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Call for the People's Alternative Urban Social Forum - Medellin 2014. The Inhabitants have the floor!

International networks and inhabitants organisations that contribute actively to the process of the World Assembly of Inhabitants (WAI), together with Colombian social organisations, have decided to initiate a united call for participation in the 3rd   People's Alternative Urban Social Forum (PAUSF) at the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum (WUF - Medellin, 5-11 April 2014) .

The decision has been made so as to consolidate an independent place, which is necessary for the exchange of experiences and strategies. In this way, international solidarity with local struggles of inhabitants from cities and rural areas will be established: a basic responsibility in order to be effective in the fight to resist the impact of the crisis and to build a sustainable future for our earth. It is the subject of the Urban and Community Way .

In effect, while the UN-Habitat affirms that Millennium Development Goal number 7-11  was achieved well before the target date of 2020, the reality is completely different: an increase in poor neighbourhoods and more than 60 million people threatened with eviction, including in countries crippled by the global financial crisis,  condemns with no appeal the failure of neoliberal policies based on the exploitation of territories and theft of common goods. This blindness of the UN-Habitat is particularly reflected in its decision to eliminate the Advisory Group on Forced Evictions and erase the indicator 'forced evictions' from the “slum index”. The “'Manifesto for Cities”  takes this ideological decision further: promoting the urban future as the only one possible, through public-private partnerships totally subordinated to neoliberal paradigms , as the premise for the 3rd  UN-Habitat Summit (Istanbul 2016 ).

For these reasons, the independence of the PAUSF should grant it significant influence on the dialogue with other players participating in the WUF, principally the professionals, academics and non-government organisations of the sector, as well as local authorities and governments that genuinely share principles concerned with human rights and collective environments, and hence may be willing to act as partners and supporters in developing an Alternative Urban Social Pact.

This call for the PAUSF is based, then, on the principles of the World Social Forum, convinced of the need to develop at a local, national and international level, the convergences tested and achieved since the World Assembly of Inhabitants (Mexico, 2000) and later continued at the World Social Forum I (Porto Alegre, 2001) and following that, at the Urban Social Forum (Rio de Janeiro, 2010  and Naples, 2012 ), at the People's Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 2012 ), at the World Assembly of Inhabitants (Dakar, 2011  and Tunisia, 2013 ) and with the World Zero Evictions Days - for  the Right to Habitat  (annually in October).

The Medellin PAUSF will take place in a beautiful environment, rich in resources, but with permanent and unresolved conflicts, owing to injustice and social inequity; all the more reason to build this inclusive space together. Medellin will represent a foundation in the process of consolidating dialogue and partnerships, in the formation of a platform and a plan for action and shared struggles amongst inhabitants movements and all organisations, networks and institutions that fight for the right to housing, to land, to common goods and to the city in dignified living conditions. Rights that can only be maintained through defending them against the crisis instigated by neoliberal globalisation and building territories that are more just, democratic and sustainable.

The final declaration of the PAUSF should be the result of a participatory, bottom up process to reinforce the establishment  of the Urban and Community Way, sharing ever more common tools, continuing to prepare for the World Zero Evictions Days -  for  the Right to Habitat and towards the next World Assembly of Inhabitants and Habitat III.

Inhabitants organisations and social networks worldwide that share this joint focus are invited to take part and to propose initiatives. Foundations, local authorities, universities  and other supporting entities are invited to participate in the dialogue with the PAUSF and to support widespread citizen participation.

The Inhabitants have the floor!


IAI program information:

Calle 50 No. 50-48 Of. 513 Edif. Bolsa de Medellín

Tel: 233-9333 / Cel: 301-410-1680





The Volunteer translator for housing rights without frontiers of IAI who has collaborated on the translation of this text was:

Eleanor Chapman


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