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By Santiago Bolaños.
In the context of the Habitat III conference that finished today in Quito, Ecuador, mayors from different parts of the world presented the initiative “A seat at the Global Table”. In the event the mayors sought to take on a protagonist space in the New Urban Agenda.
The initiative was presented in a press conference that took place in the Quito Pavillion within the so-called UN Territory.
The first speaker was Dr. Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa, Head of Government of Mexico City and coordinator of AL-LAs (European-Latin American cooperation alliance among cities) who was emphatic in the aspiration to have a direct role with a place for effective representation in the United Nations, adding that currently cities are only able to participate in prior meetings in the capacity of advisers or collaborators.
In his opinion, it is mayors who have to implement public policy. According to Mancera, it must be understood that it is mayors who are responsible and generate security in each and every city.
The second intervention was given by Manuela Carmena, mayor of Madrid and she put on the table her active commitment to this proposal. Carmena underlined the priority that local governments should be transparent, that there should be no kind of corruption and above all, that there should be active participation of people.
The mayor made it clear that there are mayors that don’t speak to their neighbours and that many times to get an interview with a mayor is as difficult as trying to get an interview with a head of State.
The Mayor of Quito, host city of Habitat III, Dr. Mauricio Rodas, emphasised the need for local governments to be part of the urban agenda, pointing out that when these issues are discussed, no one has a better view than local governments because it is they that have the closest proximity to the citizens.