December 2022 -“This has been a year of remarkable progress for the GPM, both as an organization and in our efforts to effect change. First, as an organization, we have welcomed 18 new members from 16 countries. These mayors bring with them new perspectives, enthusiasm, and commitment to our shared goals. We have also benefitted from the appointment of Mayor Manuel de Araújo (Quelimane, Mozambique) to our Executive Committee. Manuel is a talented mayor and a powerful advocate for cities and the GPM.
Over the last 12 months, we have worked together to make the voices of local government heard on the international stage. We gathered in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic in Katowice for the GPM Annual Summit 2022. Thank you to our dear friend and colleague, Marcin Krupa, for the warm hospitality and for making this meaningful exchange possible.
As a movement, we have also made great strides. We addressed broader audiences at major global events, like the World Urban Forum and COP27, where we pushed for multi-level governance and other key GPM priorities. Together with our partners, the Pact of Free Cities, and the German Marshall Fund, we built on our work from the White House Summit for Democracy by developing and championing the Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy. The Declaration has now been signed by 91 mayors. I am also pleased to report that over 120 mayors engaged in our Uniting Mayors Project on climate-related migration, which we completed in March of this year. We are grateful for the partnership of the British Council for making this project possible.
But perhaps most excitingly, through our leadership in the Urban7 (U7), we have managed to effect real change in the G7 process. The GPM, the Association of German Cities, and ICLEI joined forces to form a strong urban alliance to accompany the German G7 Presidency in 2022. Through this process, we were able to impact the commitments and priorities set by the G7 heads of state and several G7 ministers meetings. This fall, I was invited to participate in the G7 Urban Development Ministers Meeting on behalf of the U7 and GPM. At the meeting, I had the opportunity to discuss – at eye level with the ministers – how multi-level governance can unleash the potential of cities. This unprecedented open engagement between national and local governments is another leap forward for our efforts. I am certain that the momentum we generated this year will lead to great success as Japan takes on the G7 Presidency in 2023. I am also convinced that this example of true multi-level governance can serve as a roadmap for opening up other international and multilateral processes to cities in the future.
I am looking forward to seeing you all in Monrovia (Liberia) for our next Annual Summit. Please mark your calendars for September 16-18, 2023. This will be an exciting opportunity to gather, debate, and set our priorities for the years ahead.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your support in expanding the GPM’s membership and pushing for real multi-level governance. As we look toward the year ahead, I am confident that with your help, the GPM will continue to grow and make progress toward our goal of creating a world in which mayors are equal partners with national and international leaders in developing policy and setting global agendas.
Thank you for your commitment to the GPM. I wish you and your families a happy holiday season and a good start in the new year!