The Mayors of Monrovia, Foya and Zwedru Cities have returned to Liberia after attending the 2019 ambitious Annual Summit of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) in Durban, South-Africa.Monrovia City Mayor and President of the Mayor Association of Liberia Jefferson T. Koijee, the Mayor of Foya City , Lofa County Cecelia T. Hallie and the Mayor of Zwedru City ,Grand Gedeh County Cecelia H. Jalo participated in a three-day Mayoral Conference held in SouthAfrica.
Addressing a news conference Thursday, 14 November in Monrovia Mayor Koijee explained the trip to South Africa enabled them to join several Mayors from African, Asian, European and U.S. cities from 9 to the 11 of November to participate in the ambitious Annual Summit of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) in Durban.He said this year’s conference focused on the most critical challenges that humankind faces in this decade, from migration and pandemic diseases to social inequality and urban security.According to him, the Global Parliament of Mayors believes these critical challenges that humankind faces around the world must be solved in various cities.
It also believe that more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities, so it is inconceivable that national and international bodies decide on policy actions without the cities and their mayors present as equal partners in shaping global policy”, says Mayor Koijee.
“This year’s GPM Summit focused on ‘Empowering Cities for the 2020s, a decade of change: shaping multi-level governance on a global scale”, he says and adds the Global Parliament of Mayors also offers a complementary governance approach to the current nation states system.
Koijeecontinues he along with Mayors Hallie and Jolo from Liberia were able to joined forces with their colleagues around the world to formulate progressive and achievable resolutions to tackle critical issues confronting cities globally.The Monrovia Mayor, who is an executive member of the Global Parliament of Mayors and his colleagues from Foya and Zwedru cities respectively, expressed excitement about the summit.Both Mayors Hallie and Jolodescribe the summit as significant because it provides a platform for Mayors to deliberate on how cities can be better equipped to deal with issues of rapid urbanization, climate change and related issues.
According to them, working with other global mayors in an effort to promote efficiency in the delivery of services to citizens was rewarding.
They also noted that the Summit was intended to ensure a clear, united message to amplify city voices in support of the 2030 Agenda for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.More than 65 mayors including the Mayors from Beira (Mozambique), Braga (Portugal), Bristol (UK), Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), Cape Town (South Africa), Dayton (USA), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Hebron (Palestine), Kampala (Uganda), Kingston (Jamaica), Lubumbashi (Congo), Mannheim (Germany), Monrovia (Liberia), Montpellier (France), The Hague (the Netherlands) and Vyas (Nepal) participated in the Submit .
Mayor Koijee who is also chairperson on Health of the Global Parliament of Mayors has promised to continuously serve as a bridge for many more opportunities that can benefit Liberia.
He discloses that several Mayors from developing countries around the world expressed optimism to work with cities in Liberia, including Monrovia, Foyah and Zwedru, respectively.The GPM is a unique governance body of mayors from all continents. It functions as a parliament and brings cities to the world fore, while uniting aligning and amplifying voices of mayors in global strategy debates with nation states and international organization such as the U.N.By Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Jonathan Browne