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Recommendation 13 (1995)1 on New Opportunities for National Associations of Local and Regional Authorities in North/South Co-operation

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe:

1. Welcoming the report by Mrs Bloemendaal-Lindhout on "New Opportunities for National Associations of Local Authorities in North/South Co-operation" and wishing to record its gratitude to the Rapporteur and to the CLRAE North/South Working Group;

2. Welcoming the continuing involvement of the CLRAE in the work of the North/South Centre in Lisbon as one of the partners in the Centre’s "quadrilogue" approach to North/South co-operation – a creative and opportune approach;

3. Recognising the increased co-operation on questions relating to the environment, such as the establishment of Climate Conventions and the ever wider application at local level of Agenda 21, arising from the Rio agreements;

4. Believing that national associations can, as experience has shown, play a valuable role as a partner for central government in national programmes for North/South collaboration and with donor agencies in international programmes;

5. Applauding the work of international associations of local and regional authorities on decentralised co-operation;

I. Asks the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to:

6. Recommend to their respective national authorities that they:

6.1 Recognise the importance of decentralised international co-operation and acknowledge the role of national associations of local authorities as one of the principal means for coordinating, discussing and negotiating such co-operation;

6.2 Include their respective regions, national associations of local authorities and their members as partners in the development of national co-operation programmes and projects and accept such associations as the legitimate channel for discussion and negotiation of decentralised co-operation;

6.3 Ensure that national legislation permits local authorities to contribute financially to their respective national associations of municipalities;

6.4 Accept that national associations of local authorities are capable of and free to promote and conduct their own decentralised programmes;

6.5 Accept, in those countries where it is not already the case, the right of local and regional authorities to spend a part of their budget on matters relating to decentralised international co-operation, without having to ask the agreement of central government to engage in such international activities;

6.6 Allocate a percentage of development aid to capacity building within local and regional authorities and their associations, both in developing and donor countries;

7. Continue to encourage, through the Partial Agreement, the work of the Council of Europe’s North/South Centre in Lisbon and, in respect of non-member countries of the Partial Agreement, that they consider joining the Centre as full members;

II. Asks the United Nations to:

8. Examine with close attention proposals to develop co-operation between local authorities as part of its international mandate;

9. Give full attention at the HABITAT II "City Summit" to the key role of local government in meeting the problems of urban growth;

10. Accept that the UN work on sustainable development be conducted in partnership – internationally and nationally – with associations of local and regional authorities;

III. Asks the European Union and, particularly, the Commission and the Committee of the Regions, to:

11. Take into full consideration in their respective work programmes the Recommendations formulated in the current text.

1 Discussion and approbation by the Chamber of Local Authorities on 31 May 1995, and adoption by the Standing Committee of the Congress on 1 June 1995 (see Doc. CPL (2) 5, Part I, Rec. revised, Recommendation presented by Mrs M. Bloemendaal-Lindhout, Rapporteur).

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