The MercoCities Summit focuses on building resilient cities for the future of the region

Mercocities Summit Photo credit: Courtesy of Mercocities.

By: UNDRR-The Americas

PANAMA CITY, Panama, December 2, 2016 - With the objective of guiding the development process in the region towards 2030, the "Building Resilient Cities within the Framework of Regional Integration" Declaration  - also known as the Santa Fe Declaration - was adopted unanimously at the XXI Summit of Mercocities held in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina.

Reducing disaster risk plays a key role in the economy and development of nations, as economic losses from disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and floods are averaging $250 billion to $300 billion every year, while future losses (expected annual losses) are currently estimated at $314 billion in the built environment, according to the 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR).

At the opening ceremony of the XXI Mercocities Summit, the host and new president pro tempore of the Mercocities network, José Corral expressed the need to establish the global agenda in cities but also to establish cities on the global agenda. “We know that the most acute problems affect everyone, but those with less suffer more. Building resilient cities allows us to focus on the ability of communities to cope with crises. We need to think about regional integration and urban development through the lens of equity and sustainability. "

The Declaration “Building Resilient Cities in the Framework of Regional Integration”, resulting from the XXI Mercocities Summit, addresses resilience as a key element in the face of several issues that pose the greatest challenges for the international community today, such as unemployment, inequalities and the impact of climate change, and states that these must be addressed through the articulation of policies for and with cities.

The Declaration was unanimously approved at the closing assembly by representatives of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. In particular, and in response to current global challenges, “we want to encourage networking to promote resilient societies based on a broad concept of the term that addresses not only natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, etc.) but that also takes into account the tensions that cities have (unemployment, crime, drug trafficking, marginality, lack of basic infrastructure, among others),” the Declaration states.

"Resilience requires a multidisciplinary approach, through education, promotion of culture, generation of employment opportunities, construction of a sustainable urban environment, social inclusion policies and a greater presence of the state in the most vulnerable areas."

Related links:

Declaration of the XXI Mercocities Summit “Building Resilient Cities in the Framework of Regional Integration” (Spanish)








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