On 12 September 2023, the Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG-CSIPDHR) facilitated an online meeting to debate the first results of the update process of the UCLG Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City. 31 Cities and Territories of the Global Campaign “10,100,1000 Human Rights Cities and Territories by 2030” participated, along with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.
Our co-president Ms. Linda Voortman, Co-Mayor of Utrecht, opened the session highlighting that this process inspires the future of the human rights cities’ movement. When joining the Global Campaign, several Cities and Territories expressed the necessity to outline common frameworks at local level to fully become “Human Rights Cities and Territories.” In this sense, the update of the Charter-Agenda aims at further recognising and reinforcing Local Governments’ role to foster human rights, even more so a month after the launch of the second wave of this campaign.
This first phase consists in revising the structure of the 12 rights currently included in the Charter-Agenda. In order to do this, the UCLG-CSIPDHR has set up a Steering Board of experts and civil servants of Local and Regional Governments - all active members of the UCLG-CSIPDHR - to coordinate this endeavor. The Steering Board met three times between July and September 2023 to outline a new draft structure, which is the main object of discussion of the meeting.
In the open exchange on the draft structure proposed by the Steering Board, participants shared their diverse perspectives, which feed into the final outcome by emerging from a variety of local contexts and experiences.
This conversation will be continued on two milestone events before this year ends. The next opportunity will be at the 13th World Human Rights Cities Forum of Gwangju (co-president of the CSIPDHR) between 4 and 7 October. The second one will be in December for the celebration of International Human Rights Day (10 December) in the framework of Vienna’s Conference.
This process is even more relevant this year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UCLG participation in the United Nations Human Rights 75 Initiative is essential to join efforts and reinforce the human rights ecosystem towards freedom, equality and justice for all, in the wake of the cooperation agreement between UCLG and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).