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Forum of Mayors


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The meeting of the Fourth Forum of Mayors, the "Cities Summit of the Future", will take place in Geneva (Room XVII, Palais des Nations) from 30 September to 1 October 2024, immediately following the United Nations Summit of the Future (New York, 22-23 September 2024). Mayors convening in Geneva will have the opportunity to deliberate on the ramifications for local authorities of the “Pact of the Future” to be adopted by United Nations Member States in New York. Additionally, they will be able to highlight the multiple ways in which cities can substantially contribute to implementing the Pact, forging a brighter future for humanity and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). 

The Forum’s meeting will consist of four sessions. The first three sessions will focus on examining the implications for local authorities stemming from the various chapters of the Pact of the Future.  

During each of these sessions, mayors will have the opportunity to address the audience and provide insights into how their city can contribute to the implementation of the Pact in the areas in question. In particular: 

  • Session one will examine the two first chapters of the Pact and its implications for local authorities: 1. Sustainable development and financing for development, as well as 2. International peace and security.  
  • In Session two, the Forum will delve into the implications for local authorities outlined in the third and fourth chapters of the Pact: 3. Science, technology, and innovation, and digital cooperation, and 4. Youth and future generations.  
  • Session three will centre around a crucial topic of the Pact: 5. Transforming global governance.  

During the fourth and last session, the Forum is expected to collaboratively finalize and agree on a Statement from mayors on the Future of Cities representing a unified vision and commitment from municipal leaders towards shaping the future of our cities.


Why a Forum for city leaders?

Cities are on the frontline of facing and addressing humanity’s most pressing challenges, including pandemics, climate change, natural hazards and pandemics. In an increasingly urbanized world – with some 75% of the population already living in cities in the UNECE region – such challenges cannot be addressed by national governments alone. Cities have become key partners for tackling major crises and accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda.


What is the Forum's aim?

The Forum serves as a platform for ongoing exchange and mutual learning where mayors present their innovative solutions to the common challenges cities face across the globe. ​

Cities learn from each other’s best practices in creating climate-neutral cities, increasing urban resilience, gender mainstreaming, mitigating the effects of adverse weather events and, actively engaging communities in policymaking and implementation.​

The Forum stands out as a unique platform, providing mayors and city leaders with the chance to directly connect with member States, engage with prominent international organizations, and interact within the broader United Nations system.


Background and previous meetings

UNECE is committed to giving cities a voice. The Day of Cities (Geneva, 8 April 2019) brought together fifty mayors and deputy mayors from the region to share best practices and define a new vision for urban sustainability. The success of that event and the pressing sustainability challenges called for further and longer-term actions involving city leaders. Therefore, to continue to welcome the local decision-makers to the multilateral stage, UNECE convened the first meeting of the Forum of Mayors (Geneva, 6 October 2020). 

The Second Forum of Mayors’ meeting took place in Geneva on 4-5 April 2022, back-to-back with the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (RFSD). It was attended by around 500 online and in-person participants representing cities and member States from across the UNECE region and beyond, the United Nations Regional Commissions and specialized organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia. Mayors and vice mayors from 44 cities shared their experiences in finding people-centred solutions that simultaneously meet the needs and aspirations of their citizens, hedge against disasters and rise to the challenge of climate change in a manner that ensures the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

On 13 January 2023, the UNECE Executive Committee, at its 126th session, agreed to the establishment of the Forum of Mayors as a subsidiary body of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management.  

The objectives and the scope of the Forum of Mayors (see ECE/EX/2023/L.4, annex) are: 

a)   To allow for the participation of mayors in the UNECE and to share their city strategic plans, actions and joint initiatives for addressing regional and global challenges, including implementing SDG 11 and other relevant targets; 

b)   To support the implementation of the work of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management and subprogramme 8; 

c)   To promote human-centred solutions for supporting the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; 

d)   To facilitate the sharing of experiences from cities, including success stories and challenges, in line with the topic of the Forum and within the mandate of the Committee; 

e)   To contribute to achieving coherence and complementarity between the local, regional and global levels in furtherance of a stronger, more networked and inclusive multilateral system. 

The Third Forum of Mayors’ meeting, under the theme “Urban regeneration towards 2030”, took place in Geneva, on 2-3 October 2023 in Geneva immediately prior to the 84th Session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management. Representatives of 60 cities were present and shared their experiences on urban regeneration and resilience, finding solutions that simultaneously meet the needs and aspirations of their residents, hedge against disasters and rise to the climate change challenge in a manner that supports the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The Third Forum’s meeting ended with formal recommendations from Mayors to member States,​ inviting them to endorse the Principles of Urban Regeneration and to involve cities and facilitate their participation in relevant UN processes, to foster a renewed and inclusive multilateralism. These recommendations (ECE/HBP/2023/1) fed into the decision-making process of the 84th session of the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management (Geneva, 4–6 October 2023).


The main outcomes of 2023

Exchange of actions and solutions to inspire change

On 2-3 October 2023, mayors and city representatives shared concrete actions and innovative solutions on urban regeneration and resilience, including the following topics (document ECE/HBP/219).

  • Combating climate change which increases the frequency of extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts and heatwaves
  • Ensuring a smooth energy transition and promoting energy-efficient buildings, and public transport
  • Revitalizing deprived areas in cities
  • Fighting pollution
  • Limiting the negative impacts of the privatization of land
  • Providing adequate and affordable housing and upgrading informal settlements
  • Preparing their cities for future shocks, including disasters, pandemics, mass migration influx, etc.
  • Addressing the lack of municipal resources.
Support to the Geneva Declaration of Mayors and promotion of human-centred solutions for supporting the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

City leaders expressed their support for the Geneva Declaration of Mayors, the outcome document of the Second Forum of Mayors’ meeting, and, during the Third Forum of Mayors’ meeting, produced these 12 principles of urban regeneration:

  • Follow an evidence-based planning approach
  • Apply an integrated approach
  • Plan for the long term to build resilient communities
  • Promote inclusive people-centred design and governance
  • Enhance affordability and accessibility of urban life and homes
  • Preserve, reuse and revive tangible and intangible cultural heritage
  • Optimize land use and pursue mixed-used and compact development
  • Design keeping the health of citizens in mind
  • Promote smartness
  • Pursue circularity
  • Privilege nature-based solutions and climate neutrality
  • Prioritize sustainable and healthy transport options.
Recommendations to impact the political agenda

Go to the official website of the Forum of Mayors


Last update date: April 22, 2024