At the invitation of Klaus Toepfer, Under-Secretary General and Head of UNCHS (Habitat), and on the occasion of the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the Special Session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda (Istanbul +5), we, Mayors from all over the world and Presidents of International Associations of Local Authorities, have gathered in Nairobi on 7 May 2000 for the second meeting of the UN Advisory Committee of Local Authorities.
We, Mayors and Presidents of international associations of local authorities, reaffirm that the main thrust of our activities will be to (i) offer a positive and innovative vision of the future of the world's cities; (ii) contribute intellectually and substantively to the definition and implementation of the Global Campaigns on Secure Tenure and Good Urban Governance co-ordinated by UNCHS (Habitat), and (iii) interact with the Commission on Human settlements, the Preparatory Committee for Istanbul +5 and other UN governing bodies to strengthen the global dialogue between central and local government.
We renew our full support to the joint initiative of WACLAC and Habitat to develop a World Charter of Local Self-Government which should become, as soon as possible, an agreed and binding international framework for decentralization and local autonomy. We commit ourselves to contribute as much as possible to the finalization of the Charter in close cooperation with all concerned parties.
We pledge to energize and lead, in partnership with UNCHS (Habitat), the mobilization of our respective global and regional associations of cities, metropolises, local authorities and municipalites in the preparatory process for Istanbul +5. This mobilization will take place at the institutional level and most importantly at the substantive level, by stimulating action of all our associates in all regions, countries and cities of the world in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda; by contributing to the further definition of the normative frameworks for the two campaigns and of other substantive documentation for the Istanbul +5 preparatory process; by engaging in a productive dialogue with central governments to help support and advance the new strategic vision adopted for Habitat by the Commission on Human Settlements; and by participating actively in the preparation, discussion and negotiating process of the Preparatory Committee for Istanbul +5.
At the local level, this mobilization will be focused on, but not limited to, concrete actions to promote security of tenure and good urban governance. We also commit ourselves to identifying relevant experiences in the areas of adequate shelter and sustainable human settlements development and examine them critically in order to offer a platform of possible solutions to be studied, modified and re-interpreted, taking into account the diversity of cultural, social and economic settings in regions, countries and localities. Among them, urban finance and the implementation of legislative reform will figure prominently.
We also pledge to organize, at the eve of the special session of the General Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, a second World Assembly of Cities and Local Authorities, to renew and strengthen our commitment to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and to advance further the recognition, enshrined in the Istanbul declaration, of the role of local authorities as the closest partners of central governments in this common endeavour. In this connection, we suggest that steps be undertaken to guarantee local authorities at the Special Session, at the very least, the level of participation and representation that contributed to making Habitat II a model of participatory engagement of civil society.
Done in Nairobi, on 7 May 2000.
The Mayors of Allahabad (India), Barcelona (Spain), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Hull-Quebec (Canada), Johannesburg (South Africa), San Fernando (Philippines); the Presidents of the World Associations of Cities and Local Authorities Co-ordination (WACLAC), the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), Metropolis, United Towns Organization (FMCU/UTO), and the Arab Towns Organization (ATO)