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QUESTIONS URBAINES
 
Habitat II + 5

  Declaration to Habitat II+5 from French Associations of International Solidarity
The right and access for all to housing and the city
 

Preamble

1. Since Habitat 2, in Istanbul, in 1996, the situation has become worse for poor urban dwellers.  One is forced to admit that, despite all the enthusiastic declarations and the commitment of governments and international institutions, precariousness has increased in cities.  Increasingly determined movements are fighting against this situation and are asserting the existence of solutions.  But a real political will from most States and the international community opposes the implementation of these solutions.

The preparation of Habitat 2+5 is significant of a negative evolution.  Certain States, including the United States, China and Iran have called into question the agreements painstakingly negotiated in Istanbul and later, particularly concerning the acknowledgement of the right to housing and the Charter of communal autonomy.  Moreover, the United States violently rejected the participation of associations and local authorities in international debate.

The dominant development model takes the diagnostic and criticisms into account, but it hardens prior orientations.  The structural adjustment whose effects we it was possible to measure, beneficial for the most powerful and catastrophic for the poorest, has been confirmed.  It is framed by the "the fight against poverty", which creates endless poverty, and "correct government" substituted for democracy.  World trade applies its logic which puts the staggering profits of pharmaceutical firms, in compliance with the world of the WTO, side by side with the lives of 13 millions people infected with AIDS and in danger of dying every year, to whom access to medicine is forbidden.  International financial institutions are even more strictly subjected to the logic of the world financial market.

On the other hand, the citizen movement has affirmed its position on an international level.  >From Seattle to Porto Alegre, associations of international solidarity and residentsí movements, with trade unions, peasants, small producers, ecologists and consumers are calling for a different logic founded on the respect of the rights of the human being in development and the international organisation of the world.  Porto Alegre emphasised the necessity for local democracy and co-operation between government and civil society.

2. The summits and conferences of the United nations system follow one after another, year after year, dealing with the big questions which trouble the planet and its future: Vienna and human rights, Cairo and population, Rio and the environment, Copenhagen and social development, Beijing and women and Istanbul and cities. 
 The outcome of these official international conferences justifies a certain pessimism on the capacity of States to construct an international democratic system.  Participating States only commit themselves to minimal declarations which they apply all too rarely when not put under pressure by social movements. 

3. Nonetheless, these conferences are an opportunity for exchange, debate and less official forms of encounter between the new actors on the international stage.  They strengthen social movements in the reaffirmation of their claims.  They contribute to the construction of a world opinion.  They have progressively established the increased importance of other partners alongside States, more particularly associations and municipalities.  It therefore seems important that the AIS render their positions explicit so as to play the role of interlocutor, and if necessary that of a counterbalance, in relation to the States.  Moreover, these conferences have the merit of reaffirming the place of the institutions of the United Nations, founded on the universal declaration of Human Rights, in relation to those of Bretton Woods.

4. The first conference on habitat and human settlements took place in Vancouver in 1976 and led to the creation of UNCHS in Nairobi.  In twenty-five years, international discourse on urbanism has undergone great change.  Debate has progressed from housing and suitable technology to the city; from urban policy to urban management; from a clear-cut North-South opposition (rich/poor) to the rise of social difficulties in the North, which can be seen particularly clearly today in cities and their suburbs.  Today discourse has become more complex and technical while at the same time losing a major part of it political content. 
 What is at stake today is no longer so much closing the gap between the standard of living of the poor in the developing world and that of the rich in the developed world, as fighting against exclusion, both North and South, in a world operating at two or three different speeds.  What we believe in is that of the right for all to have access to the city and to housing, and it cannot be effective without specific and willed efforts to help the underprivileged.
 The problem of rural housing should not be underestimated; the emphasis placed on cities, in their global environment, has to be redefined in the evolving relationship between cities and countryside.

5. We cannot accept a world of unlimited irresponsibility.  The argument of a shortage of resources to invest in accommodation and housing for non solvent sectors is not acceptable.  In reality, the world is progressively more productive and richer.  Since 1960, world production of goods has increased two and a half times more than population.  It is not the mass of riches produced which is in regression, but their distribution and allocation which is more and more unequal.  The situation of housing and habitat is all the more a matter for concern for the reason that they represent highly productive investments, from the social as much as from the economic point of view; they are one of the fundamental conditions of mankindís pursuit of activity; they integrate and socialise. 

