The Hague, March – From March 1, Patricia de Lille,  mayor of Cape Town, is the Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of the Global Parliament of Mayors. She will be the interim Chair until the new Chair is elected during the Annual Convening in the Fall 2017. Mayor de Lille is taking over this position from Mayor Jozias van Aartsen who has stepped down as mayor of The Hague due to his retirement. Peter Kurz, mayor of Mannheim, will be Vice Chair of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is in charge of the daily governance of the Global Parliament of Mayors.

Mayor de Lille: “It is with great pride that I take over the Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) from Mayor Jozias van Aartsen. The GPM has the potential to grow more in the coming years and fulfill 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.

We are concerned about recent developments. 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 GPM 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 need for practical, action oriented solutions.

Members of the Global Parliament are the mayors of Amman, Athens, Barbera del Valles/Barcelona, Bologna, Bristol, Brussels, Pilar/Buenos Aires, Cascais, Cape Town, Cologne, Columbia, City of Waterbury/Connecticut, Town of Seymour/Connecticut, Dayton, North-Delhi, Doxato, Dronten, Entebbe, Gdansk, Ghent, Haifa, Heidelberg, Hoima, Kalampaki Dramas, Kandahar, Katowice, Kawempe Kampala City, Kuala Lumpur, Leicester, Los Angeles, Mannheim, Melbourne, Mysuru, Newton, Njikwa, Oklahoma City, Palermo, Rabat, Rotterdam, Sabadell, Seoul, Stavanger, The Hague, Tres de Febrero/Buenes Aires, Utrecht, Valencia, Waterland, Wroclaw and Zamboanga.