At the Cities Summit of the Americas, GTF networks stress the need to listen to cities and foster investment to address the current context of overlapping crises and promote effective and inclusive multilateral system reform

28 April 2023

The different networks composing the organized constituency of local and regional governments gathered around the Global Taskforce had a leading role in the I Cities Summit of the Americas, a flagship event hosted by the US State Department and the city of Denver that brought together Mayors and stakeholders from the whole Western Hemisphere.


C40 Cities and the Global Covenant of Mayors alongside with CDP led the Opening General Session, which was hosted by the Mayor of Denver and featured a keynote address by UCLG President and Mayor of Montevideo Carolina Cosse. The plenary explored how to unlock finance to promote ways of development that promote gender equality, social justice and climate justice fostered from the local level to promote meaningful change at the global scale.


The Mayors Migration Council cohosted the Closing Plenary of the Cities Summit of the Americas on the topic of "Human Mobility in the Americas: City Led Solutions" featuring a keynote address by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, with Emerson Collective, CAF, and the InterAmerican Dialogue. Together with C40, the Mayors Migration Council also led a Climate Migration Roundtable on the nexus of climate change, migration and displacement, together with the US State Department, USAID, and the Climate Migration Council to discuss urban climate migration and unlocking funding for city-led inclusive climate action. Within this context, the US Government announced a USD 1 million investment to support cities addressing climate migration in Latin America, following a call from C40 and MMC mayors.


Metropolis alongside the Brookings Institution led a general session on the role of cities in global leadership and the multilateral system that included a keynote speech by ICLEI President, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie, the US Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, and a conversation between US Special Envoy for City Diplomacy Ambassador Nina Hachigian and the Mayor of Kiev, Vitaliy Klychko. The session allowed to discuss ways for a renewed multilateralism that listens to cities in order to develop global governance frameworks to make the multilateral system fit for purpose against the current context of overlapping crises and reach the global development agendas.


UCLG and FLACMA hosted the session of the Housing and Safety official track “Cities for adequate housing: Joining forces towards local systems that care for all” with Mayors from the whole Hemisphere and partners such as former UN Special Rapporteur for Housing Leilani Farha, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, Open Government Partnership and UN Habitat. Building on The Shift campaign and the Cities for Adequate Housing declaration, the session allowed to identify common challenges to address the multidimensional effects of the housing crisis. It also saw the presentation by UCLG of the relaunch of the Coalition of Cities for adequate housing to call for more power to cities to fulfil this human right.


In turn, ICLEI hosted the session of the Climate and Environment Track “Urban Development and the Circular Economy: an Inspirational Approach to Get Started”, which counted with a vast representation of Mayors from the whole hemisphere, including the host Mayor of Denver, Michael B. Hancock. ICLEI also co-hosted alongside the US Department of Energy a roundtable on equitable clean energy transition.


On the sidelines of the Summit, the GTF held a meeting with the US Special Envoy for City and State Diplomacy, Nina Hachigian. The meeting served to to deepen the relationship with the State Department and discussed shared policy priorities to build a more inclusive multilateral system.