6. Today our societies are subjected to an economic way of thinking which is presented as the best and the only possible way of thinking: neo-liberalism.  Admittedly, the market economy is extraordinarily successful in developing productivity.  But it takes the form of a logic of structural adjustment imposed on all economies, both North and South.  The opening of borders, movement of capital, prioritisation of exportation, reduction of budget deficits, and notably spending on health and education...  Each society has to submit to the laws of the world market.  But as well as wealth, this system produces poverty; there is well-being for few but uprooting and loss of meaning for many.
 AIS, in their supportive work among populations of poor areas, are confronted with the problems of unemployment, resources, education and credit...  They know that the efforts of these populations, as significant as they might be, remain limited in their results.  They wish to see true spaces of negotiation opening up, between inhabitants and their representatives on the one hand, and public, local and central powers on the other, as well as with international institutions, so that their contributions in the construction of the city of tomorrow is acknowledged. 

7. Although most often working with the underprivileged and outcasts from society, the AIS distinguish themselves clearly from residentsí associations.  The latter, more often than not form in response to well identified difficulties arising on a daily basis (groups invading sites, associations for rubbish collection or calling on services from the municipality...).  They are representatives of the inhabitants from a territorial or community point of view.
 The AIS intervene in support of residentsí associations, but they are not their representatives.  They also have their own objectives and uphold values of solidarity in their countries and in the world.  For a long time the AIS misunderstood the city of the North, whereas in the South they intervened principally in rural settings or "in" the city (on questions of health, education, the protection of children...), more than "on" the city.  The AIS whose areas of competence are specifically urban are rare and their actions in the South are limited because financing allocated to urban projects remains marginal.  Nonetheless, these AIS are becoming more professional: boosted by the experimentation and work in capitalisation accomplished these last years, they now have a point of view on the city, as well as approaches and methods of intervention.  It is based on principles that they believe in, their experience in the field and their reflection on the issue that the AIS make their assessment of the urban problematic and define their proposals.
 

Principles 

8. Five principles have been defined, by AIS, during the meetings of the international community: these are the principles of freedom, equality, citizenship, solidarity, and durability.  AIS reaffirm their adhesion to these principles and are of the opinion that their translation into strategies and programmes of urban development could allow to reach the two principal objectives pronounced by the United nations with a view to Habitat II: suitable housing for all, viable human settlements.  These principles allow the AIS to construct their specific analysis of situations and contexts, to define their positions in relation to national policies and international institutions, to advance their criteria of evaluation so as not to allow themselves to fall into preconceived ideas, to found their proposals and their methods of intervention.

 Freedoms

 9. Often in the history of societies the city upheld freedom; the freedoms of cities and freedom in the cities.  Freedom of expression and association and the initiatives of associations are preludes for the participation of inhabitants and democracy.  The conquest of individualsí freedom of movement, in a world which recognises all other forms of movement, remains to be accomplished.  The guarantee of freedom cannot be reduced to market regulations, even if, in some cases, market economies could have been considered as alternatives to totalitarian regimes.  For AIS it follows logically that freedom of initiative is the associationís expression of freedom to take action.

 Equality

10. There can be no freedom without equality, freedom to exercise rights without the organisation of equal access to this right.
The principle of equality is related to the acknowledgement of the fundamental rights of the human person.  It seeks to guarantee each man and woman, without discrimination, the ability to develop his or her faculties.  In the city, equality particularly concerns the right to have access to land and the right to housing, the right to work, culture, education, health care, justice and security.
The differences in the planning, equipping and maintenance of neighbourhoods (as illustrated by the distinctions between the legal city and illegal neighbourhoods, or between planned centres and spontaneous housing on the periphery, city-centre and suburb zones) are in fact the concrete translation of socio-economic discrimination and economic, social and cultural segregation.
It is the duty of public authorities to implement policies which assure the promotion of equality, as well as mechanisms of economic and social regulation guaranteeing the poorest residents access to amenities (drinking water, sanitation, energy, etc.) and to basic services (education, health care, security...). 
Equality in urban development comes from a global approach and planning.  It supposes financing systems which make use of mechanisms of adjustment in local and national taxation, in the pressing need for international redistribution.

11. Equality in the city requires the transformation of socio-cultural relations between the sexes.  The objective of equality between men and women becomes the priority focus in giving a renewed dynamic to working and governing methods and is giving rise to a debate on new choices in the planning and management of cities.  Although women represent 50 % of the population, they have been very noticeably absent from decisions concerning the development and management of cities.  The analysis of living conditions from the experience and viewpoint of women will have the advantage of dealing qualitatively with essential preoccupations for all citizens, with a view to encouraging in-depth change aiming at equality and quality of life for all.

