Focus areas of the City's North-South policy.

The City of Ghent’s North-South policy focuses on three major goals: 

  1. Support to international solidarity initiatives in Ghent.
  2. Turning Ghent into a recognised fair-trade centre. 
  3. Support to local governments in the South. 

This is done through the following activities:

1.  Support to associations linking North and South: 

  • There are two consultation bodies in place for Ghent’s North-South CSOs: STANZ and GONZ.
  • Peace education and world orientation are the two pillars the city council aims to focus on to bridge the generational gap between people aged 3 to 99.
  • Financial support to North-South projects and organisations
  • Request for recognition by the Ghent-based North-South association

2.  Campaigns: 

  • Belmundo is a yearly series of activities organised in March on a specific topic related to the links between North and South.
  • The City of Ghent encourages fair trade in all sectors, with great results! That calls for a big thumbs up – or “Goe bezig!” as we say in Ghent!    
  • Schools can head to Vredeshuis (the Peace House) for workshops on international solidarity and sustainable development.

3. Support to local governments in the South:

Solidarity is a key priority for the City of Ghent, which helps cities in the South develop their capacity. Local governments in the South are given more and more responsibilities, and the decentralization of national responsibilities is strongly encouraged. That being said, local governments are given little support when it comes to the management of these new responsibilities. Having turned Ghent into a highly liveable city, we can assist our colleagues in the South in doing the same. The national frameworks may be very different, but local governments share similarities all over the world. At the moment Ghent and its partners are working on a new concept for collaborative networks with local governments in the South.