Meeting of Mayors and Local Authorities
5 June 2001
5:30 - 6:30
1. The President of the General Assembly, Mr. Harri Holkeri,
welcomed the representatives of Local Authorities, including
Mayors and Presidents of Local Government Associations and
all other special session delegates attending the event.
Mayor Joan Clos, President of the WACLAC (World Associations
of Local Authorities Co-ordination) and Chairperson of the
Advisory Committee of Local Authorities, reiterated the
commitment by Local Authorities to further strengthen their
involvement in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda.
On behalf of WACLAC, Mayor Clos presented the WACLA II Declaration
to the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Harri Holkeri,
and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr.
3. Mayor Clos also introduced the projection of a video
entitled: "The Voice of Cities."
4. The Mayors of Istanbul (Turkey), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil),
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Minnesota (USA), Athens (Greece),
Monterrey (Mexico), Stockholm (Sweden), Bonn (Germany),
Casablanca (Morocco), Tiwi (Philippines), and Gaza (Palestine),
selected from all regions of the World, were given the opportunity
to express the commitment and views of their respective
cities on the goals of the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan,
addressed the audience. In his speech, the Secretary-General
thanked the Local Authorities for their interest in the
special session and for the Rio de Janeiro Declaration.
He recalled a sentence of Mayor Clos: "Knowledge and not
only money, is needed to achieve the implementation of the
Habitat Agenda", and stressed that the time has come for
this knowledge to be mobilized and disseminated in all cities.
Governments, he also said, have recognized the need of strengthening
Local Authorities, promote decentralization and local good
governance. But there are other challenges that need to
be faced, like HIV/AIDS pandemic, urbanization of poverty,
6. The Secretary-General of the United Nations also called
on Local Authorities to act as "Advocates for Habitat",
as Habitat has been doing for their cause. A stronger Habitat
will mean, stronger Local Authorities, and vice versa, he
7. At the conclusion of the session, an agreement of understanding
was signed between UNCHS (Habitat), through its Executive
Director, Mrs. Anna K. Tibaijuka, and the Mayor of Rio de
Janeiro, on the re-establishment of the Habitat Office for
Latin America and the Caribbean.
Finally, the participants were invited to attend the opening
ceremony of the Habitat exhibition on the occasion of the