30 Sep 2013
Global Compact Guide for Local Governments Launched in Bogotá

A guide to help local governments apply the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact was recently launched in Bogotá with over 100 representatives from the private sector, Global Compact networks, investors, academia and leaders of Colombian civil society organizations in attendance.

The event attracted more than 100 online viewers from countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

Guía del Pacto Mundial para Gobiernos Locales, Convirtiendo el Pacto Mundial en fuente de Buenas Prácticas (Global Compact Guide for Local Government, Converting the Global Compact into Good Practice) was developed by the Centro Regional de Apoyo para America Latina y el Caribe (the Regional Center for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean) in partnership with ICMA México-Latin América; and Fundació Fòrum Universal de les Cultures. The Cities Programme is partnering with the project by translating the document into english and facilitating a broader distribution. It will also incorporate elements of this guide into the Programme´s new format for city reporting.

Mireia Belil, Director of the Foundation Forum of Cultures Barcelona, spoke via video and highlighted the importance of the guide because of local governments critical role in the application of the Global Compact principles. She invited cities to

..seize the opportunity to turn the Global Compact Principles into concrete policies for companies, workers, organizations and physical environments, social and cultural.

Ms Belil also stressed that the Principles should be adjusted to the local environment, skills and available resources.

Diana Chavez, Director of the Regional Centre for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean, spoke about the important role of mayors and city administrators in applying the Global Compact Principles on a local level.

Octavio Chavez, ICMA Manager for Latin America, explained the context of the guide and said that ICMA Guild is an association of local governments formed in response to the changing way cities now operate. Octavio gave credit to enterprises for realizing that there is a need for an operational approach in the cities, separate from the government.

Bryan Montgomery, City Manager of Oakley, California, said that “as a global network, promoting democracy and sustainable development, it is necessary to involve all stakeholders in order to develop policies that affect the public and private sector”. He explained that one of the contributions of this guide is that it provides a clear and concise tool to address developmental processes to strengthen management capacity of governments. In this course, it has influence on public policy development considering the breadth of challenges facing municipalities.

Sebastian Salgado, Focal Point of the Global Compact Local Network in Ecuador said that there are many municipalities who are interested in implementing the Principles, not only in promoting them to others but wanting to adopt them in practice. He said that in the Ecuadorian context there is a revival and interest in strengthening the public sector which has facilitated the government’s involvement with the Global Compact.

Maria Soledad Salvador, Prefecture Government Advisory in Pichincha, Ecuador, Alvaro Navas Patrón a Public Policy Adviser and Carlos Contreras, former Mayor of Barrancabermeja, Colombia presented the perspective of local government.

The guide was noted as a step forward because it contributes to local governments becoming actors with greater capacity, not only the required macro management policy but to tackle specific issues that cannot be addressed nationally.

Monica de Greiff, President Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá said that the guide provides an important space for the relationship between public and private sector.

Juan Carlos Monge, Deputy Representative Office in Colombia of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke about the relevance of the Global Compact principles for local governments and their progressive realization. He stressed the need for strong local government decentralization and its dual role of protection and guarantee of human rights. He spoke of a plan to develop a guide focusing on Human Rights. Christian Bouteille, Head of the Mission of Technical Assistance Programme Regional Development Peace and Stability 1 (European Alemana-GIZ/Unión Cooperation / Government of Colombia) spoke of “balancing the state’s duty to the common good and the company to generate a profit.”

Diego Molano, Director of the Bavaria Foundation, spoke of the guide as an approach for realizing global aspirations of society into action. Jorge Enrique Rojas Rodriguez, Private Secretary to the Mayor of Bogota, emphasised the importance of Bogotá becoming a signatory to the Global Compact and the obligations that commitment signifies. He spoke of Bogotá´s recent successes: a reduced number of homicides and its Bogotá Humana plan which is working to overcome social segregation and address climate change.

Elizabeth Ryan and Sandra Moye of the UN Global Compact Cities Programme  opened the event via video, congratulating the Regional Centre for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean, ICMA, and the Fundació Forum de les Cultures on their initiative in developing the guide and acknowledging the leadership and growth in Latin America. Elizabeth said one of the most promising things about the guide was its encouragement for local government to work in collaboration with civil society and the business community. She said the Cities Programme is very pleased about its new partnership with the Global Compact Regional Center LAC and looks forward to many collaborative ventures in the future. In fact, the next partnership initiative was only a couple of weeks later – the joint hosting of a special session at the Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York – see the agenda of ´Partnerships for Sustainability: Cities, States, Corporations`

Download a full report of the Launch (en Español)

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