Consolidated Urban Dialogue Adopts Brussels Urban Declaration

7 February 2011: The European Parliament, the European Commission and the UN-Human Settlements Programe (UN-HABITAT), with the support of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU, hosted the high-level Consolidated Urban Dialogue Meeting with the EU Partners at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on 26 January 2011.

Participants at the high-level meeting recognized that urban poverty is one of the major development challenges aggravated by the economic crises, climate change and natural disasters. The meeting concluded with the adoption of the Brussels Urban Declaration, which calls attention to urban development issues, and to the establishment of adequate mechanisms to support sustainable urban initiatives, including energy efficiency and innovative climate change strategies.

The Declaration commits European partners and institutions, including UN-HABITAT and other international organizations, to, inter alia: promote the role of the cities in the world, especially in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as potential engines of economic growth, social stability, sustainable urban mobility and energy efficiency, as well as innovative climate change strategies; call on national governments, regional and international organizations, and the international community to develop partnerships by building institutional capacity of the local authorities in cooperation with civil society and urban professional actors to implement local urban initiatives on sanitation, safe water, urban transport, solid waste and pollution, and climate change mitigation and adaptation; recommend that the European Institutions consider developing a new area of cooperation with UN-HABITAT aiming to ensure that urban issues are taken into account at relevant meetings, conferences and summits within the EU; confirm the strong support to the promotion of integrated urban development through innovative approaches by enhancing urban policy dialogue and research on renewable efficient energies, industrialization and urban green economy, urban food security, urban governance, livelihood's resilience following natural disasters or conflicts, crisis prevention, measures against climate change and other urban challenges; further enhance the cooperation between UN-HABITAT and the European Institutions, by establishing a strategic partnership on sustainable urban development; and recommend that coordinating mechanisms as well as instruments such as “Urban Working Groups” be established involving EU bodies, in particular the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions and UN-HABITAT for close and appropriate follow-up on effective implementation of the above commitments and recommendations.

The Consolidated Urban Dialogue Meeting was attended by high-level representatives from EU member States, Norway, the EU Institutions, including the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, the Committee of the Regions, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Economic and Social Committee, UN-HABITAT and representatives from international organizations involved in sustainable urban development. [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [Brussels Urban Declaration]