UN Human Rights Council emphasises the role of Local Governments in the promotion and protection of human rights

Photo credits: @UCLG/M.Fricaudet

On 4th September in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Council will convene a High-Level Panel on the role of Local Governments in the promotion and protection of human rights. 

UCLG has followed the work of the UN Human Rights Council since 2013 as global organisation representing local governments, providing specific inputs on the role of local governments in the promotion and protection of human rights, through the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights.  The UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. 

Thanks to this work, the Human Rights Council adopted in 2015 a Report on the role of Local Government in the promotion and protection of human rights of great significance for the work of local governments in this area. On the occasion of its thirty-third session, the Council decided to hold a High-Level Panel on 4thSeptember at UN Palais des Nations in Geneva.

In view of the intersessional panel discussion to be held in Geneva on 4th September 2017, UCLG will be represented through the Committee by Mauricio Valiente, Madrid Deputy Mayor for Human Rights and Memory and David Payot, Lausanne Deputy Mayor for Childhood, Youth and Neighbourhoods.

The UCLG Statement recalls the longstanding commitment of local governments to human rights and that human rights are an essential part of local democracy. It also reaffirms the core conditions for local governments to guarantee, protect and promote human rights, that is to say: Political, fiscal and administrative decentralization; Facilitating local administrations’ implementation of human rights; Supporting the work of global cities networks such as UCLG key to developing guides, promoting research and mutual learning processes.

During the intercessional panel discussion, UCLG will express its concern regarding the current widespread context of human rights violations at all levels reaffirm our commitment to the principles of indivisibility, interdependence and universality of human rights, as well as the respect of human rights and local democracy for local officials. We will also recall the important links between decentralisation, local democracy and human rights and will invite the Council to recognize and promote the Right to the City.

After the panel, the Committee will also co-organise the side event Envisioning the UN Guiding Principles on Local Government and Human Rights; learning from Human Rights cities” in collaboration with the Indonesian Forum for Development (INFID), Asia Democracy Network and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute.

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