The 2021 Global Mayors' Forum holds its Plenary Session

2021-11-12 11:24:57

The plenary session of the 2021 Global Mayors' Forum was held yesterday evening (Nov. 11) at the Guangzhou Yuexiu International Congress Center. Organizations, representatives, and guests from around the world attended either online or offline. The session was the perfect opportunity to share and exchange experience in urban governance and discuss ideas for the future development of cities.

Ma Biao, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, sent a video message. Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Wen Guohui, mayor of Guangzhou and president of the World Metropolis Association, Emilia Saiz, secretary general of the UCLG, and Zhong Nanshan, recipient of the Medal of the Republic and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, delivered speeches at the conference. Zhang Shuofu, secretary of the CPC Guangzhou Municipal Committee, and Zhang Xin, vice governor of Guangdong Province, also attended the event.

Ma Biao stated in his speech that the United Cities and Local Governments and the World Metropolis Association are international organizations with global influence for local governments and cities to develop more effectively. The Chinese government encourages and supports its local governments to join the organization and actively expand the global network of city partnerships. Presently, changes unseen in the last one hundred years and one of the most serious pandemics in a century have been superimposed over each other. China is willing to support cities around the world to more effectively play their roles as the forefront and main force in the global fight against Covid-19, engine and benchmark of global development, partner and carrier of global cooperation, and participant and promoter of global governance. China supports platforms such as the Global Mayors' Forum and Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award for short) in playing a greater role and hopes they will continue to make new and greater contributions to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and building of a community of a shared future for mankind.

Lin Songtian pointed out that cities are gathering places in their country where people live and work, and they are important carriers for friendly national relations that translate into benefits for the well-being of all people. He hopes that cities of all countries will focus on poverty reduction and promote global sustainable green development, build smart cities and promote the modernization of urban governance, strengthen exchange and mutual understanding to achieve common prosperity, practice true multilateralism, and uphold justice and equity in the world. The CPAFFC is willing to guide, coordinate, and encourage Chinese local governments, as always, to partner with local governments of all countries and pursue shared development.

Wen Guohui shared with the session’s guests valuable experience from Guangzhou’s urban development and governance acquired through prioritizing ecological preservation, pursuing green development, inheriting cultural traditions, opening up, and cooperative activities. He proposed that cities around the world should always partner with each other for a more prosperous economy. He suggested that they should enhance exchange and mutual learning for a more equitable society, promote solidarity and cooperation for more resilient governance, always place people in a place of central focus, and build cities that people will be satisfied with. He called on everyone to join hands and together turn cities and the planet into a better home.

Emelia congratulated everyone for their participation in a successful conference. She hoped that, through the platform of the Global Mayors' Forum and Guangzhou Award, cities around the world will increase dialogues and cooperation, share their experiences in urban governance, continue to explore innovative issues, and build a better home in union.

Zhong Nanshan introduced Guangzhou's experience and practices in fighting Covid-19. He noted that the global pandemic situation is still severe and hoped that the global community will unite and work together through broader and more thorough cooperation in scientific research, pandemic prevention, and treatment.

Also at the conference, Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, sent a video message. Li Yong, director-general of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Francisco Carvalho, mayor of Praia, Cape Verde, Li Mingyuan, mayor of Xi'an, Eckart Würzner, mayor of Heidelberg, Germany, Uwe Schneidewind, mayor of Wuppertal, Germany, Antonio Di Carlo, mayor of Bari, Italy, and Ekrem Imamoglu, mayor of Istanbul, Turkey, delivered their keynote speeches via video.

The 2021 Global Mayors' Forum, co-organized by the CPAFFC, UCLG, Metropolis, and Guangzhou Municipal Government, is held from November 8 to 13 in an online-offline hybrid format. Additionally, the 13th World Congress of the World Metropolis Association and the 5th Guangzhou Award are held concurrently. A total of 6 sub-forums, including Biodiversity and Urban Climate and Technology and New Infrastructure, will be held. The Alliance of Guangzhou International Sister-City Universities 2021 Annual Conference and the 2021 exchange meeting of the Guangzhou-Auckland-Los Angeles Tripartite Economic Alliance are the two thematic side events. Supplemental serial events of the Guangzhou Award and the Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Exhibition will also be held.