Informal Consultations
Committee of the Whole
Thematic Committee
Parallel Events
Parallel Event

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.

2. 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. Kofi Annan.

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 Declaration.

5. 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, among others.

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 stressed.

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.

8. Finally, the participants were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Habitat exhibition on the occasion of the special session.




2001 UNCHS