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UCLG Summit in Rabat: the cultural messages

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders of UCLG took place in Rabat on 1-4 October 2013. Over these four days, over 3,000 participants from 125 countries came together under the theme, “Imagine Society, Build Democracy”. Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul (Turkey) was reelected President of UCLG.

The King Mohammed VI of Morocco, in the Opening of the Congress said: “Morocco fully backs your organization’s (…) call for culture to be considered the fourth pillar of sustainable development, along with economic progress, social integration and environmental balance. Indeed, economic, social and environmental challenges are not the only issues at stake. Creativity, knowledge, diversity and refinement are also essential components of any dialogue to achieve peace and progress”. The speech of King Mohammed VI is available here.

At the Plenary session on Habitat III, Mayor Parks Tau of Johannesburg, Mayor Alain Juppé of Bordeaux, Mayor Chen Jianhua of Guangzhou and Mayor Augusto Barrera of Quito requested more presence of culture in development debates. “Culture", the Mayors said, “is identity, heritage, creativity, diversity, wellbeing and knowledge”.

The Final Declaration of the Summit recognizes the need to bring innovate changes, to achieve more just societies by reinforcing governance from the bottom up, under the leadership of inclusive local and regional governments. The outcomes of this Congress further celebrate diversity and call for equality and inclusion, with culture and decent jobs as crucial components of resilient sustainable societies. Please click here to read the Declaration of Rabat.

The presence of the Committee on culture was led by the President of the Committee, Ms Catherine Cullen. Our presence was focused in the following activities:

  • The speech of our Presidency to the General Assembly of UCLG, which is available here.
  • The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments for Post-2015 towards Habitat III confirmed “culture as driver and enabler of development and people-centred societies” as one of its priorities.
  • The “International Award UCLG – City of Mexico – Culture 21” was launched during the Executive Bureau of UCLG. This Award will give more visibility to the very best local cultural policies that have contributed to sustainable development. More information is available here.
  • The speech of Mr Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, is available here.
  • The report of our activities during the period 2011-2013 and the announcement of the most important elements of our work for 2014-2016 is available using this link.
  • The advocacy document written by four global cultural networks to support the inclusion of a goal explicitly focused on culture in the Post-2015 Development Agenda is available here.
  • The contents of the parallel session “Culture in sustainable development” are already available in this page.
  • You can also download some pictures of the Summit with this link.

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Our document carries the justification for such a goal and puts forward several targets and indicators. It is now time for culture to be at the heart of a positive transformative change.

International Award UCLG - MEXICO City - Culture 21

Banner En  copiaThe jury delivered its verdict, check out the cities that participated at the International Award UCLG - MEXICO City - Culture 21 and discover the winners

You can also consult the detailed Report of the Jury.