Gaziantep, Turkey, 27 November 2019 - Mayors from thirteen countries over four continents adopted the Gaziantep Declaration at the International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement this week. The declaration emphasizes the importance of strengthening the existing local responses to migration and forced displacement.
The forum, held in Gaziantep, Turkey 26-27 November, brought together mayors, UN agencies, governments, municipalities, cities, international and local NGOs, the private sector and civil society to discuss good practices and principles for local solutions to migration and forced displacement.
Mayors and stakeholders committed to promoting the global efforts to transition from an emergency to resilience approach in responding to complex refugee and migration situations. Key aspects of this include empowering city networks that support replication and scaling of exemplary local responses, job creation and partnerships with the private sector at the local level, protection and social protection.
The declaration underlines the importance of multi-level governance, civil society, gender equality and social cohesion as anchors for long-term success, as well as new technologies, innovation, and data management at the local level.
The declaration also promotes early integration of digital tools for communities affected by migration and displacement and underlines the significance of working with media to highlight and promote examples of successful integration of refugee and migrant populations.
Mayors and stakeholders highlighted the importance of cities within global efforts to secure safe, inclusive and sustainable living environments for displaced persons. The need for working with international donors and other sources of finance was also emphasized, to support municipalities with resources to create innovative approaches to delivery of better services for refugee and migrant communities.
The Gaziantep Declaration will be presented at the first Global Refugee Forum on 17-18 December 2019 in Geneva.
The forum was co-hosted by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (GMM) and UNDP, together with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD), the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (UMT), and the United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA).