Local governments call for states to #listen2cities on World Refugee Day

Local and regional governments are on the front line of welcoming and integrating people seeking refuge from violence and insecurity. Now, more than ever, states must hear our voices.

Our world is facing unprecedented migration by people seeking refuge from regions in conflict. We, local and regional governments, are convinced that solidarity and strong local responses are essential to addressing these challenges.

As the sphere of government closest to the people, local and regional governments have both a legal and moral obligation to act, not only on behalf of the citizens we represent, but also those that arrive in our territories seeking safety. We must raise awareness among our citizens to foster solidarity and understanding and prepare our cities to welcome displaced people.

On World Refugee Day 2016, and on the eve of Habitat III, we call on national governments to include subnational governments in their deliberations and to provide us with adequate funding and capacity-building to face crisis situations, in particular the refugee crisis. We also call for the opening of safe and legal routes for all those seeking asylum and in need of international protection.

As local and regional governments, we commit to supporting the displaced and contributing to finding solutions for their refuge.

Local leaders will debate the local agenda for migration and development at the World Summit of Local and Regional Governments, hosted by UCLG in Bogota from 12-15 October.

This communiqué is based in the motion presented by Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, at the UCLG World Council in Paris 4/12/2015.