9 June, 2021 – City leaders and mayors from across the globe gathered for the first G7 U7 conference. GPM Chair and Mayor Peter Kurz represented the GPM. “COVID-19 has made clear that governance structure needs to change. Demand for real multilevel governance may seem convenient, every one can agree, demand is in fact a challenge,” said Mayor Kurz. The full statement has been endorsed by the GPM and can be read here.
Urban networks from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA as well as the G7 guest countries of Australia and Korea have gathered virtually ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall and were joined by a number of international city networks including ICLEI, EUROCITIES, OECD, Global Parliament of Mayors, United Cities and Local Government, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
In a signed declaration they will call on world leaders to set out a clear vision for the role cities can play in recovery and draw on the expertise of local leaders and mayors. They will also call for national leaders to provide appropriate resources and freedoms for cities and support city-to-city dialogue, including with places that are still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic and have low vaccination rates. And they will stress to national counterparts that cities are key to nations reaching Net Zero ahead of the COP26 conference due to be held in the Core City of Glasgow in November. The summit aims to establish local-level dialogue, supporting the aims of the G7 and build on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to improve health, economic and environmental resilience and wellbeing for all citizens. The declaration recognises that cities across the world have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. It also says they are the places most capable of driving recovery and renewal through greener, more inclusive economic growth, vitally important to the wellbeing of surrounding regions as well as nations. The declaration states that flows of trade and commerce are largely between cities globally and says urban networks can use and strengthen links to support the trade ambitions of their countries. It adds that the majority of carbon emissions are from cities, and says that ahead of COP26 in Glasgow cities are strengthening their commitment to a low carbon future, which can only be delivered through local as well as national interventions.
The declaration concludes: “As globally-facing cities we all share common values of openness, tolerance and the need to address health inequality and sustainability. By continuing our shared dialogue, we can learn from each other and find new ways to turn these values into action.”
Core Cities UK Summit Our historic Summit takes place at a moment of extreme challenge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as multiple emergencies on climate, nature and social justice, when it has never been more important for local and national governments across nations to work together. In doing so, we want to pay tribute to the outstanding efforts of workers on the front-line across all our cities who have worked tirelessly to combat the pandemic.
We welcome the UK’s G7 Presidency priorities to build back better from Coronavirus by:
• leading the global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening resilience against future pandemics;
• promoting future prosperity by championing free and fair trade; • tackling climate change and preserving the planet’s biodiversity; and
• championing shared values. Our cities are, and will remain, major population and economic hubs, critical to driving regional, national and global economies.