G7 City Leaders attend first summit

Key Cities Chair Cllr. John Merry CBE will join other urban leaders and mayors from across the globe for the first summit of G7 Cities – dubbed the G7-U7.

Among the city leaders convening for the inaugural G7U7 Summit (from left): Cllr. John Merry (Salford/Key Cities), Fumiko Hayashi (Yokohama/Mayors Association), Cllr. Nick Forbes (Newcastle/Core Cities), Sally Capp (Melbourne, Council of Capital City Lord Mayors), Frank Cownie (Des Moines/US Conference of Mayors), Burkhard Jung (Leipzig/Deutscher Städtetag).

Urban networks from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA as well as the G7 guest countries of Australia and Korea meet tomorrow morning, 9 June, ahead of the upcoming G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. They will be joined by a number of international city networks including ICLEI, EUROCITIES, Global Parliament of Mayors, United Cities and Local Government, and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

In a signed declaration, they will call on world leaders to set out a clear vision for the role cities can play in recovery and to draw on the expertise of local leaders and mayors.

They will also call for national leaders to provide resources and freedoms for cities and support city-to-city dialogue, including with places that are still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic and have low vaccination rates.

And they will stress that cities are key to nations reaching Net Zero ahead of the COP26 conference due to be held in Glasgow in November.

The G7 U7 summit is the first of its kind and comes at a time when the future of cities is being debated by policy leaders across the world.

Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: "Core Cities UK is enormously proud to host this first global gathering of city networks of its kind, and we hope it will become a regular part of the G7 Calendar, adding value to the debates between nation states. We come together with a shared belief in the power of urban places to transform economies and society and a mission to make sure national governments recognise the potential of our cities.”

The summit aims to establish local-level dialogue, supporting the aims of the G7 and build on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to improve health, economic and environmental resilience and wellbeing for all citizens.

The declaration recognises that cities across the world have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. It also says they are the places most capable of driving recovery and renewal through greener, more inclusive economic growth, vitally important to the wellbeing of surrounding regions as well as nations.

The declaration states that flows of trade and commerce are largely between cities globally and says urban networks can use and strengthen links to support the trade ambitions of their countries.

It adds that the majority of carbon emissions are from cities, and says that ahead of COP26 in Glasgow cities are strengthening their commitment to a low carbon future, which can only be delivered through local as well as national interventions.

The declaration concludes:

“As globally-facing cities we all share common values of openness, tolerance and the need to address health inequality and sustainability. By continuing our shared dialogue, we can learn from each other and find new ways to turn these values into action.”


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