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A PSI delegation of Local and Regional Government/Municipal trade unions from Colombia together with representatives of PSI regional and Head offices voiced public sector workers’ issues at the 5th World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, the Congress of the United Cities and Local Government Global Network (UCLG) that took place 12-15 October 2016 in Bogotà, Colombia. Held every three years, the Summit elects the new UCLG President and Executive Committee.
The Summit took place just ahead of the Habitat III Conference, in Quito, Ecuador, 17-20 October 2016. The PSI delegation advocated and raised awareness among mayors and local authorities about PSI’s 10 key position on fair, inclusive urbanization, encompassing decent work for city workers – including public workers - universal access and adequate public investment in essential public services, such as water and sanitation, energy, health care, transportation, education, social housing, public space etc.
Darío Restrepo Valencia and Adriana Mesa of SINTRAESTATALES Colombia - also representing PSI’s Inter-Americas Municipal Workers’ Confederation (CONTRAM-ISP) - contributed to the Summit’s session “South-south cooperation to promote decent work” organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO), where they illustrated PSI’s position on Habitat III and highlighted the critical role of LRG/municipal unions and decent work in ensuring that cities are inclusive and fair.
In the workshop “Co-creating inclusive cities– Right to the City” organized by the UCLG ‘s Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights (CISDP) panellists discussed the urgent need to step up and share good practices among cities on how to ensure the respect of human and labour rights by the private sector towards decent work. Juan Diego Gómez, PSI Sub-Regional Secretary for the Andean countries intervened in the panel emphasizing the need that decent work for locals must be at the heart of Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda and that essential public services and infrastructures must stay in public hands, be universally accessible and accountable to local communities.
Daria Cibrario, PSI Local and Regional Government Officer was a panel speaker in the policy dialogue ‘Financing the New Urban Agenda’, where she drew attention to the fact that while local and regional governments are increasingly asked to do more with less resources while corporate tax avoidance continues to strip them of the resources they need to provide essential public services to local communities and economies. “PSI advocates for tax justice for local communities. Local and regional authorities need to have a say on tax and trade policies that affect their resources and autonomy. Tax avoidance represents an unparalleled transfer of risk from the private to the public sector”, she said.
The Summit elected Mpho Parks Tau, President of the South African Association of Local Governments and Councilor of Johannesburg, South Africa as new UCLG President, adopted The Bogotà Commitment and Action Agenda, and launched the 4º Global Report on Decentralization and Local Democracy (GOLD) titled Co-creating the Urban Future, a benchmark publication by UCLG on the LRG/Municipal sector.
Pictures of the event