The Annual Summit 2021 was hosted by Mayor Leoluca Orlando and brought together mayors, city networks, and international experts to discuss city leadership and key global challenges at the local level and to highlight the role of cities as a prerequisite to success in addressing global issues, new forms of city leadership, and multilateral governance.

The GPM was honoured by the following keynote speakers, Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former president of Liberia and first woman elected head of state of an African country, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme UN-Habitat, Grace Mary Mugasa, Minister of State for Public Service in Uganda, and Dr. Graham Alabaster, Head of UN-Habitat Office, Geneva, former UN-Habitat liaison with WHO.

The GPM was delighted to welcome over 75 mayors to join the hybrid Summit programme and over 40 speakers including representatives from WHO, OECD, British Council, International Organization for Migration, Chicago Forum on Global Affairs,  Atlantic Council (Adrienne Arsht–Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center), Georgetown University, Harvard University, and VU University Brussels.

Please refer to the written report of the Summit for more information on the speakers and the debates.

Watch below a video impression of the GPM Palermo Summit 2021.




You can see the Annual Summit 2021 photo gallery here.




Mayor Leoluca Orlando has been proud to serve the citizens of Palermo since his first election as Mayor in 1985. He is currently serving his 6th mandate as mayor, in this time he has always endeavoured to improve the life of Palermitan citizens, whatever their race, religion or country of origin. Mayor Orlando has met many challenges in his time as mayor, in the first part of his career the Mayor opposed the mafia and its political ties vehemently, risking his life so much he once declared “it is a miracle that I am still alive”. More recently Mayor Orlando has fought for the rights of migrants, particularly those crossing the Mediterranean, and always welcomed them as citizens, highlighting Palermo’s status as a cosmopolitan city and a meeting point of people, cultures and ideas for millennia. 

Every time a ship with rescued migrants enters the harbour of Palermo, the mayor goes to greet them. “Welcome,” he says to them. “The worst is over. You are citizens of Palermo now.” 

Orlando’s global approach also led him to be one of the founding and most active members of the Global Parliament of Mayors, and is very eager to welcome mayors from around the world to this year’s summit to discuss how cities can address global challenges and opportunities, such as the climate crisis, migration, and post-pandemic recovery. 

Bio Mayor Leoluca Orlando

Partners and Organisations

Summit 2021