 Citizenship

12. Beyond the assertion of rights, citizenship is the acknowledgement and the implementation of each personís responsibility in the present and future life of the city.  Each person has to be able to act upon the decisions which concern him or her.  Thus, popular participation is at the centre of the urban development process in all sectors of social and economic life.  It is what allows those who have been excluded, the urban poor and women, to be recognised as actors in their own development.  For AIS, asserting the principle of citizenship goes hand in hand with the democratisation of decision making bodies and the participation of all inhabitants in the development process of the city.  They are calling for new relations between representative democracy and participatory democracy.  Neighbourhood organisations and associations are places of effective participation in urban life and for this reason have to be supported.  In the case where citizenship is inaccessible because of conditions of nationality, the status of city dweller Ė the participation of the city dweller in the administration of the city Ė has to be guaranteed in its daily effectiveness.

 Solidarity

13. The principle of solidarity refers to the awareness of a bond of common interest which implies the moral obligation of not doing harm to others and of helping them when they are in need.  For AIS, the principle of solidarity is expressed in partnership, which is both an objective and a means of intervention.
On a local level, this principle follows from a collective conception of development which is founded on belonging culturally or on unfavourable economic and social situations which create a bond between individuals.  This solidarity is an important lever for local initiatives headed by residents gathered in neighbourhood committees or in co-operatives.
On a national level, solidarity is based more on a feeling of interdependence between individuals and is expressed in the emergence of regroupings among popular organisations.  These play a decisive role as the interlocutors of public authorities when it comes to defining policies and development programmes.  On an international level, globalisation and the predominance of an economic logic oblige the AIS of the North and the non-governmental organisations of the South to form a united front to fight against the inequalities they find themselves confronted with.  Partnership relationships can thus come into existence between development actors with common convictions, determining together the objectives of projects and programmes, mutually enriching each other through constant dialogue and networking to exchange experiences.  This partnership is the expression of an active solidarity, the foundation for constructing equality.

 Durability

14. Durable development, understood as the right of future generations, applies to the urban problematic with particular acuteness, all the more so given that economic temporality is considerably contracted whereas normally the city is seen in the long term.  It means that the management of cities has to take the duration and the needs of present generations into account, while preserving the possibilities of future generations.  Urbanisation entails environmental problems: expansion which threatens sites and natural resources, emissions and waste, etc.  These are all the more difficult to manage when the city is densely populated and covers a large area and when the level of economic development is low. They require integrated urban policies (housing, transport, hygiene, production) and the regulation of industrial and energy policies to be considered in relation with the regional and planetary environment.
 Durable development has to cover all dimensions of human development (economic, social and cultural), and notably guarantee populations hygiene and health conditions and favour education and training.
The actions which the associations undertake cannot be effective in the long term unless they are supported by local authorities and the State, they are part of a strategy of institutional continuum and, in return, they contribute to the democratisation of States.  From this point of view, local authorities play a vital role as mediators, co-ordinators and arbitrators.
 

 Inventory

15. The inventory drawn up by AIS is the result of the observations made in the field on a local level and in compliance their principles.  Their daily work in neighbourhoods alongside residents has given them a unique point of view on the world and the changes it is going through.  Today an inventory on housing and urbanism can be broken down to four levels: local, national, regional and global.

 On a local level

16. In the North as in the South, we can witness the difficulty of living in the city on a daily basis: lack of basic infrastructure, un- or underemployment, increased delinquency and crime, homelessness, pollution, the meagre local resources...  In this way, several "cities" co-exist within one, with contrasting levels of amenities and social integration.
At the same time, populations are becoming organised, requesting amenities of collective interest or even providing some of them themselves due to lack of public intervention.
 Moreover, in parallel to the process of urbanisation, since the middle of the 1980s we have seen a progressive movement of decentralisation of skills and powers held up to then by the State and central administrations.  Cities and regions are acquiring increased autonomy.  Nonetheless, local authorities do not have sufficient resources to implement their new powers (financial transfers, reforms in methods of assessing and raising tax particularly necessary).

17. Since Habitat 2, in-depth transformation has been perceptible on a local level.  It is based on a new balance of power which places greater value on the local.  This evolution, which is not without danger, emphasises a democracy of proximity and local development.  The AIS can only be pleased with this new attention to participatory democracy as illustrated by the emergence of local authorities and initiatives such as the participatory budget of Porto Alegre, the 21 local programmes and the local coalitions of the Programme of Urban Management, and the boosting of local economies of the Municipal Development Programme.

