A total of 92 Brazilian Mayors and Mayoresses, especially from capital and medium-sized cities, met in Aracaju, the capital of the Northeastern State of Sergipe, for the 44th Ordinary Assembly of the National Front of Mayors and Mayoresses (FNP), held in 6-8 May, 2003. The meeting was also attended by President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and three Ministers: Mr. Olivio Dutra, from the Ministry of the Cities, Mr. Ciro Gomes, from the Ministry of National Integration, and Mr. Tarso Genro, Minister-chairperson of the National Council of Economic and Social Development. In his speech, President Lula stated that his participation is a demonstration of the importance and attention that his government pays to municipalities as key partners in social and economic development. In fact, it is the first time that a President of the Republic attends a meeting of the FNP. Also present were the Presidents of the National Confederation of Municipalities, that gathers together associations of municipalities, and the President of the Brazilian Association of Municipalities, that gathers together many local authorities.
UN-Habitat, ROLAC, was invited to participate and briefly present the campaigns and the proposal of partnership with the FNP for launching them in Brazil, along with the Ministry of the Cities and the National Forum of Urban Reform. The Local Authorities approved the partnership and requested ROLAC to participate in the next meeting of the FNP Board (seven Mayors and Mayoresses), to be held before the end-May, to further discuss the preparation process for the Campaigns´ launching. This 44th meeting of the FNP resumed the process of Intermunicipal Consultations on Tenure Regularization that ROLAC promoted with 15 cities from October, 2001, through July, 2002, and was discontinued due to the federal and state elections held in October, 2002.
At the end of the meeting, the “Charter of Aracaju” was unanimously adopted where the municipalities clearly stated their three priorities, as follows: access to credit for municipalities that are financially sound, joint effort to regularize tenure in general, and a partnership amongst federal, state and local authorities to deal with urban violence. For this purpose, FNP declares its support to the National Conference of Cities, to be held in October, 2003, and requests support from the Federal Government to formulate a new Federative Pact that recognizes and strengthens the municipal consortium and other forms of intermunicipal governments and associations, as a cost-effective mechanism to promote sustainable urban development.