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OUR CHARTER

October 17, 2003, Manila
October 13, 2004, Kuching

October 26, 2008, Ichikawa

[ Preamble ]
 
We, the members of the Alliance for Healthy Cities:
 
Committed to improving the quality of life of our citizens and reducing inequalities;
 
Reaffirming that health which is a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well being and not merely the absence of disease, is a fundamental right and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health requires action by many sectors;
 
Recognizing that urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon and that improving the quality of life and determinants of health in cities require actions by many sectors;
 
Realizing that local governments must manage rapidly growing urban areas and govern with accountability, transparency, predictability and the rule of law in order to meet social, political, economic, environmental and health goals;
 
Determined to enable individuals and groups to improve their quality of life through the Healthy Cities approach;
 
Desiring to share the Healthy Cities approach and ideas among other cities and local governments;
 
Committed to building healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills and reorienting health services; [1]
 
In solidarity, state the vision of the Alliance for Healthy Cities as:
 

Building cities and communities of peace
Where all citizens live in harmony,
Committed to sustainable development, respectful of diversity,
Reaching for the highest possible quality of life and equitable distribution of health,
By promoting and protecting health in all settings.

 
Do hereby promulgate the Charter of the Alliance for Healthy Cities as the guiding document that embodies the principles and practices for our organization.

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[ Article 1. General Provisions ]
 
Section 1.1. The name of the organization will be "Alliance for Healthy Cities" and will be referred to subsequently as the "Alliance".
 
Section 1.2. The Alliance will be primarily composed of cities that are committed to its vision, goals and objectives and shall be registered as a non-governmental and non-profit entity in the countries of its operations.
 
Section 1.3. The charter will apply to all members and associates of the Alliance as defined in succeeding articles.
 
Section 1.4. The provisions of this charter should not supersede other legal instruments or international agreements entered upon by countries from which the members and associates originate.
 
 
[ Article 2. Definition of Terms ]
 
Section 2.1. Healthy Cities - are cities that are continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all functions of life and in developing their maximum potential.[2]
 
Section 2.2. Health Promotion - is the process of enabling people to increase control over; and improve their health.[3]
 
Section 2.3. Healthy Settings - are social and physical contexts that serve as supportive environments for enabling people to increase control over; and improve their health.[4]
 
Section 2.4. Quality of Life - is defined as individuals' perceptions of their position in life in the context of the culture and value system where they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept, incorporating in a complex way a person's physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and relationship to salient features of the environment.
 
Section 2.5. City - is defined as city governments, governing units of cities, municipalities and equivalent organizations.

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[ Article 3. Goal and Objectives of the Alliance ]
 
Section 3.1. Goal - to promote and protect health and improve the quality of life of urban populations in a sustainable manner through the Healthy Cities approach.
 
Section 3.2. Objectives:
 
Section 3.2.A. To strengthen Healthy Cities initiatives and encourage the development of innovative plans and programmes to improve the quality of life and address the health challenge of specific settings and communities.
 
Section 3.2.B. To share experiences in improving the quality of life and addressing common health problems among members.
 
Section 3.2.C. To recognize and promote outstanding practices and innovations within Healthy Cities;
 
Section 3.2.D. To mobilize and optimize the use of all available resources to promote and support the adoption of the Healthy Cities approach among cities and other communities in the Western Pacific Region and other regions;
 
Section 3.2.E. To develop new knowledge and technology in collaboration with the academe, universities and centres of learning and to package technical resources for the improvement of planning, implementation and evaluation of Healthy Cities.
 
 
[ Article 4. Organizational Structure and Administration ]
 
Section 4.1. General Assembly - will serve as the main governing body of the Alliance and will be composed of all full members and associate members. The General Assembly will convene once every two years at such venue as the General Assembly shall determine, and will approve proposed policies, programmes, budgets and activities for the succeeding biennium upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee.
 
Section 4.2. Steering Committee - will serve as the policy-making arm of the Alliance and will be elected by the General Assembly. It shall be composed of twelve full members and associate members of the Alliance who will serve a four-year term for a maximum of two terms after which a two-year period must elapse before serving in the Steering Committee again. Seven full members will be cities and five associate members will represent each of the following sectors: NGO, international organizations, academe, private sector/business and national government agencies. To ensure continuity, the first Steering Committee will be composed of two groups with six members each. The half of the Steering Committee members will serve for two years. The other half of the Steering Commtitee members will serve for four years. In the succeeding biennium, the half of the Steering Committee members who completed two-years tem will be replaced by six members elected to serve a four-year term. Thereafter, at the beginning of each biennium, six new members of the Steering Committee will be elected to serve for four years. In the event where a member of the Steering Committee is unable to complete the term, replacement can be appointed by the Steering Committee in consultation with the Chair City.
 