18. Faced with these realities, the position taken by AIS is:
- to use residentsí associations as a basis, helping them to formalise their demands and make their projects and actions more efficient. 
- to place special emphasis on the neighbourhood level, which is a good scale for intervention, allowing to overcome sectoral logic and tackle urbanism in a territorial context, in all its interactions and complexity; 
- to assume a function of intermediary and mediator between the various actors of urban life.
- to construct new relations, often a difficult matter, between associations and municipalities;

On a national level

19. AIS are observing the progressive withdrawal of the State which sees itself called on to relinquish its productive functions, but also to do away with its function as a provider of services, including public services, in favour of the private sector.  However, the city cannot do without public intervention, lack of which generates external problems which the market cannot regulate (pollution, land and property speculation...).  Moreover, there can be no consensus on the "best city" possible: the city most desirable for companies is not necessarily the city most desirable for its inhabitants ...   The city reflects the political, economic and social choices of governments.  Today we can see a certain number of deficiencies which are contributing to developing marginalisation and exclusion: a lack of co-ordination between institutions; legal mechanisms which are inefficient in having the right to housing recognised and implemented; the impact of regulations on the housing market, and particularly on social housing; policies of transferring public resources (between the State and local authorities, between local authorities, etc.).

20. Since Habitat 2, decentralisation has imposed itself generally.  This movement is contradictory: it results from the calling into question of States, from above by globalisation, and from below by a call for local democracy.  There were more reforms in decentralisation generated from external influences (the IFI notably) than from a local level.  Decentralisation is only the excuse for the centreís ungovernability. 
AIS appreciate decentralisation without being blind to its dangers.  They are attentive to the nature of States, authoritarian whims, their subordination to economic power and the lack of real interest they have in the weakest.  They are no less aware of the importance of the Statesí role and they are not that favourable to the reduction of public powers to the benefit of markets which signifies an even greater subordination to economic and financial power.  This contradictory demand, "less of the State, more of the State", in reality leads to a quest for a "different State".
Moreover, the privatisations of companies providing basic services have been following one after the other at a steady pace with the same causes and the same effects.

21. For AIS, the State draws it legitimacy from its function as guarantor of the collective well-being.  It is up to the State to define the mode and the scope of the redistribution of wealth and put in place the institutional and regulatory framework of a city policy which is both more just and more durable.
AIS want to contribute to a greater democratisation of choices and decisions concerning the future of cities and their inhabitants: they are actively working for the participation of citizens; they are bringing problems to light before public opinion, thus acting as a pressure group in influencing the policies which are implemented.

On a regional geopolitical level

22. At the same time as the development in the globalisation of exchanges, we can see the emergence of more or less structured regional blocks (the European Union, ALENA, Mercosur, ANASE, the Asian " growth triangles"...).  The primary aim of most of these regional organisations is the lowering of commercial barriers and a greater fluidity in the exchange and movement of capital.  These are, in a contradictory movement, both vectors of neo-liberal globalisation and counter-trends to this evolution.  Although few of them have given themselves political and social functions in their mandates, they could be places where States learn to co-operate among each other and thereby contribute to consolidating peace.  It is on the scale of such blocks that a concerted policy for land planning can be defined, to the extent that they are committed to favouring viable, responsible and equitable development for all on a long term basis.

23. Since Habitat 2, discussion of geo-cultural regions has continued.  Unfortunately it has mostly taken the form of promoting zones of free exchange within the framework of WTO agreements.  Similarly, the basis of proposals for the greater autonomy of regional banks remains to be discussed.

24. AIS see interesting possibilities in this progression of regionalisation.  AIS have already adopted this regional dimension, first of all by developing networks for the exchange of experiences and mutual training, furthermore by drawing up common proposals which they defend before the competent bodies (for example, the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights which fights against evictions, or the European Charter for the right to housing and the fight against exclusion).  The networks of cities developing on an international scale, in parallel to State intervention, are working for the greater autonomy of local authorities and the better representation of civil society.

On a planetary level

25. The 20th century will no doubt remain in History as the century which initiated globalisation: the globalisation of wars, of the economy and of communication.  It is also the century of rapid and massive urbanisation, with notably the apparition of megalopolises with multimillion populations.  Expansion of a single economic logic on a planet-wide scale generates, North and South, the same types of responses, of which cities and their malfunctioning send back an exacerbated image.  The time has come to rethink international migration, whose importance is linked to economic disparities, minoritiesí rights and the respect of the rights if the human being.  It also becoming necessary to rethink citiesí functions and their forms of organisation.

