Statement from HIC/GPR2C at intergovernmental negotiations on the New Urban Agenda


UNHQ, NYC, 29 June 2016

Delivered by Lorena Zárate

Thank you Mr Chair for this opportunity to address the distinguished
delegates on behalf of Habitat International Coalition, as part of the
Global Platform for the Right to the City and the General Assembly of Partners.

The Global Platform for the Right to the City is an
international action-oriented network, supported by civil society
organizations, social movements, professional and academic institutions,
including also local governments and public sector agencies.

We would like to start by recognizing the strong engagement and
commitment from national governments in having a serious debate about the
vision and scope of an universal agenda, that will address the challenges and
at the same time enhance the possibilities to transform our human settlements.

This certainly reflects and takes into account the process started
more than two years ago, that has built up consensus and concrete proposals in
the declarations agreed upon at the official regional and preparatory events,
the Prep Com I and II and the Urban Thinkers Campuses.

We all agree on the need to make our villages, towns and cities more
inclusive, equitable, democratic, safe and sustainable. We believe that the
Right to the City offers a very concrete framework and policy orientations to
move forward in that direction.

In that sense, we strongly support the principles and detailed
contents proposed by the experts of Policy Unit 1 after hard work and debates.

The six key strategic principles for the R2C are more or less
mentioned in the current formulation of the Draft, but they certainly need
stronger definitions and much more clear, transparent and participatory implementing
and monitoring mechanisms.

Those include:

the respect and
protection of all human rights for all;

the social
function of the property, the land and the city;

the democratic
management of our villages, towns, cities, metropolitan areas and regions, that
includes a stronger role of subnational and local governments;

the recognition
and support to the social production of habitat and to the social and
solidarity economy, through ad hoc legal, financial, land tools and technical

the responsible
and collective management of the ecological and cultural commons, and,

the protection,
non privatization and improvement of the public spaces, including community
infrastructure and facilities.

Stronger commitments and concrete actions and monitoring tools are
necessary to guarantee social regulation of real state markets and security of
tenure for all, avoiding the negative impacts of gentrification and putting a
definitive end to homelessness and forced evictions and displacements.

We are all well aware that the discussion around the New Urban Agenda
represents an unique opportunity and a responsibility to reflect both the
challenges and achievements of the past 20 years and the courageous and
creative vision and framework that our societies and territories need for the
20 years to come.

Finally, we trust that an specific commitment has to be made at this
level to move forward and deepen the debate and work on Sustainable
Urbanization and the Right to the City, including high level and multiagency
and multistakeholder existing and new mechanisms that will allow and guarantee
broad participation and active engagement from different stakeholders. Only a
democratic and participatory Global Agenda can have the legitimacy and the
force that is needed to move forward.

Human Rights and
Right to the City for All!

Thank you very much.