 2015, the
Committee began by questioning the urban model increasingly imposed by
connivance government-capital on cities around the world. The model originated
in the preceding Habitat I and II summits, events which failed to take account
of citizens’ voices and demands, particularly those of the poor and
As in many other countries around the
world, the 15 million Ecuadorian citizens and, in particular, the almost 2.4
million inhabitants of Quito are subject to government policies that privatize
vital public spaces and limit access to health, education, housing, clean
water, food, work, social welfare, culture, communication, freedom of speech,
available and impartial justice, and basic services for social coexistence –
all of which represent rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. By denying people the possibility of a dignified life in the
countryside, these government policies promote rural to urban migration. This
distances the population from the land, creating and maintaining a culture of
indiscriminate pollution, emitted by expanding modern metropolises that have
been constructed following the destruction of vast green areas, without which
there is very little space left for recreational activities and the vital
re-oxygenation of cities.
In the face of this trend, the
Committee calls society for the construction of a Social Forum in resistance to
Habitat III, continuing the legacy of other Social Forums held before UN
Habitat mega-events, such as the People’s Alternative Urban Social Forum in
Medellin (April 2014), the Urban Social Forum in Naples (September 2012) and
the World Assemblies of Inhabitants in Tunisia (2013 and 2015). All interested
organizations are invited to take part in this process.
The Social Forum will take place in
Quito on the same days as Habitat III, and will provide a space for creating
mobilization and developing proposals by citizens from the world’s marginalized
sectors. It will challenge the global urban model, based as it is on an
alliance between governments and capital, and which does not seek to achieve
wellbeing for all people but rather to bolster already powerful groups.
The People’s Committee is actively
seeking accommodation in Quito for members of organizations taking part in the
Social Forum, as well as support from and social relations with community arts.
For this reason, this call is directed to social movements and collective
organizations committed to the wellbeing of the planet and to strengthening the
space for a truly human habitat that will be created in Quito in October 2016.
call is asking organizations from all round the world to join in here and thus
demonstrate the worldwide collective participation that the Habitat III Social
Forum will generate.
global launch will take place on 4 May 2016, when different organizations in
cities all over the world, taking an active part in International Workers’ Day
marches on 1stMay,
will declare that they will be present in Quito to challenge the capitalist
agenda of Habitat III and to propose alternative forms of urban coexistence.
The call has already been signed by 10 organizations:
Acuña, Sembrar consciencia ( ex Autopista 3) – Argentina
Carlos Armando, FEDEVI –
Mike Davies, International
Alliance of Inhabitants – Zimbabwe
GUTIERREZ CUREÑO, MOVIMIENTO PROGRESISTA DEL ESTADO DE MEXICO – Mexico
ALLALI ABDELLAH, Réseau
Marocain Pour Le Logement Décent – Morocco
Francesca Trasatti, – Italy
viñolo, deudores hipotecarios autocomvocados – Argentina
Domingo Paez, Presidente MO.DE.VI.FA. (Movimiento en Defensa de la Vivienda
Familiar) – Argentina
TANDIA OUMAR, ENDA ECOPOLE –