Local Authorities presented a new declaration to UN-Secretary General, Kofi Annan, aimed at enhancing the partnership between local governments and the United Nations during the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) last week.
The “Lyon Declaration” on Cities and Local Authorities on the Information Society adopted was the main political outcome of the World Summit of Cities and Local Authorities held in Lyon, France, from 4-5 December 2003. It highlights the role of cities in developing an effective information society and calls on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to strengthen the role of United Nations Advisory Committee on Local Authorities (UNACLA) as a mechanism for facilitating dialogue between local authorities and the UN system.
The meeting to present the Lyon Declaration to Mr. Annan was attended by members of the Local Authority community including the Mayors of Lyon and Geneva, representatives of UN Agencies who interact regularly with Local Authorities, mainly UN-HABITAT and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and Mrs. Mercedes Bresso, President of World Association of Cities and Local Authorities Coordination (WACLAC) and World Federation of United Cities (FMCU-UTO), among others. The Declaration will be incorporated into the implementation plan of WSIS in preparation for the second session of WSIS to be held in Tunisia in 2005.
|UN-HABITAT's exhibition at WSIS, Geneva|
UNACLA members, who include mayors and representatives of umbrella organizations of local authorities, also met with the members of the High-level Panel on the Civil Society at the Palais de Nations, headquarters of the United Nations at Geneva. The Panel was established by the Secretary-General to consult with important partners of the United Nations System, including Mayors and leaders of Local Authorities, listen to their concerns regarding UN relations with the civil society and their proposals in support of the ongoing reforms of the United Nations system.
The opportunity of such a hearing of Local Authorities through UNACLA by the Panel, is one of the milestones towards international recognition of UNACLA, which was created by UN-HABITAT as an advisory body to strengthen dialogue with Local Authorities involved in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda around the world, as outlined in Resolution 17/18 of UN-HABITAT's Governing Council.
Local authorities recognized the value of UN-HABITAT's Global Campaign for Good Governance as an appropriate framework for promoting the use of information technologies for improving good governance. This campaign and a strengthened UNACLA would guarantee that the voices of cities are represented and taken into account by institutions that contribute to the development of the information society.
Through UN-HABITAT's exhibition at WSIS, the agency shared information on its mandate and activities with delegates and presented its publications including the newly published Global Report on Human Settlements on the Challenge of Slums. Views were also exchanged on the agency's 1,000 Cities Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Programme. The programme offers GIS software, donated by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), and related training packages to 1,000 institutions such as local authorities, and other urban development stakeholders. The package includes modules on how to monitor and analyze urban information, and translate these results into local policy.
For more information on:
1000 Cities GIS Programme, visit http://www.unhabitat.org/guo
Lyon Summit and the final Lyon Declaration, visit http://www.cities-lyon.org
World Summit on the Information Society, visit http://www.itu.int/wsis