As we approach the virtual Urban 20 Mayors Summit (30th September – 2nd October), we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the independent and inclusive U20 process, which brings the voice of city residents across the world to the global stage.
U20 brings together cities from G20 member states and additional observer cities to find common ground and advocate for critical urban issues that transcend borders, including climate action, social inclusion and integration, and sustainable economic growth.
More than 42 cities have participated in this process in 2020, at a time of enormous challenges impacting our cities’ health, economy, and supply chains. Together, we reached consensus on 27 recommendations we will be making to the G20 this year. Through a collaborative and inclusive process over the course of seven months. we worked in four task force groups and drew on our experience and evidence to prepare white papers, case studies and policy recommendations that reflect our common experiences and priorities.
This feat of collaboration and public service has been most apparent in our discussions about climate change. The spirit of cooperation and urgency reflects the imperative of climate change and the special opportunity for urban centers to drive progress together. Our process of dialogue resulted in concrete recommendations that will be presented to the leaders of the G20 and will allow us to take practical steps to make the world more carbon neutral and improve the lives of billions of people.
The U20 has shown agility and tenacity in mobilizing during the pandemic, working remotely across continents and time zones to form a Special Working Group to address the common threat of COVID-19. We have developed policies, shared experiences, and together generated recommendations to prepare for future shocks.
In spite of the hard work and collective process of some of the world’s most important urban centers, there are some who have determined to use this opportunity to disrupt the important outcomes of the past year of collaboration for their own purposes. The U20 is an important part of the entire G20 process to make sure that the growing needs and voices of the world’s cities have a voice in the deliberations of the G20.
The U20 process will only grow in importance year on year, as the challenges and opportunities of urbanization continue to mount and effect all of us. We welcome the participation and support of cities around the world who share our commitment to working together. We are on the front lines every day. We will continue to progress our ambitious agenda when we work together as one.