A world in which mayors, their cities and networks are equal partners in building global governance for an inclusive and sustainable world.


To convene a Global Parliament of Mayors to facilitate debates between mayors, national governments and international organisations, drive systematic action to take on global and national challenges and opportunities to achieve political change on a global scale. Mayors take leadership and ownership of the global challenges that they face on a local level.


The Global Parliament of Mayors is a governance body of, by and for mayors from all continents. It builds on the experience, expertise and leadership of mayors in tackling local challenges resulting from global problems. At the same time, it brings local knowledge to the table and thus participates actively in global strategy debates and underscores the needs for practical, action-oriented solutions.

The GPM is about local government, based on the city’s right to self-government. The GPM promotes collective city decision-making across national borders, addressing critical challenges that humankind faces, and creating better outcomes for all.

With over half of the world’s population living in the cities and metropolitan regions, an increasing number of tasks is being delegated from national governments to municipalities and regions. Cities contribute more than 85% of the Gross National Income (GNI) to their nations. Therefore, they need to be actively engaged in decision-making by international organisations.

The GPM aims to be involved in the debates about critical issues in cities and to participate actively in decision-making. Intervening in discussions at the UN, OECD and other assemblies, the GPM promotes proposals and demands of mayors, draws on successfully implemented policies and activities by mayors around the world and creates greater awareness of the crucial role cities play in our interdependent world.

Mayors Orlando (Palermo), Cornett (Oklahoma City), Biltaji (Amman) and de Lille (Cape Town), September 11, 2016


After the publication of Dr. Barber’s “If Mayors Ruled the World” (2013), cities and urban experts began to discuss the idea of a global governance platform that harnessed the collective power of cities.

In 2013 and 2014, three planning sessions were held each attended by increasing numbers of mayors, public officials, and urban- and governance experts. The first was held in Seoul, Korea, hosted by Mayor Park Won-Soon and the Asian intercity network CityNet. The second session took place in New York City under the auspices of Michael Bloomberg’s CityLab. The third and most ambitious session was in Amsterdam in September 2014, hosted by the Dutch Mayors Van der Laan (Amsterdam), Aboutaleb (Rotterdam), Van Zanen (Utrecht) and Van Aartsen (The Hague). Over thirty cities were represented together with fifty urban and governance experts. The outcomes of these sessions, together with ongoing presentations by Dr. Barber during relevant conferences around the world and detailed press coverage, have increased concrete evidence of support for the realisation of the GPM. Since then, the GPM has progressed rapidly connecting and sharing its idea with new mayors, intercity associations and leading philanthropic foundations.

Benjamin Barber’s continuing commitment for the Global Parliament of Mayors, together with the support of many mayors and intercity associations, led in September 2016 to the founding of the GPM as a global governance body that will be self-sustaining, self-funding, and self-governed. In April 2017, at the age of 77, Benjamin Barber passed away after a four-month battle with cancer.

Dr. Benjamin Barber