Final Declaration: 1st World Summit of Local Governments for the Right to the City


together in Saint-Denis and Aubervilliers on 11
th and 12th December 2012, representatives from local authorities
the world over, from the Council of Europe, the International Labour
Organization, United Cities and Local Governments and international networks of
social movements and civil society reaffirm our determined commitment to the
respect, protection and guarantee of human rights at local level through our
public policies.

From the
European Charter of Human Rights in the City (2000) signed by more than 350
towns and cities, to those of Montreal (2006), Mexico (2010), Guangzhou (2012)
and Vienna (2012) and through the adoption of the Global Charter-Agenda of
Human Rights in the City (2011), adopted by UCLG, we are pleased to observe
that for over 12 years, human rights have been increasingly inscribed in the agendas
of local authorities from all over the globe.

today we believe it is imperative to pursue this process so that the right to
the city, understood as the equitable usufruct of cities within the principles
of sustainability, equality, solidarity and social justice, becomes tangible
realities in all of our cities and metropolitan regions. Our 1
st Meeting of Local Authorities for the Right to the City demonstrated that
it is possible to advance in this direction through the implementation of
innovative local policies concerning the management of public spaces, housing
and endogenous, social and solidarity-based development.

In this
spirit, we affirm our commitment to dialogue with the social movements and all
bodies of civil society that at local, national and global level, work to
establish legitimacy for this new human right in a predominantly urban world.

As state
frameworks are ever less guarantors of fundamental rights, our responsibility
as local authorities is to face the global challenges of human rights that are
heightened by the international financial crisis and the social and
environmental problems it provokes, the consequences of which are suffered by
our citizens making it an ever more urgent issue.

With this in
view, as for other global stakes, the recognition of the role of local
authorities is decisive. This therefore reinforces the urgency for the United
Nations to acknowledge UCLG as a privileged interlocutor and as such, to
allocate observer status before the General Assembly of the United Nations.

shows that human rights require the participation of those primarily concerned
– citizens – in the movement to re-appropriate the stakes linked to the city
and their participation in the elaboration of solutions. The promotion of human
rights in the city and of the right to the city goes together with the
development of participatory democracy, and has to ensure gender equality and
the implementation of participatory practices in all domains of life.

In the
movement that characterises the urbanization dynamic currently sweeping the
planet, the question of the right to the city scrutinizes the way in which we
consider the city, its objectives vis-à-vis all inhabitants and its rapport
with the rural sphere. This raises in more terms the question of the right to
centrality, the right to metropolis for all, and the right of citizens to find
all the services they require in these spaces, giving meaning and content to
the concepts of “living together” and of society.

We are
committed to defending, within the municipal movement that will soon celebrate
its one hundredth anniversary, this sense of shared interests that irrigate our

We therefore
call for a joint reflection in order to move forward our collective action
within UCLG and within our shared instrument, the Committee on Social
Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights.

12 December 2012.