Section 4.3. Secretariat -will serve as the administrative arm of the Alliance and will operate under a specific institution as designated by the Steering Committee upon the approval of the General Assembly. Its functions will include coordination, communication, data banking, facilitation, fund administration and other tasks that will support the goals and objectives of the Alliance. The Secretariat may act on behalf of the Alliance in all legal transactions of the organization. The Secretariat will have accountability for all administrative and financial matters and will prepare a financial report to the General Assembly at the end of each biennium. The Secretariat, upon recommendation of the Steering Committee and approval by the General Assembly may be rotated to other organizations or institutions and will be registered with an appropriate certifying body in the country of location.
 
Section 4.4. Working Committees - composed of full members and associate members of the Alliance, will be organized to implement specific projects and activities as recommended by the Steering Committee and upon approval of the General Assembly. Terms of reference of the working committees will be developed as necessary.
 
Section 4.5. Committee on Awards - will be constituted at each biennium upon the recommendation of the Steering Committee and the approval of the General Assembly. The committee on awards will be tasked to evaluate outstanding practices of Healthy Cities and will be composed of 8 members of diverse representation of different sectors, organized groups and geographic areas.
 
Section 4.6. Convenor and Chair City of the General Assembly - will be elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. The Convenor City will serve as the Chair City of the General Assembly and will host the next meeting of the General Assembly.
 
Section 4.7. Chapters - of the Alliance may be organized at country level and registered in the country of operations upon recommendation of the Steering Committee and approval of the General Assembly.

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[ Article 5. Membership ]
 
Section 5.1. Cities may become bonafide members of the Alliance by compliance with the following: a) payment of the membership fee and annual dues; b) completion of an information sheet; and c) submission of documentation of the following:
 

1) written policy statement in support of Healthy Cities
2) future vision and goal
3) profile of the city (baseline data)
4) analysis of priority health problems
 
Submission of the documentation of the following is also recommended:

  • intersectoral coordination mechanism in place
  • mechanism for community participation
  • local action plan to resolve the problems
  • a set of indicators for monitoring and evaluation
  • a system of information dissemination and sharing

 
Section 5.2. Application Procedures - will be developed and disseminated by the Secretariat on a biennium basis and will be announced at the General Assembly. An annual base fee will be required for all full members and associate members following a sliding scale as proposed by the Steering Committee and approved by the General Assembly. Categories for the sliding scale may be based on city revenues or other criteria as recommended by the Steering Committee.
 
Section 5.3. Associate Member Status - will be open to all interested individuals or non-city entities such as non-government organizations, national government agencies, private organizations or academic institutions. Associate members may avail of all benefits of bonafide members except voting privileges. Other rules governing participation of interested individuals and non-city entities will be determined by the Steering Committee and approved by the General Assembly.
 
Section 5.4. Non-compliance with membership fee payment may restrict full participation of members in Alliance activities, including the right to vote.

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[ Article 6. Financial Management ]
 
Section 6.1. Sources of funds - of the Alliance will be classified into four categories:
 
1) Membership fees; 2) Fund-raising and income-generating activities; 3) Grants and financial assistance packages that may be negotiated with other institutions or organizations; and 4) Donations, sponsorships and contributions.
 
Section 6.2. Alliance funds will be used for the operations and implementation of activities such as training, seminars, workshops and consultancies and projects to achieve goals and objectives as stated in this Charter.
 
Section 6.3. Secretariat is responsible for administrative procedures and management of approved funds of the Alliance in accordance with accounting and auditing rules and regulations of the country of operation.
 
 
[ Article 7. Awards, Recognition and Incentives for Healthy Cities ]
 
Section 7.1. Recognition of Outstanding Practices - will be done on a biennium basis and can be given to bonafide members and/or associate members of the Alliance.
 
Section 7.2. Areas for Recognition - will be determined on a biennium basis on subject matter relevant to the goal and objectives of the Alliance. The areas and criteria for recognition will be recommended by the Steering Committee and will be approved by the General Assembly.
 
Section 7.3. Special project support incentives - may be provided for outstanding practices in order to sustain or expand innovative approaches within member cities.
 
 
[ Article 8. Implementation and Final Provisions ]
 
Section 8.1. Biennium Work and Financial Plan - will be developed by the Steering Committee and approved by the General Assembly.
 
Section 8.2. Amendments to the Charter - may be made by a majority vote of the General Assembly where the required quorum is present.
 
Section 8.3. Dissolution of the Alliance - may take effect upon a majority vote of the General Assembly where the required quorum is present.
 
Section 8.4. Date of Effectivity - will coincide with the signing of the Charter by the founding members of the Alliance.

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[1] World Health Organization, Ottawa Charter, (Canada, 1986)
[2] World Health Organization, Health Promotion Glossary, (Geneva, 1998)
[3] World Health Organization, Health Promotion Glossary, (Geneva, 1998)
[4] World Health Organization, Health Promotion Glossary, (Geneva, 1998)

 

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