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UNECE organized the Day of Cities on 8 April 2019 in Geneva. Following the Day of Cities, the discussion on cities was continued during the high-level segment of the UNECE sixty-eight Commission Session on 9 April 2019, where member States further deliberated on how to harness smart sustainable cities as drivers for sustainable development in the UNECE region. Building upon discussions led both at the Day of Cities and the Commission Session, it was proposed that the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management explores “the possibility of establishing a forum of Mayors” (see E/2019/37; E/ECE/1488 paragraph 38).

The UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management at its 80th session in October 2019 agreed “to dedicate one of the three days of the Committee session to discussions, and the participation of, local authorities, in particular mayors, following a similar format to the Day of Cities. The Committee also agreed that the “Forum of Mayors” will be organized on the first day of the Committee session and focus on a specific thematic issue related to sustainable urban development, housing and land management.” (see ECE/HBP/201 paragraph 34). The Committee further decided to hold the Forum in 2020 and 2021 and to conduct an assessment of the meeting format which then will be presented at the Committee session in 2022 for its decision on the organization of the Forum in the future.

In line with the Committee’s decision during its 80th session, the Forum is supported by a Steering Committee composed of Committee Bureau members, the UNECE Nexus on "Sustainable Smart Cities for all Ages", and experts based on the thematic session of the Forum.

The first Forum of Mayors will be convened on the first day of the 81st session of the Committee on 6 October 2020. Please see information on the Forum of Mayors 2020 at www.unece.org/housing/forumofmayors2020 and in this brochure.

The preparation of the Forum is coordinated by the secretariat of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management where responsible officers are Ms. Paola Deda, Director, Forests, Land and Housing Division, paola.deda@un.org; and Ms. Gulnara Roll, Secretary to the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management, gulnara.roll@un.org.