An international delegation of PSI affiliates and staff will participate in Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016. The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development is an exceptional event that occurs every 20 years. Habitat II took place in Istanbul in 1996 and delivered at the time the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements. Habitat III is expected to deliver a new document, the New Urban Agenda.
Bringing the voice of municipal workers into the New Urban Agenda
PSI has a major direct stake in urban policies and in Habitat III and key messages to deliver. PSI’s members work in cities in health care; local, regional and central government; social and community services, education, and in public utilities such as water, electricity, and waste management. They are themselves city dwellers and it is them who manage, operate, serve and bring cities to life on a daily basis.
Cities will not be truly inclusive until all workers including migrant workers have decent work, safe and healthy working and living conditions, and are entitled to fundamental labour and human rights. Workers represent the largest share of urban dwellers and are the engines of socio-economic integration and inclusive growth: they build the cities and keep them running but they are often marginalized and in precarious working and living conditions, and they need labour rights, empowerment, protection and capacity-building.
General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli is the Vice-Chair of the Trade Union and Workers Group in the General Assembly of Partners (GAP), and PSI cooperates closely with the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), whose General Secretary Ambet Yuson is Chair of the Trade Union and Workers Group. PSI was in the drafting committee of the GAP position ‘Partnerships for the New Urban Agenda’ where it succeeded to include critical language on decent work, tax justice, universal access to public services, labour and environmental clauses in public procurement, public-public partnerships and inter-municipal cooperation. Social inclusion, decent work and inclusive growth are among the transformative commitments of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda, however, little is said about their operationalization.
Here is the list of the main HIII events that PSI will take part in and the alternative forum “Resistance to HIII”:
08:00 - 10:00 PSI LED EVENT: Trade Unions Roundtable, Official HIII event - Room 17 - Casa de la Cultura.
14:00 - 15:00 Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Infrastructure - Side event organized by Communitas - World Stage by Next City, National Assembly
14:30 - 16:00 Beyond Public Services. Rethinking the Values, Functions, and Management of 'Waters' in our Cities - Side event organized by GWOPA - One UN Pavilion - Room A
15:00 - 18:00 Urban Governance and the New Urban Agenda, Official HIII event - Room R2/ Cine “Alfredo Pareja” Casa de la Cultura
16:00 - 18:00 Cities for people, not for profit - PSI event at Forum ‘Resistance to HIII’ - Aula 4, Facultad de Artes Urbanas de la Universidad Central del Ecuador - Avenida América y Pérez Guerrero.
09:30 - 10:30 Promoting Gender Responsive Services And Spaces Towards Inclusive And Safe Cities - Side event organized by Action Aid - Room 18 Casa de la Cultura
08:00 - 10:00 Jobs and Urban Livelihoods - Official HIII event ILO-organised - Ecuatoriana Teatro Aguilera Casa de la Cultura