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Fourth Global Summit — Mayoral Meeting

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— 2 minutes reading time

On 19 – 21 September 2023, Strong Cities Network held its Fourth Global Summit in New York City, which brought together over 240 participants, including city leaders and practitioners representing more than 115 cities from 50 countries globally. The Summit featured 11 events and provided city officials from diverse contexts with the opportunity to share and learn from promising practices for city-led prevention of hate, extremism and polarisation. A full overview of the Summit is available here.

The programme included a Mayoral Meeting that convened 150+ mayors, governors and other local leaders from across the world. Hosted by New York City Mayor Eric Adams at Gracie Mansion, the meeting spotlighted the role of mayors in addressing hate, extremism and polarisation, and was inspired by both Mayor Adams’ commitments to fostering social cohesion in what is one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the world, as well different examples of mayoral leadership in building resilient and inclusive cities from across Strong Cities’ global membership and beyond. The meeting follows a series of mayoral engagements that Strong Cities organised in the past year in recognition of these inspiring practices and in preparation for the production of A Guide for Mayors, which provides case studies, recommendations and practical guidance to help mayors prevent and respond do hate, extremism and polarisation. The Guide was launched at the Global Summit alongside A Guide for Cities, which provides guidance for local governments on how they can enhance city-led efforts against these threats.

The meeting opened with remarks by Asmaa Rhlalou, Mayor of Rabat (Morocco), who also serves as a co-chair of Strong Cities’ revitalised International Steering Committee. Mayor Rhlalou set the tone for the meeting by emphasising the importance of empowering cities to address hate, extremism and polarisation, noting that it is mayors and the local governments they lead that are confronted directly with the societal consequences of these threats, and that it is they who have the necessary proximity to communities to prevent such threats from taking root in the first place. This was reiterated by Ylva Johannson, European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs, who told the audience of city leaders that “we need to hear your voices on a global level”, further adding that the EU, as a generous sponsor of the Global Summit and Strong Cities’ global portfolio of programmes, is committed to supporting local action against hate, extremism and polarisation. Mayor Adams followed the Commissioner’s remarks by acknowledging that there is a lot that mayors can learn from one another, stating that a mayor’s “goal should not be to outrun the problem, but to take care of it” and that this is done “by exchanging good practice and cross-pollinating ideas” with other local leaders.


Event Report