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Why the Forum of Mayors?

Cities are on the front lines of addressing humanity’s most pressing challenges, including pandemics, climate change and natural hazards. As our world is growing increasingly urban – with some 75% of the population already living in cities in the UNECE region – these challenges cannot be solved by national governments alone. Cities have become key partners to tackle these challenges and support the efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the remaining ten years.

What exactly?

The Forum of Mayors will bring together city leaders from Europe, North America, Central Asia and the Caucasus to address the key challenges of our time. The 2020 Forum will focus on “City action for a resilient future: Strengthening local government preparedness and response to emergencies and the impact of disasters and climate change”.

What to expect?

  • Share actions to inspire change

On 6 October 2020, mayors from across the UNECE region will share concrete actions and innovative solutions on urban resilience, including the following topics: (1) Local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) City actions to adapt, mitigate and respond to the effects of climate change, (3) Local responses to natural hazards, and (4) Medium-term and long-term resilience strategies in cities.

  • Support the Geneva Declaration of Mayors

City leaders are encouraged to express their support for the Geneva Declarations of Mayors, the outcome document of the Forum of Mayors.

  • Showcase your activities

Cities and organizations will have the chance to showcase their work on urban resilience at an exhibition at the Palais des Nations.

  • Have an impact on the political agenda

The Forum will culminate in concrete recommendations by mayors which will feed into the decision-making process of the 81st session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, which will then be in a better position to draft and adopt tailored and targeted instructions for UNECE member States.

How did it all come about?

At UNECE, we are committed to giving cities a voice. On 8 April 2019, UNECE organized the Day of Cities. Fifty mayors and deputy mayors from the region came to Geneva to share best practices and define a new vision for urban sustainability in the region. However, the pressing sustainability questions do not allow us to rest on our laurels. This is why UNECE will convene the UN’s first Forum of Mayors and thus further opens the multilateral stage to city leaders. What better way to pay tribute to the UN’s 75th anniversary than by putting cities on center stage? Be part of this historic event and join us at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 6 October 2020!

Learn more: www.unece.org/housing/forumofmayors2020.html