Forum for Cities in Transition
April 14–16, 2009

The Forum for Cities in Transition – whose members comprise four Cities (Derry/Londonderry, Kirkuk, Kosovska Mitrovica and Mitrovica (south), Nicosia) – meeting in Boston, 14-16 April 2009, affirmed its commitment to promoting understanding between member cities with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods.

Even though we face different problems, challenges, and contexts, cities in transition can both learn from and offer lessons to, each other. We believe that this learning should be shared so that cities in transition can use the resources and knowledge of others to address these challenges.

People from societies in transition are in the best position to help people in other societies in transition.

Basic Principles

The Forum identified basic principles upon which such positive outcomes can be achieved. We call on leaders to uphold and apply these principles in policymaking and service delivery, and to measure progress against them.

  1. Respect for the dignity of every individual
  2. Respect for the value of leadership in building trust and confidence across and within communities
  3. Respect for human rights, equality, fairness and adherence to the rule of law, including fair treatment of minorities
  4. Respect for the value of dialogue between conflicting parties according to context


The participating cities affirmed:

  1. That City to City workshops of this sort are effective, productive and valuable
  2. That learning from each other’s successes and challenges is immensely empowering
  3. That some external actors can act as an obstacle and a barrier to promoting joint working and problem solving
  4. That they create a Forum for Cities in Transition, with those present becoming founding members
  5. That the Forum’s purpose shall be to address common problems through expanding the pool of knowledge from which to draw practical lessons
  6. To develop and maintain an active network of individuals and cities present for mutual benefit
  7. To deepen and broaden the network by taking ownership of the Forum’s future, the individuals signing here agree to take steps to explore how each of the cities involved can plan to host future Forum annual events in their own territories in conjunction with civil society and educational institutions
  8. That the Secretariat for the Forum shall initially be provided by the Moakley Chair and the Northern Ireland Foundation.