Cities Alliance Voices Support for SDI Nobel Peace Prize Nomination

by James Tayler

SDI is pleased to share the below letter of support from Billy Cobbett, Director of Cities Alliance, for SDI’s nomination for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Included is a link to the press release issued by Shelter Norway reporting the nomination. 

Dear Consultative Group Members and CA Partners,

I am really delighted to write to you today and to draw your attention to the nomination of Cities Alliance member Jockin Arputham  and  Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 ( SDI is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Cities Alliance.

SDI has been associated with the Cities Alliance since it was launched in 1999, increasingly influencing our common agenda.  Cities Alliance members were delighted when SDI decided to join the partnership and became a formal member in 2008.  Working through its’ affiliates, SDI has subsequently become a  key implementing partner – for example in our Country programmes – and globally, as a powerful advocacy partner. In the latter role,  SDI has played a critical and positive role in re-shaping the global debate around slums and slum-dwellers, demonstrating that they are not only an essential part of the solution, but also the originators of  practical and  innovative solutions. SDI forces governments – Mayors, Ministers, and Presidents  – as well as multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations to recognize slum dwellers as citizens, neighbours – and future Mayors.  It is also worth recording that the majority of SDI members are women, a powerful fact also represented in its local, national and global leadership profiles.

SDI has certainly had a huge influence inside the Cities Alliance and, I am sure, within each of your organisations. The very fact of this nomination is an extremely powerful recognition for SDI’s impact, and very good news for all CA members and partners working for more inclusive, equitable  and productive cities. We welcome the fact that SDI was nominated by the Swedish Minister for Public Administration and Housing Stefan Attefall, and also welcome the important political support from Norway and South Africa, all active CA members.

In particular, the Cities Alliance welcomes the recognition of the tireless work of SDI President Jockin Arputham, previous recipient of the prestigious Magsaysay Award,  and an inspiration to all  who have benefited not only from his intelligence and leadership, but equally from his  infectious enthusiasm and optimism.

On behalf of the Cities Alliance and its members, we extend our warmest congratulations to Jockin and all SDI members. You have done us all a service in providing such an effective voice for slum-dwellers all over the world. I also call on all CA members to consider how they can add their weight to this important and very welcome nomination.