NEWS

The voice of the metropolises to be heard at the first Habitat III PrepComm meeting in New York

The METROPOLIS Vice-President, Mr. Michael Müller from Berlin City, will represent the association today during the first Habitat III PrepComm meeting in New York City. Mr. Müller’s speech can be followed live through the link: http://webtv.un.org/ between 09:30 and 10:30 (NYC local time) and 15:30 - 16:30 CEST (Central European Summer Time).

The highlights of Mr. Michael Müller’s speech today are:

(1) Generally about the appreciation of the role of cities on the
international level:
"It is highly remarkable to see how international politicians and
experts stress the central role of cities and of local
governance."
(2) Input/questions of Metropolis concerning the Sustainable
Development Goals:
"METROPOLIS is very pleased to acknowledge that considerable
progress has been made and that an urban goal is now included in
the proposal of the Open Working Group for Sustainable
Development Goals (OWG).
The goals are very comprehensive in so far as they include lists
of urgent matters to be addressed. Nonetheless, I must admit that
there is something missing (..). While the goal is inspirational,
it also generates questions:
What responsibility and degree of involvement will be expected
from cities?
Should this responsibility and involvement focus on the
Sustainable Development Goal mentioned above or are cities also
expected to share responsibility for the implementation of other
Sustainable Development Goals on, for example, poverty, health
and education?
Will governments in all Member States adapt national urban
policies and provide financial resources to help cities and local
authorities to shoulder the workload at the local level?"
(3) Basic claims:
"..I am convinced that decentralisation and subsidiarity are
important principles of governance. Therefore, I agree on the
decision to develop at an international level the new global
goals based on multi-stakeholder consultations and to leave
sufficient flexibility for member states to develop their own
implementation mechanisms."
".. I am also convinced of the need for the UN system to
recognise local authorities. Decentralisation should go hand in
hand with an acknowledgement by the international community of
local authorities and their democratically elected
representatives."
"... It’s not clear what a legitimate representation of all
metropolises in the world could look like and how this would
impact on the current system of multi-level governance.... And
this is exactly one of the opportunities provided by the
processes leading to Habitat III. While the Sustainable
Development Goals provide general goals and while member states
develop national targets, it should it be the task of Habitat III
to develop the new Urban Agenda in a way that recognises local
authorities and re-confirms the principles of decentralisation
and subsidiarity."
"It will be essential for the Urban Agenda to include references
to planning instruments which are needed to improve housing and
urban development. It is essential because good local governance
is a pre-condition to achieving all those Sustainable Development
Goals that, in one way or another, have a local dimension."