26. Since Habitat 2, the disparities in the distribution of wealth on a world level has become even more accentuated.  The logic of the WTO, the merchandisation of the world, has taken over.  The logic of the world market has established itself firmly in international financial institutions.  The model of development combines structural adjustment with poverty and government. 

27.  AIS observe that the mastering of urbanisation requires renewed reflection on city/countryside relationships, demography and international migration.  We acknowledge that cities now act as driving forces in economic development.  But mastering urbanisation is attained through the adoption and implementation of policies allowing to correct negatives external factors created by urban concentration.  We are working to create universal awareness and a planetary vision.

Proposals

28. Our proposals as AIS are organised around nine themes: 
a) partnership; b) reference to the rights of the human being; c) the institutional framework; d) specific methods and policies (access to land, finance, materials, conception of projects, programmes and policies, urban services); e) AIS projects and interventions (principles and methods); f) national housing, habitat and urban policies; g) the strategies and interventions of national institutions; h) the international system; i) relations with other actors: municipalities, researchers, experts and professionals, administrations, companies and the economic sector, agencies of co-operation, international institutions, residentsí associations, popular movements and trade unions.

The principles set out have consequences for all of these themes.  They require us to be explicit about the demands we are making on current institutional facilities and to specify the nature of our commitment. 

We see all relationships of co-operation as necessarily having to be founded on the acknowledgement of equality between the actors forming them.  They have to be established on the basis of mutual interest.  Finally, they have to be put in a long term perspective.  Understood as a relationship founded on these principles, partnership has to constitute the basis and the method of constructing relationships of renewed co-operation between local associations on the one hand (residentsí associations, citizens or producers and their regroupings), and between the latter and the AIS on the other.  With this in mind, we ask that the associative movement be recognised as a representation of the direct interest of the inhabitants, complementing representation by delegation resulting from elections.
AIS, recognising that they are distinct entities from the grassroots associative movements, are committed to reinforcing the autonomy of these movements, to act as spokesmen for their demands and to implement means and methods which contribute to the consolidation of their actions.  They are committed to developing relationships with associations in the South with this objective in mind.  Finally, they are committed to establishing direct links, founded on these same principles, between local associations North and South.

30. The nature of the development that we wish to defend is founded on respect and the consolidation of the rights of the human being.  This is our conception of durable development.  We defend the complementarity of political and civic rights and economic, social and cultural rights.  We support the efforts of the international community, reaffirmed at the Vienna Conference, for an additional protocol for economic, social and cultural rights.  Particularly, the legal status of these rights, which is a form of guaranteeing their respect and the possibility of recourse to legal authority, open to citizens, to judge the responsibility of those who violate their rights.

31. The institutional and legal framework has to guarantee the associative movementsí existence and forms of operating, and notably their freedom of expression and right to create associations.  On local and national levels, administrations have to accept the autonomy and independence of these associations.  They notably have to recognise their right and power to foster relations with the individuals and institutions of their choice. Finally, they have to accept to work with associative movements.

We request that freedom of expression and the right to create associations be introduced into international law.  In a general way, we call on institutions on all levels to take the point of view of associative movements into account and to associate them with projects being implemented and debates on programmes and policies.

For their part, AIS are committed to considering the national and territorial coherence of their actions, in terms of policies of economic, social and spatial development.  Nonetheless, it is necessary for there to be negotiated co-operation with local authorities with a view to constructing a public space.  Acknowledging the importance of local authorities does not necessarily mean accepting municipal or national orientations and would not lead to a priori control over their actions.  It is within the framework of their partnership with the associative movement of the South that they intend to define their position in relation to these orientations.

32. We demand equality of access for all to housing and the city.  To constitute this in reference to action today requires making a particular effort for the most disadvantaged, for women and children (particularly those living in the street).  The actions developed on all levels must be set in a long term perspective and be defined and implemented in accordance with democratic methods.

It is up to the States and local authorities to ensure the application of these principles.  It is by acknowledging, accompanying and pooling local initiatives that innovative programmes can and must be conceived and alternative policies forged.

In the area of access to land, we request that land security be guaranteed, policies of regularisation carried out and land made available.  Alternative programmes and financing policies are possible.  We can refer, for example, to the mutualisation of public an private resources by mobilising popular savings or systems of banks of materials facilitating self-promotion and the expression of know-how and popular solidarity.

