Cities and local authorities are the linchpin when it comes to addressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change and conflict. Indeed, “[t]he sustainable development fight will be won or lost in our cities” – this was the sentiment of the 10th World Urban Forum which took place in the United Arab Emirates in February 2020. The World Urban Forum has become the foremost international gathering for stakeholders from all spheres to exchange views and experiences on how to “ensure that cities are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDG 11). Every year, the dynamic forum brings together over 13.000 researchers, government representatives, mayors, private sector and civil society actors from more than 168 countries to generate momentum on how to realize and guarantee sustainable urbanization in all its ramifications.
The UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security and the UNESCO Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels joined the 10th World Urban Forum and organized a panel entitled “How inclusive is your city?” together with the mayors of Cairo (Egypt) and Amman (Jordan) as well as representatives of UNESCO Cairo. The panel addressed how local authorities and particularly cities can contribute to achieving sustainability and inclusiveness, and introduced two joint publications offering insight and guidance.
The Toolkit for Urban Inclusion in Arab Cities, prepared under the umbrella of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, presents policy models and hands-on guidance covering topics of high relevance to cities in the Arab region: these include public participation, access to information, sports for youth inclusion, and citizenship and human rights education. The methods introduced help local authorities conceptualize, implement and evaluate efforts in these areas to promote inclusive urban development.
The study Implementing Human Rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the Local Level is the first volume of the Human Rights Go Local Publication Series that is jointly edited by the UNESCO Centre for the Promotion of Human Rights at the Local and Regional Levels and the UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Human Security. The publication series is devoted to understanding and promoting human rights at the local level within global frameworks such as the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The series will allow researchers and practitioners to reflect on the connection between legal frameworks, policy frameworks and practices, and will showcase how these interlinkages can guide us in creating inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable cities. You can find out more about the series here purchase the publication directly here.