Global Parliament of Mayors
"The project of a Global Parliament of Mayors is about creating a legitimate political authority that can add some governance capacity beyond and besides existing global institutions that are all legitimised by member states, to add some regulatory power to the world system, to restructure the shape of the political battlefield. It is about filling up the democratic deficit that has been created by the uneven globalization process, led by inter-national political and economic decisions without reference to a global constituency, civil society, citizenship or global public opinion."
"The inaugural session of the Global Parliament of Mayors has been convened by the city of The Hague on September 9-11, 2016, on the weekend of the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Following three years of planning, and three preparatory meetings in Seoul, Amsterdam and Washington, the effective launch of a global platform for common urban action took place in the “city of peace and justice”. Mayor Jozias van Aartsen hosted the two and a half day convening, which drew nearly 70 cities from across the world. In addition several urban networks and NGO’s actively participated including Eurocities, the US Conference of Mayors, OECD, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Habitat III, ICORN, EFUS and the Council of Europe. Several hundred invited observers, young people, experts, activists and representatives of civil society were present at the plenary sessions and enjoyed a special parallel programme with presentations of Advisory Board members. The opening plenary listened to short statements of the mayors of Amman, Palermo, Cape Town, Delhi and Oklahoma City.
The agenda focused on two substantive challenges where concerted action by cities can make a crucial difference and where the urban approach is different from most national policies. The first was climate change and the specific urban role in combating it. The second was immigration and refugees, with also specific urban approaches to citizenship, integration and access to services. A third theme discussed was the challenge of urban governance, with special focus on the relationship with civil society and the agenda of participatory democracy. The discussions led to a draft Statement of Shared Principles on the three topics, a Mission Statement for the Global Parliament of Mayors, the instalment of a first list of members, a Steering Committee, a Consultative Committee, a Call to Action in the context of the upcoming deliberations of Habitat III, OECD gatherings, COP21 and COP22. These declarations of principles, the commitment of the participating cities and the instalment of a Steering Committee and a Secretariat are the practical outcomes of a first meeting. The further development is now in the hands of a preliminary governance structure for the GPM. After the mayor of The Hague left office, the chair of the Steering Committee has been taken by Mayor Patricia de Lille of Cape Town18. It is oriented towards developing membership, organising and financing the structure, putting in place a virtual platform and preparing for a second venue in 2018. A first annual report has been issued and a new website has been put on-line."
(chapter of upcoming book)