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International advocacy: Local governments are key for the promotion and the protection of human rights

Our Committee offers a platform for local governments to carry out political advocacy at the international level. The process of recognition by the United Nations of local governments role in the promotion and protection of human rights has focused the attention of members over the last years. At present, this strategy has allowed to open up new spaces of dialogue and partnership between local governments and the UN on this subject.

The process of recognition of local governments role in the protection and promotion of human rights was initiated after the presentation of the Report A/HRC/30/49 to the Human Rights Council. Since then, several statements and working documents have been produced by the Human Rights Council – chiefly, the Resolution A/HRC/RES/33/8 (2016); the A/HRC/38/22 Summary (2018); and the A/HRC/39/L.8 Resolution (2018) – which mobilized and raised the awareness of Council members.

Our Committee and UCLG have played an important role in fostering local government participation in events and networking opportunities, as well as in defending their demands and priorities throughout the process. In parallel to recognition, members are now advocating for a renewed relationship of partnership and collaboration between local governments and the United Nations on human rights.

Among the key messages defended, our members recalled the need to secure local democracy and decentralization; to consolidate participatory democracy and the role of civil society in human rights governance; to provide enough resources to local authorities so they can guarantee economic, social and cultural rights; and to advance the link between human rights cities and the right to the city.

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If you are a local government representative interested in taking part in this process of advocacy, do not hesitate to get in touch with our Executive Secretariat