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Cablegate: Usunesco: Third Working Group Session On the Right to The

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Lucia A Keegan 12/18/2006 03:03:14 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

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UNCLAS PARIS 07805

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ACTION: UNESCO
INFO: POL ECON AMBU AMB AMBO DCM SCI

DISSEMINATION: UNESCOX
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB: LVOLIVER
DRAFTED: POL: MAPOINTER
CLEARED: HHS: JSHOFF, DCM: ACKOSS

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 007805

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FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS

FOR IO/UNESCO
NAIROBI FOR OBSERVER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UNESCO SCUL KPAO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO: THIRD WORKING GROUP SESSION ON THE RIGHT TO THE
CITY OUTLINES ACTION PLAN FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS

REF: PARIS 7462

1. Summary: Participants in the Third Working Group Session on the
"Right to the City," a joint project between UNESCO and UN Habitat,
developed a project plan for the next two years leading up to the
Nanjing, China World Urban Forum in 2008. Participants agreed to
undertake regional inventories of existing legal and normative
frameworks, to develop a tool kit to present to cities, and to
develop criteria and guidelines for an award to be presented at the
World Urban Forum to a city accomplishing the key goals of the
"Right to the City" (inclusiveness and good governance).
Participants debated the continued usage of the title "Right to the
City," as it may be contentious for some states. End Summary.

2. The Third Working Group Session for the UNESCO-UN Habitat "Right
to the City" project took place at UNESCO Paris on November
11th-12th, 2006. Organized by both UNESCO's Social and Human Science
sector and Culture sector, NGOs and city representatives sought to
develop ideas for action to be undertaken over the next two years.
Although the "Right to the City" is a joint project between UNESCO
and UN Habitat, no representative from UN Habitat was present.

3. Participants debated performing regional inventories of existing
normative and legal instruments as well as regional best practices
to provide cities with better guidelines of what can be done and
what cities are already doing to achieve the goals linked to the
"Right to the City" project. Annali Kristiansen, project manager
with the Danish Institute of Human Rights, offered to produce a
paper outlining relevant international instruments. Participants
recognized the ambitious character of this next step of action,
agreeing on a tentative deadline of September 2007 to have the
preliminary inventories completed.

4. The working group plans to have a first draft tool kit ready for
the Nanjing conference. The tool kit will serve as a pedagogical
tool for interested cities seeking to establish inclusiveness and
good governance. Brigitte Colin, program specialist in the Social
and Human Sciences sector, explained that the goal is to present a
first draft tool kit that includes information on best practices and
comparative studies of tools for achieving the objectives related to
the "Right to the City" project. The regional inventories project
will assist in successfully completing this tool kit. (Comment: It
continues to remain entirely unclear what the goals of the "Right to
the City" are.)

5. Participants discussed the creation of an award to be presented
to a city boasting inclusiveness and good governance. Melody Hook,
an NGO representative, said that with little time and resources, it
could be difficult to properly develop criteria for the award in
time for the Nanjing conference. Brigitte Colin reminded the working
group that the Creative Cities program in the Culture sector was not
completely developed when it was launched; however, the program
achieved great visibility and was well received. She argued that
similar outcomes are possible for this award. She also advised that
this award should be created through UN Habitat under the auspices
of UNESCO to avoid the bureaucratic steps that must be undertaken
within UNESCO to obtain approval for the creation of a new award.
Participants discussed the duties that cities should be entrusted
with if they win, i.e. sharing their best practices with other
cities. Participants addressed the difficulty of determining which
actors would receive the award, the ensemble of actors within the
city, or the municipal government alone. Most agreed that the former
would better serve the objectives of the award.

6. Participants questioned the continued usage of the name "Right to
the City" for this project. Sri Husnaini Sofjan, of the Hairou
Commission located in Southeast Asia, and Annali Kristiansen
mentioned that from their experiences working with China, this title
may not be acceptable. Brigitte Colin and Annali Kristiansen agreed
that if the current title is too thought-provoking and contentious
to be accepted worldwide, perhaps a new title should be created.
Brigitte Colin underscored the political aspect of this title,
saying that member states with both UN agencies need to be
supportive of the title for the project to be successful. Other
participants (mainly NGOs) were not in accordance, arguing that
adjustments to the title would decrease its "binding" effect.
(Comment: This is coming after U.S. efforts to stop the use of the
expression "Right to the City," see reftel. In discussions with the
Secretariat, the U.S. has strongly objected to the use of the

SIPDIS
term.)

7. Charles Goldblum, a professor from the French Institute of
Urbanism, suggested constructing an observatory for the "Right to
the City." Participants debated the purpose of the observatory,
funding, the center's scope within the world, and a timeframe for
its creation. Jules Patenaude, public consultant working with the
city of Montreal, countered that a virtual center would be more
affordable, easier to maintain, and would reach out to a larger
portion of the world. In addition, he and other participants said
that many universities, agencies, and cities already have centers
doing research on urban issues. They advised that partnerships and
networking with these existing entities would perhaps be more
useful.

8. Jun Morohashi, assistant program specialist in the Social and
Human Science sector, proposed creating a concept paper that would
define the work of the "Right to the City" project and outline a
methodology for achieving goals. Brigitte Colin suggested continuing
building partnerships and networking with other stakeholders. Melody
Hook insisted on the need for a draft action plan and a position
paper to define objectives, goals, resources, future action, etc.
Brigitte Colin responded saying that these items must be shared with
UN Habitat.

9. Cezar Busatto, Secretary of the Municipal Government of Porto
Alegre, Brazil; Olivier Chambar, General Secretary of the
International Association of Francophone Mayors; and Jean Jacques
Joucla, mayor of the Paris suburb Montreuil, shared their
experiences on how local governments can engage in building cities
which are more inclusive for all residents and seek to build greater
levels of cohesion. Cezar Busatto argued that cities are unique
throughout the world and that as this project seeks to promote best
practice sharing and capacity building, it is important to recognize
that one model cannot be adopted and forced upon all cities. He
insisted that cities must be allowed to use these tools in a way
that best serves their own system. Representatives from NGOs gave
interventions on ways in which their organizations contribute to
achieving the goals in line with the objectives of the "Right to the
City." Rosa Maria Guerreiro, of the UNESCO Culture sector, discussed
the social problems affecting cities, a phenomenon now negatively
impacting the utopian ideal of an "interculturality hub" that cities
are supposed to represent. She offered examples of Brazilian cities
like Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, where social cohesion does not
exist.

10. Cezar Busatto offered to host a conference in Porto Alegre, to
be held in September 2007, on good governance and inclusive
practices at the municipal level. He recognized that the conference
would need funding from UN Habitat, UNESCO, and other interested
agencies.

OLIVER

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