10 December 2020, Season’s Greetings from the GPM Chair Peter Kurz
Dear members of the GPM,
Dr. Benjamin Barber wrote, “In an era of interdependence, where nation-states have become dys-functional and cities and metroregions are everywhere rising, it is time to take the visionary leap from effective local governance to true global governance.” As we enter this season of reflection, I am thankful to be part of this dedicated community of mayors making this leap together.
Last year when I shared my holiday greetings with you, I wrote that our main goal is to position ur-ban governance in geopolitics, to give a voice to the reality of interconnected cities in the actual world system, to express the specificities of the urban way of life and to demand the necessary competences to be able to deal with the challenges of good local government.
Despite the challenges that 2020 has brought, the GPM has not lost sight of this goal. In fact, we are more resolved in our commitment to our principles than ever. This year, we are proud to have given a voice to the reality of interconnected cities, and proud that our voice is being heard:
1. The GPM’s open letter urging the establishment of a representative body of cities at the UN was included in the UN75 Report.
2. We have received widespread support for the GPM Resolution on Reducing Violence by 50% in 2030, including a response from UN Secretary General Guterres.
However, as important as it is to be heard, we also need real substantive change. We need formal-ized co-decision by local authorities wherever it is possible and reasonable. We have to fight for this, because national governments and multilateral institutions will not simply hand over power. As mayors, we must demand the change we need. In order to do this, we have to address our national governments. We have to do this strongly, concertedly, and repeatedly.
As we tackle enormous public health, economic, and social challenges in our own cities, we have not lost sight of the importance of Dr. Barber’s vision for a better world. Every year, the GPM hon-ors one mayor who has made an outstanding contribution to global urban governance with the Dr. Benjamin Barber Global Cities Award. Although we were not able to physically gather, I would like
to dedicate this year to all mayors for your exceptional efforts to protect your citizens and keep your cities strong.
I look forward to our continued cooperation, as we take the leap toward global governance to-gether. Wishing you and your families a happy holiday season and a safe and healthy 2021!
Dr Peter Kurz
Chair Executive Committee
Global Parliament of Mayors
Mayor of Mannheim