Barcelona defends the role of cities in managing the refugee crisis

Speaking at the world summit of cities against climate change, the Mayor, Ada Colau, criticised states for being sluggish in their decision-making. She did so at the World Council of the Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments (UCLG), presenting the motion “Solidarity and the preparation of local and regional governments, fundamental in tackling humanitarian crises”.

The motion was one of three approved by the Council, maintaining that local governments are at the forefront of the response to any sort of crisis, whether natural or human in origin. The motion urges all cities to take action to raise awareness and strengthen solidarity, calling on state governments to take cities into account properly and provide suitable funding.

Ada Colau took advantage of her speech to underline “the failure of states to solve situations arising from the refugee crisis”. She went on to say: “While states are shutting themselves off, cities should step forward and tell them enough is enough. States are incapable of doing their job, transferring resources, guaranteeing the right to asylum and a safe passage for people in transit”. Colau proposed the setting up of a workgroup to coordinate and exchange knowledge between refuge cities via the CGLU.

The other 2 motions approved were presented by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and by the Mayor of Dhaka, Khalifa Sall. Hidalgo presented the motion “Solid democracy and firm local governance: the basis for an effective Habitat III agenda”, which calls for a new agenda for state governments to respect the principles of subsidiarity and for local governments to be present and recognised in world governance structures.

The Mayor of Dhaka presented the motion “The local dimension of the 2030 Agenda”, which sets out the need to establish mechanisms via the UN so that local governments can have an influence on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda initiative, approved in September.

Barcelona supports the Madrid World Peace Forum

The Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, this morning announced an initiative to organise a world forum for cities against violence and in favour of education for peace, to be held in the Spanish city. Ada Colau expressed Barcelona’s full support for the initiative.