Mayors, councillors, and other stakeholders discussed a proposal for the “Lampedusa Charter” which would express a new narrative on human mobility.
Participants heard that four South American countries have declared a single, Andean nationality.
A speaker said localization and decentralization are the “new reality,” but work remains to ensure cities' role is recognized in the global development agenda.
The executive bureau of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) held its 2021 meeting with a focus on how local governments can put care at the center of all activities and redefine their role in health systems. Participants also discussed a proposed new narrative on human mobility.The virtual meeting took place from 18-20 May 2021, with thematic sessions, high-level policy dialogues, and the annual meeting of the UN Advisory Committee on Local Authorities (UNACLA).
Mayors, councillors, and other stakeholders discussed a proposal for the “Lampedusa Charter” which would express a new narrative on human mobility, moving from a focus on managing migration to a community-based approach. Among the proposed elements are: detaching citizenship from national governments; respecting civil rights for all and “equal access to the right to migrate”; the role of the “municipalist” movement in reshaping the notion of citizenship as going beyond legal status; and the SDGs as a framework for governing human mobility.
Speakers also said: it is a step forward that four South American countries have declared a single, Andean nationality; migrant status should not be used to restrict people’s rights but to guarantee their rights; and there is a need to champion the concept of “welcoming cities.” Suggestions included agreeing on regulated migratory corridors, as well as making links between cities that people depart from and those they arrive in, to promote ongoing city-to-city cooperation.
Regional consultations will take place with the aim of presenting the Charter for adoption at the UCLG World Council in November 2021.
On impacts and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, some stressed that amid the accelerated digitalization for government services, there is a need to leave no one and no place behind. One participant said the COVID-19 response necessitated “re-centralization” by some governments, but decentralization must remain a priority, and countries must avoid reverting to nationalized agendas.
In a discussion on health, UCLG announced that it has joined the multi-stakeholder platform UHC2030, in an effort to achieve universal healthcare and health systems that protect everyone. Meeting participants highlighted community care and health as central to the work of local and regional authorities.
On advancing the SDGs, a speaker reminded participants that one of the three pillars in the UN Decade of Action is local-level action. She said localization and decentralization are the “new reality,” but work remains to ensure cities’ role is recognized in the global development agenda. Participants also highlighted the need for metrics and indicators that can be used both for monitoring the SDGs and for providing granular input that supports local advocacy. [ENB meeting summary]