Commitment, solidarity and democracy in the “International Seminar of the Forum of the Local Authorities of Periphery” in São Leopoldo and Porto Alegre

Commitment, solidarity and democracy with the “International Seminar of the Forum of the Local authorities of Peripheries” in São Leopoldo and Porto Alegre

From November 23rd to November 25th the seminar was held of the “Forum of the Local authorities of Periphery” organized by the FALP and the commission on peripheral cities of CGLU. This network counts on the participation of 250 local authorities of periphery of differents continents. This meeting was built with the Legislative Parliament of the State of Rio Grande do Sul and the municipality of São Leopoldo, and joined together 47 international local entities of periphery.

The seminar began on November 23rd at the evening in the Legislative Parliament in Porto Alegre. It continued the morning of November 24th in the Center of events with programming which aimed to reinforce the exchange of good practices between technicians, the researchers, the social movements and the local authorities and international to promote the interdependent and decentralized urban development. At the time of the opening ceremony, the mayor of São Leopoldo, Ary Vanazzi, cordially welcomed the present: “Us, here, we resist for no more rights in less, against social exclusion, against discriminations and hatred, but well so that peace and fraternity are the symbols of our fight, our indignation and for collective construction”. 

In this direction, Eduardo Tadeu Pereira, president of the Brazilian Association of the Municipalities recalled: “the FALP gives through this seminar the opportunity of discussions on the interests of the cities and the organization of the metropolises”.

The local authorities of France, Senegal, Palestine, Argentina, and others, raised in the debate the importance of the union between the towns of periphery to seek alternatives to build a better world for the 21e century starting from the local governments.

One of the great moment was the participation of the mayor of Aizaria (Palestine), Issam Farun who spoke about the reality lived in his city: “We seek of the assistance for health and education. We are a city surrounded by a wall of 24 kilometers, a prison with open sky, repressed, without access to Jerusalem, our city close. The FALP gives us the right to create forces to speak about our difficulties”.

The mayor of Nanterre (France), Patrick Jarry, said that peripheral cities are in the center of the growth of the metropolises. “The peripheries are places of life, places of resistance, struggle, cultural creation and innovation. The future of the metropolitan areas depends on the suburbs, and this is why it is important to reinforce those spaces”, Patrick Jarry insisted.

Those declarations were only the beginning of a rich participation of debates through various sets of themes during following days:

The main theme of the seminar was centered on the “sustainable and interdependent Alternatives for a world in crisis”, and one approached the new challenges like the human rights, the right to the city, sustainable development, the culture, the political representation of women, the migrations in the suburban towns.

In this occasion, the participants adopted the “Declaration of São Leopoldo and Porto Alegre” to assert the need for making existe more interdependent territories which are based on the redistribution of the wealth produced in the metropolitan area, with the participation more active and democratic which guarantees the decentralization and the integration of the peripheral cities. Indeed, this would make it possible to transform the metropolitan areas into more inclusive spaces which recognize new rights for social justice.

The urban, economic and social development of the peripheries is the future of the metropolises. It is in direction that the declaration takes again the commitment of the local governments of the peripheral cities to implement the Sustainable Development Goals of UN in the metropolitan areas, the cities, the localities and the territories. FALP Network defined 5 focal cities to work from this point of view with the 4 corners for planet: Nanterre (France) for Europe, São Leopoldo (Brazil) and San Antonio de Areco (Argentina) for the Latin America, Pikine (Senegal), and Aizaria (Palestine) for the Middle-East.

FALP Network through its committee on peripheral cities of UCLG reinforces the political presence of the suburban towns in the total diary by being part of the organizative structure of the “Peripheral cities Forum of UCLG”. This last is a process of consultation and development of the policies which will lead to the organization of an event the every 2 years. The Forum will be coordinated by the city of Nanterre (France). The aim is to highlight the construction of the metropolitan areas starting from the glance of the periphery and thus to answer to the urban challenges for the 21st century for interdependent, democratic, sustainable and polycentric metropolises.

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