13th March 2017 Jonathan Andrews

Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town, has become the new Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors. De Lille will be the interim chair until a new chair is elected during the annual meeting due to be held later in 2017.

De Lille is taking over from Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague, due to his retirement. Peter Kurz, Mayor of Mannheim, will be Vice Chair of the Steering Committee.

“It is with great pride that I take over the Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) from Mayor Jozias van Aartsen,” said de Lille. “The GPM has the potential to grow more in the coming years and fulfil a progressive role in the global governance system. Cities are the drivers of change. We are the centres of innovation, tackling climate change and building inclusive economies. All of these issues are integral to economic and social development which is the oxygen of our cities.”

De Lille spoke about the major concerns and priorities facing some cities as she takes the helm.

“In the southeast of Turkey elected mayors are replaced by state officials and in the US the so called sanctuary cities risk federal budget cuts because of their immigration policy. These cities deserve our solidarity. Let us be aware that the self-government of cities is a cornerstone for development and democracy.”

The Steering Committee is in charge of the daily governance of the Global Parliament of Mayors. The GPM derives from the ideas Benjamin Barber introduced in his book, If mayors ruled the world. Barber asserts that cities, and the mayors that run them, offer the best new forces of good governance.

The GPM aims to build on the experience, expertise, and leadership of mayors in tackling local challenges resulting from global problems. Members include the mayors of Amman, Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Kampala City, Melbourne, Seoul and others.