Dear members and partners of the GPM,
At the GPM Annual Summit in Palermo, Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on us, as mayors, to approach the challenges we face with an attitude that reflects the interconnectedness of our humanity and our cities. In the past year, despite the continued challenges, I believe we have done exactly this.
As we reflect back on the last twelve months, we can be proud of what we have accomplished. In 2021, we met over a dozen times, from small focus groups to major international events. With each meeting and event, we made the case for the rights of cities and real multi-level governance.
This year, with the generous support of the British Council, we launched our Uniting Mayors project to address climate-related migration, and ensure that we came to COP26 with one voice. Together with partners, we organized two events at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, where we developed new relationships with important partner organizations.
We also shaped important dialogues, like the U7, on the side-lines of the G7 in the United Kingdom. Just last week, we participated in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Summit for Democracy. We partnered with the governments of the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, as well as the German Marshall Fund (US), to ensure that the voices of cities were heard on these important issues at the Summit.
Finally, we hosted a successful summit in Palermo, Italy, thanks to the warm hospitality of Mayor Leoluca Orlando. Over 75 mayors participated in the event, together with dozens of experts and representatives of city networks, the academic world and international institutions.
We also have much to look forward to in 2022, as we work toward the vision we set out in our roadmap. We have been involved in the U7 – Urban 7 – initiative, and have plans to further develop the process at the G7, which will be hosted in Germany in 2022. We already are working in close cooperation with the German City Association and ICLEI to secure a powerful message from the cities.
We are continuing our work with the White House on democracy. This March, we will host a workshop together with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the German Marshall Fund (US) on the subject, building on our commitments from the Summit for Democracy.
I am also looking forward to an exciting GPM Annual Summit in Katowice, which will be held in connection with the World Urban Forum 11. This connection will create new synergies and opportunities for GPM mayors. You will receive a formal invitation with more details in early 2022, but in the meantime, please mark your calendars for June 24-25, 2022.
Thank you all for your commitment to the mission of the GPM. Your active engagement in GPM activities ensures our success as an organization and platform, and as mayors with a common goal. As mayors, whether members of the GPM or not, we all have faced another challenging year, but we have worked indefatigably to protect our citizens and keep our cities strong. And we have worked together.
Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2022.
Dr Peter Kurz
Chair Executive Committee
Global Parliament of Mayors
Mayor of Mannheim, Germany