33. In order for each person to be able to participate in the decisions which concern him or her (principle of citizenship), for the interest of all to be taken into account (principles of equality, and solidarity) and for the actions undertaken to integrate the long term perspective of eco-development (principle of durability), we ask that policies on national housing, habitat and the city are publicly debated, notably on the level of programmes for structural adjustment.  We are prepared, under these conditions, to intervene in support of policies which respect the principles that guide our actions.
Similarly, where access to urban services is concerned, the fine tuning of programmes and policies has to be based on direct participatory action, on a local level, which is the proof of its efficiency.

34. We grant a strategic place to action on a project basis.  Projects are a particularly good way of testing, evaluating and validating innovative methods and plans of action for intervention.  They offer the opportunity of developing the pooling of resources between actors in practice.  Finally, they allow to feed debate on general orientation, as much from the point of view of urban projects as from that of the forms and methods of co-operation.  In this sense, AIS ask to be recognised as fully fledged actors in the urban development process and to be associated, in respect of their autonomy and guiding principles, with action and collective reflection in this domain.  They are committed, on this level, to defining and implementing their projects in the framework of partnership with local associations in the South and taking national and territorial coherence into account in these projects.

35. It is up to national institutions to define strategies and interventions founded on these same principles.  Respecting the principle of citizenship notably requires integrating popular participation into the elaboration and implementation of interventions; respecting that of equality notably requires the development of adjustment systems, allowing all access to housing and the city.  In the different domains of intervention, and principally in the domains of housing and urban services, we request that economic services of general interest be defined and guaranteed.  These services are not, from our point of view, social safety nets for the poor.  They are mechanisms allowing to guarantee equality of access for all to basic services; which implies specific measures and programmes for those who are excluded due to the logic of the market.

36. We ask that international institutions are made respect international agreements signed by their members, and particularly the protocols for rights which are one of the foundations of international law.  We ask that an instance of international appeal be empowered to judge the action of these institutions and that citizensí movements can have access to them if they believe that international law is not being respected.  We ask that the evaluation of interventions of international financial institutions and the WTO be entrusted to an independent body situated in the system of the United nations.

We ask that international institutions define orientations which take into account principles of freedom, equality, citizenship, solidarity, and durability.  We expect these same institutions to recognise the autonomy of associations and not to subordinate them to their projects.  We ask that the conditions of application of the principle of the right to housing be defined, notably on a financial level, and that housing programmes for the homeless be put into action.  We are committed to participating in projects coherent with and faithful to these principles.

37. We intend to forge alliances with these different actors in a general framework of the respect of the interests of each and everyone and on the following basis:
- with municipalities, on the basis of reciprocal acknowledgement of each parties respective legitimacy;
- with researchers and teachers, to the extent that they are committed to producing and relaying knowledge which takes account of the interest, practices and expectations of all categories of inhabitants on the one hand, and whose evaluation, on the other, is not uniquely founded on financial criteria;
- with the experts and professionals who know how to build renewed methods of action integrating the stated principles and basing themselves on new practices;
- with administrations who have guaranteed the right to create associations and respect freedom of expression;
- with companies open to the invention of an economic partnership between North and South founded on overall return (and not exclusively financial return) that take into account questions of employment and working conditions, income and satisfying needs;
- with co-operation agencies and international institutions recognising the legitimacy and the independence of associative movements;
- with residentsí associations and local associations who place their actions in the long term perspective and take account of the general coherence of these actions.

We are willing to contribute to organising dialogue and co-operation between all of these actors, through two principal modalities: the implementation of common projects on the one hand, debate on programmes and policies on the other.
Ensuring the effectiveness of free and equal rights to housing and the city, seems, to us, to constitute the essential aspect of the mission of AIS.

March 2001
 



Following organisations signed the declaration :
ACAD (Associatiuon de Coopération entre Acteurs du développement), Acroterre, Aitec, Architecture et Développement, CARI (Centre d'actions et de réalisations internationales), CEDAL (Centre de recherche et d'information pour l'Amérique latine), Cedetim, CRID (Centre de recherche et d'information sur le développement), Cedidelp, EAST (Eau, Agriculture et Santé en milieu Tropical), Femmes & Changements, Forum de Delphe, Gret (Groupe de recherche et d'échanges technologiques), Solagral, Ritimo, Villes en Tansition...



 

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