The Barcelona Declaration, signed by representatives from cities and international organisations gathered in the Catalan capital, underlines the importance of local authorities in terms of integration for migrants, and calls for further recognition of this role.
The Forum on Migration, Mobility and Development, which was held in Barcelona, ended with all the attendees accepting the ‘Barcelona Declaration’.
The document states that, "faced with the challenge of governing migration, mobility and development, cities are responsible for the processes of integration and social cohesion. These processes are started in neighbourhoods, districts and cities, in public spaces, schools and workplaces”.
The text states that cities, “fight against segregation and inequality, and it is frequently cities that have to deal with the challenges of living, housing, irregularity and uncertainty, among other things”. The document continues, stating that, “the organisations that are responsible for migrant flow make decisions without considering the local impact”.
The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, explained that: “we receive immigrants but we often have to go beyond our means, and we need more support”. He insisted that more housing and work is needed for better integration.
“Immigration isn’t a one-off situation”, said Trias, and he added that, “in a globalised world we need global solutions”. “Cities have changed, they are more open, and we have to make people feel like they belong here”, he concluded.
The conference was organised by Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, , the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development, , the World Bank , the International Organisation for Migration, and with the participation of the European Commission, . The Forum will be held next year in Quito (Ecuador).