On September 9-11, 2016, mayors representing over 75 cities large and small, from North and South convened in The Hague to launch a new platform for cities to address global challenges. This new pioneering and innovative global governance body founded by, for and of cities is called the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM).

As cities are increasingly asked to address global problems on a local level, the Global Parliament of Mayors is positioned to be the new platform that will leverage the collective political power of cities to move from mayors talking about issues to instead crafting real solutions.

The cross border issues of Migration and the Environment & Climate Change were discussed in the Convening. Secretary General Dr. M. Cemil Arslan and International Cooperation Expert Burcuhan Sener represented Marmara Municipalities Union (MMU) at the meeting.

Mayor of The Hague, Mr. Jozias van Aartsen and the Founder of GPM, Dr. Benjamin Barber inaugurated the meeting. Democracy without borders means cities without borders, said Dr. Barber. After the opening speeches, the first plenary session on “Migration: Cities of Arrival” was held. The second plenary session was convened in the afternoon to discuss “Environment and Climate Change: The City & Nature” while the theme of the last plenary session was “Governance: The City & The Interdependent World”. Four parallel strategy sessions for each theme followed the plenary meetings.

Mayors including Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb (Mayor of Rotterdam), Mr. Peter Kurz (Mayor of Mannheim), Ms. Patricia de Lille (Mayor of Cape Town), Mr. Mick Cornett (Mayor of Oklahoma City and President of US Conference of Mayors), Mr. Giorgos Kaminis (Mayor of Athens), Mr. Leoluca Orlando (Mayor of Palermo), Dr. Sanjeev Nayyar (Mayor of North Delhi), and Mr. Akel Biltalji (Mayor of Amman) discussed thoroughly the subjects from different angles. Experts from several organizations such as Vrije Universtiy, McKinsey Global Institute, International Committee of the Red Cross, IOM, World Resources Institute, OECD, Council of Europe, and UNDP actively participated in the discussions as well. Dr. M. Cemil Arslan, MMU Secretary General, conveyed the current situation in Turkey and the experiences of its members during the sessions

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