Convening September 10-12, 2016 in The Hague
The inaugural Global Parliament of Mayors will convene in 2016.
To establish a new global governance platform empowering mayors to deliver viable cross-border solutions to global challenges.
The Global Parliament of Mayors is an unprecedented new experiment in democratic global governance platform by, for, and of cities. Mayors from cities large and small, North and South, developed and emerging, will convene in September 2016 to identify and pursue in common the public goods of citizens around the world. For the first time, building on extant urban networks, the GPM will deploy collective urban political power manifesting the right of cities to govern themselves, as well as the responsibility to enact viable, cross-border solutions to global challenges.
In this era of interdependence, where nation states are increasingly dysfunctional and cities are everywhere rising, the moment has come for cities to take the leap from effective local governance to true global governance.
Why we need a Global Parliament of Mayors
Climate Change. Terrorism. Refugees. Inequality. Pandemic disease. In our interdependent 21st century world, nation states and international organizations are finding it ever more difficult to respond to the global challenges facing humanity. At the same time, cities are demonstrating a remarkable capacity to govern themselves democratically and efficiently, both locally and, in networks, globally. Our founding mayors who will convene in the fall insist it is their responsibility, but also their right to do so. They see in the Global Parliament of Mayors a new beacon for global governance on such critical issues as climate change, refugees, inequality, and security in what, following the UN passage of the Sustainable Development Goals and the December Paris COP21 meeting on climate change is becoming a year of extraordinary promise and a season of hope for humankind.
The idea for a Global Parliament of Mayors
The concept for a Global Parliament of Mayors is the work of internationally acclaimed political theorist and author, Dr. Benjamin Barber and is the result of many years’ research, distilled in his most recent book, If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities, published in 2013 by Yale University Press. Following the publication of his book, mayors from around the world began to ask if a global governing body of mayors could, in fact, be realized. At planning sessions in Seoul, Korea in 2013 and then in Amsterdam in 2014, representatives from over thirty cities adopted a vote of confidence for the Global Parliament of Mayors Project, giving Dr. Barber and his team an instruction to develop and deliver an inaugural convening. Following a first effort at a possible convening in Bristol and London in 2015, a final plan for the 2016 Fall Meeting was approved by the Advisory Board.
Mayor Eduardo Paes, Rio
"Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio and Chair of C40, welcomes the convening of a Global Parliament of Mayors, and thanks Dr Benjamin Barber for his foresight and leadership in developing and convening this concept."
Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London
"Devolve power to your cities if you want to save the planet. Join the Global Parliament of Mayors."
Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Warsaw
“First I thought, a global parliament of mayor’s, that’s utopia. But when I think of our city networks and the solutions to global problems to be applied locally, we work out there, the step to a global parliament of mayors seems not so big anymore. We would enable ourselves, to address a global public, to coordinate local action and to negotiate more powers and resources to “get the things done” – to the benefit of global problem solving.”
Mayor Aboutaleb, Rotterdam
"I assess the challenges linked with our future like this: central governments should rethink their own role. Cities must think beyond the given borders and feel responsible for the communities they share borders with. A shift of tasks, responsibilities and duties also means a shift of power to the locally elected governments and councils. Among other things this development must be paired with the right to have matching local taxation possibilities. I need the GPM to be the manner to organise a body to connect active cities from five continents to strive for this major shift."
Former Mayor Trias, Barcelona
"The Global Parliament of Mayors could be a useful instrument to join and promote, on political level, the global potential of cities in the twenty-first century."
The late Mayor Tom Menino, Boston (1942 – 2014)
The simple truth is that mayors get things done. Mayors work together across state, national, and party lines. Mayors understand how to identify problems and how to think creatively to find solutions that work. We have seen how powerful collaboration across cities can be. Until now the collaboration has largely been focused on specific challenges limiting mayors to issue oriented silos. The Global Parliament of Mayors is an opportunity for city leaders to gather around all issues and will serve as a keystone and established network for international mayors, uniting them around a vision for a better future that touches all aspects of urban life.”
February 16 New York City
Mayor van Aartsen speaking to Matthew Wells on UN Radio was quoted saying:
'A new "Global Parliament of Mayors" due to convene in The Hague in September, will help the UN reach its global goals.' Click on the link to download the file to hear the full interview, duration: 3'13".