“Quito 20 October

Good morning;

Thank you, Mr/Mrs Chair for the opportunity to address this distinguished audience.

My name is Nelson Saule Júnior, speaking by Polis Institute on behalf of the Global Platform for the Right to the City – an action-oriented advocacy network committed to social change and with the promotion of the Right to the City as a core value for policies, commitments, projects and actions across the globe.

I start celebrating the adoption of the Right to the City in the Vision of the New Urban Agenda and we congratulate the strong and serious engagement of national governments during the negotiation process of the New Urban Agenda. Likewise, I also recognize and congratulate the fundamental contributions brought by the global civil society and local governments during this two-year process. This Conference represents the most important landmark of this process where States have come together and committed with addressing the challenges faced by our cities, villages and human settlements across the globe. The New Urban Agenda is the result of a long process and embodies this extraordinary moment. Therefore, we consider that the inclusion of the Right to the City in the New Urban Agenda represents an achievement that will not only remain in History, but also positively impact the well-being of this generation for the next twenty years. We consider that the underlying principles of the Right to the City are essentially expressed in the New Urban Agenda, including the fundamental idea of our cities, villages and human settlements as a common good.

On behalf of the GPR2C, I thank all those who have worked hard and continuously in the mobilization that made possible this historic recognition, including grassroots movements, researchers, civil society organizations and individuals. I also extend my appreciation to the representatives of the States who actively defended the Right to the City during the negotiation process that brought us here today. The New Urban Agenda will no longer be amended or altered: we are ready to move forward and implement it considering the goals, actions and indicator we already built in the Policy Unit 1 Right to the City and City for all. We have a framework and set of commitments, against which we will measure, monitor and assess our achievements and challenges in sustainable urban development for the next two decades.

National governments will play a key role in this process. Nonetheless, the efforts to materialize the commitments of the New Urban Agenda must recognize and actively include the voices of the civil society and local governments, at all stages, including the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies and initiatives based on the New Urban Agenda. Only with the active engagement and meaningful participation of civil society and local governments we will truly achieve just, inclusive and sustainable development in our cities, villages and settlements.

Thank you very much.

Human Rights and Right to the City for everyone!

Nelson Saule Júnior

Polis Institute

Global Platform Right to the City”