5 Dec 2012
Colombia’s capital, Bogotá; new Global Compact City and Reporting on its Sustainability
The city of Bogotá, capital city of Colombia has been welcomed into the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme (UNGCCP) as its newest city. Participating at the Reporting level, Bogotá has committed to report annually on its efforts to advance the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact. In so doing, one of Latin America’s largest and most vibrant cities, on behalf of its almost 8,000,000 inhabitants, will pledge to an accord to the respect of human rights, labour standards, respect of the environment and anti-corruption measures. The largest city in Colombia, its motto – ‘Bogotá, 2600 metros más cerca de las estrellas’ – is testament to its location 2,625 metres above sea level on the West of a high plateau above the Andes.
The City of Bogotá is committed to sustainable development and the reduction of social segregation across the city. It is committed to the strengthening of anti-corruption measures and fighting for government against vested interests and an easing of urban sprawl in alignment with the environmental principles of the UN Global Compact. In sum, the City is restructuring its transportation system in order to facilitate sustainable practices and increase the efficacy and public use of multiple types of transportation across Bogotá’s metropolitan region. Progressive and cohesive urban planning and design, at the behest of a number of innovative mayors, has connected different parts of the community and increased the safety and use of public spaces across the city.
Current Alcalde Mayor de Bogotá Gustavo Petro is the latest of these city leaders, elected in late 2011. His goals for his tenure as mayor form the four pillars of his five-year plan for the city, entitled ‘Bogotá Humana’. These pillars are:
– A commitment to the combat of social segregation, building an inclusive, dignified and equitable city.
– A commitment to climate change adaptation, building and developing a city that is revitalised and does not depreciate nature.
– A commitment to fighting corruption and defending the public and their government against private interests, strengthening democratic principles through citizen participation.
– A commitment to care and reparation for the victims of rights offences and social segregation.
Bogotá’s relationship with the UN Global Compact has been developing profoundly over recent times. The city was introduced to the Compact through the Colombia Global Compact network – see http://www.pactoglobal-colombia.org/ . Alcalde Petro Gustavo was scheduled to speak at the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, presenting at the ‘Sustainable Cities: Global Challenges – Local Solutions’ session hosted by UNGCCP. To great disappointment, however, the mayor ‘s appearance was cancelled due to the need for emergency surgery to remove a brain haemotoma.
Health challenges have not limited Alcalde Petro’s efforts with his city, nationally in Colombia, and across the continent. He recently convened a meeting between the mayors on nine of the great cities and political authorities of Latin America – Lima, Quito, Buenos Aires, Sucre, Caracas, Asuncion, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro and Bogotá. During this meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed, recognising the role of local government authorities as managers of sustainable development, good governance, and the promotion of the rights of all citizens. The mayor and governing authority of the city of Bogotá, demonstrate progress and the strengthening of participatory democracy is best achieved in solidarity with these other cities.
It is in this spirit, recognising that positive transformation and development is an active and community-oriented process, that the city of Bogotá is proudly welcomed into the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme.