Hello Town Hall! Here are the minutes of the first meeting. Feel free to edit the text, add comments, share links and videos. Let the co-creation begin!
Thinking Big Meeting
Trust in experts and political leaders is required in the context of covid and in relation to other complex emergencies that are prolonged. What is the contribution of municipal governors to add to the value definition and the exchange? Participation, deliberation which adds to the participatory dimension. To deliver positive change and outcomes we need to go beyond tested and well-tried resolutions and embrace experiments. Cities have a condition where you can scale experiments, maybe better in another context where you can identify development. In an age of uncertainty these experiments are critical.
Trust building: exploring new forms of democratic legitimacy, real experimentation with new forms of deliberation, reframe some of these contemporary discussion for a government by empathy, utilizing the existing trust and work with trusted institutions (this is importance in the first instance), truth telling. Find new representation going from participation to deliberation. How we are going to include young people?
María Fernanda Espinosa
We see that government leaders and journalists are seen as the least trusted institutions. There is a collapse of trust in democracy. Citizens believe that the future will be worse in 5 years. Governments are not seen as able and willing to solve people problems. Take the example of Latin America: it is the region that trust less governments and democratic institutions. It is also the region with higher inequalities. Connection between inequality and trust.
There is no straight answer in what to do. Regaining this trust is not only about income and jobs, it is about power and agency. How to build social infrastructures to promote accountability? Internationals organizations and the UN much needed reform processes.
4 headlines for us to discuss: Telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. We need to make the revolution of truth. Words matters. Do as you say and say what you can do. Critical role: social media. Crisis of infodemics, we should explore more, the role of regulation is critical. More citizenship, a new social contract between citizens and government.
Our common agenda is a draft. There is a consultation process that will be organized to discuss the issue of governance. The issue of the social contract is something that we need to unpack. Role of local governance: that is where revolutionary changes are happening. Direct role of local governance in the realization of social contract. How can the multilateral system advance and make multilateralism more effective?
We are observing that trust is a key aspect on the democratic governance of our society. The idea of the crisis of a social contract is growing in many democracies. There is a general feeling of incapacity of democracy to deliver, it is a crisis of relationship between citizens and institutions as the latter are not acting as a transition belt of citizens' needs and demands as they have to. This breaks a fundamental feature of democracy.
Raising authoritarianism cases, this affects the capacity of local governments to act and ultimately to exist. Authoritarian governments are more vocal of their models, and capable and willing to impose them.
Communication and information about democracy. When a part of society agrees not to play by the rules of democracy, then democracy fail to function. Importance of democratic innovation at the local level. They are key to start solving some of these problems. They are key to agree on those commons agreements that sustain democracy.
We need the feminist principle in this context of discussion. The relationship between those who govern and those who are being governed is key. We need to go back to the early 2000, the UN mentioned the principle of good governance, we need to go back and revise it. The rule of law is important because sometimes trust is eroded because there is no respect for the rule of law. Equality principle must be part of our social contract
Mairie de Libreville
Social contract: the main motive is general interest. When there is an imbalance, there is a lack of trust between the different actors and it is for this reason that we are convinced that the safest way to build this trust is to come together in sectorial frameworks at different levels and to have a dialogue. No one should be left on the sidelines. We must insist on the right to identity.
The Youth Caucus
We are living in a dichotomic era with antagonistic processes happening at the same time – authoritarianism growing, coups d’etat expanding, corruption, while organizations and committed governments pushing through a new agenda more inclusive and representative where everyone can contribute and find new opportunities.
General Assembly of Partners
During covid we have seen elements that promote trust. One element is public participation, transparent and frequent communication between the government and citizens, trust is fostered.
Trust is not a univocal concept, it has to be broken down between different levels of government and different elements that make up citizenship – age groups, ethnicity, gender, purchasing power.
UCLG - closing remarks
February 25th is the deadline to have a document. The 4 partners will form their working groups and then we will create an executive committee. Executive means being inclusive, it will have the responsibility to reach out to its target group and make everyone's voice heard. First there will be a draft for everyone to approve. Remember: how the government presents its competencies in an accountable and reliable manner. How do we ensure that there is integrity and fairness in the relationship between citizens and governments?
We want other people to be involved in this conversation. There are no limitations on how many voices we want to hear. It can be organizations and people we trust. We need specific session on Media. We are going to look to the issues that are common for all the town hall processes. Corruption needs to be address by this group