“No sustainable development goal can be achieved without local authorities” Mr Mbassi told a press conference in Marrakesh, Morocco on Wednesday.

“How come that when there’s need to negotiate on the same objectives, local authorities are not around the table?” Mr. Mbassi enquired while speaking on migration.

His interaction with the media was part of the itinerary of the eighth Africities Summit which began in Marrakech on Tuesday and ends on 24 November.

The Cameroonian head of the UCLGA urged the United Nations to fully implement the much-acclaimed statement: “We the peoples of the world and not we the national states of the world” to allow local communities to play their full part in global governance.

“We want a place around the table. As long as we do not have it, we will demand it and if they continue to turn a deaf ear to our appeal, we will create our own body to be the United Nations of Cities,” he vowed.

Returning to the topic of the press conference, the Secretary General of the UCGL described as "tragic" the drowning death of thousands of young people in the Mediterranean Sea, which has become “a cemetery” for migrants over the past couple of years.

He observed that although local authorities are at the forefront of the management of migration issues, they are not involved in negotiations aimed at addressing the root-cause of such problems.

“We have a human-centered perspective on this migration phenomenon, whereas the national authorities are talking about statistics and that is why they insist on security where we insist on the human dimension of the phenomenon and its developmental aspect” he emphasised.

He also denounced the misconceptions and stereotypes related to the African continent that push young people who would stop at nothing to reach Europe.

He therefore called for the deconstruction of negative stereotypes about the continent and impress upon its young people that they can succeed in their countries.


ARD/te/pn/as/APA