25 February, 2022 – We, mayors, join together in support of the cities, towns, settlements, and villages of Ukraine. Cities everywhere must have a say in determining their own, and our shared, futures. Mayors and city residents are advancing action on democratic practices, economic opportunity and climate change, but they can do none of this without peace and security.
The cities, towns, settlements, and villages of Ukraine, from Kyiv to Kharkiv to Mariupol to Lviv, are home to millions of Ukrainians and temporary residents from all parts of the world. They are the sites of jobs and education, public life and private celebrations. These lives and those places are together under attack in an unprovoked and illegal war. As mayors we know that the ways in which our cities are engaged, enabled, taught, and cared for, directly impact how individuals exercise the freedoms and rights to which they are entitled, by virtue of their common humanity.
The full consequences of this military aggression by President Putin are not entirely foreseeable.
And it is yet to be seen if non-military means can make the price for this invasion of a sovereign country high enough to deter such action. But we know with certainty that the cities, towns, settlements and villages of Ukraine need, and will continue to need, our support.
We will continue to aid them with policy expertise when they once again can chart their own futures in peace, and we will support the cities that provide refuge to migrants forced from their homes.
This war is an attack on democracy, and in solidarity with Ukraine, we will continue to work to advance democratic practices. We will work to counter the use of disinformation to instrumentalize differences within our cities and communities, and across borders.
We express our solidarity with people in cities all over the world, including in Russia, who have taken peacefully to their public streets and squares to show their support for the people of Ukraine.
As mayors from around the world, we will not allow violence and aggression to distract us from the necessary actions needed to address global challenges, such as the climate crisis, and advance economic opportunity, dignity and justice. We will continue to address global challenges together in the spirit of a future we, across all borders and within all cities, share.
This moment requires action and solidarity from the entire international community. Cities are playing a leading role in shaping the future, but do so within a wider international system and often within global governance frameworks. When the principles that underpin that system and those frameworks are violated, our ability to act on global challenges is undermined. We are all, in this sense, with the people of Ukraine, and stand united with them.
This statement is issued by the GPM Executive Committee: the mayors of Banjul (The Gambia, Vice Chair), Braga (Portugal, Treasurer), Ghent (Belgium), Katowice (Poland), Mannheim (Germany, Chair), Monrovia (Liberia), Palermo (Italy) and Rochester Hills (USA,Vice Chair)