New YorkApril 19, 2002
April 19, 2002
In New York, mayors and representatives from all continents signed or produced letters of support for our Communiqué and Declaration of Principles as they founded The International Conference of Mayors. This is a historical moment for our organization for USA mayors and mayors across the globe. The vision for the formation began to form in the late 80s and early 90s when I was an official observer to the municipal elections of Poland, the first local elections since 1946. It was year of 1989 during the month of May, when over 50,000 officials were elected to form city halls throughout that nation, so abused by the Cold War. Then later we took mayors there to hold basic sessions with the new mayors. Our President then, York Mayor Bill Althaus, and others in two'week sessions discussed budget preparation, media relations and basic political leadership skills. The Berlin Wall came tumblinThroughout the decade of the 90s leading up to the turn of the millennium, there were many meetings and moments in time that provided political sustenance and growth to our vision that led us to the ripening moment in New York this week.
Throughout the decade of the 90s leading up to the turn of the millennium, there were many meetings and moments in time that provided political sustenance and growth to our vision that led us to the ripening moment in New York this week.
Under our then Conference President Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, we launched our initiative CITIES 2000 and we reached out to continue with our vision. Throughout, New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial was a driving force. Throughout history, New Orleans has been a most international city. Its culture is unique, born of Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean nations and now the strong new community of Asiansthe Vietnamese. It was joy and absolute political excitement to work with Mayors Webb and Morial as we planned, plotted, dreamt and above allimplemented.
The Transatlantic Summit of Mayors fostered by our good friend Felix G. Rohatyn, then Ambassador of France, supported by our former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Mr. John Kornblum, helped us so much as we held a trilogy of meetings in Lyon, France, Berlin and the culmination here in Washington, and then to New York for our signing ceremony this week with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
We have strong relations with Israel and have worked with Mayor Teddy Kollek and now Mayor Ehud Olmert to hold the Jerusalem Conference of Mayors there in Jerusalem for the past 21 years. The Chinese missions back and forth continue as we will host the Chinese delegation again this summer in Washington.
We also gained insights as we helped form the mayors organization in Argentina, bonded politically through a series of best practices and learning session with our friends at the Japanese Association of City Mayors, and the Wellington E. Webb'led USA mission to the African nations of Senegal and to Ghana for the fifth African/African'American Summit, which was not only a learning experience, but also an adventure of a lifetime we'll never forget. Florence, Italy is also a stronghold of ours in that we continue to communicate regularly with Florence around the issues so important todayarts and tourism.
Mayors from around the globe continue to look to usto share and to learn. At our Winter Meeting last year, 2001, the first elected mayor of London, Mr. Ken Livingstone brought over a dozen of his staff and members of his new government to be involved in our meetings to share, to learn, and we were most fortunate to have him with us at our first National Rails Policy Summit that year in Union Station in Washington, DC. Just this past year at our Annual Meeting in Detroit, Mr. Toshifumi Akimoto, the Secretary General of the Japan Association of City Mayors, brought staff members to look at our committee structure, our plenary sessions and how we organize and run our meetings.
In Tokyo and in America, I have sat and talked into the night with our Japanese mayors and staff as we engaged in issues such as membership, our newsletters, and our modes of communication to our national leaders, our Congress, our state leaders and to our public. So much of it is so different; so much of it is the same. When mayors come together from around the globe, they have a universal languagethey have a universal language as they discuss the best ways to provide basic everyday services for all urban and suburban people on the globe. The signing is a culmination of one of the legends Marc Morial leaves with our organization. We thank him for his vision and his work as our President, which will carry us forward to keep the drive alive. Incoming President Boston Mayor Tom Menino announced in the Washington part of our meeting this week that we must continue. Mayor Wellington E. WIn New York, Mayor Webb, the host mayor of our 71st Annual Meeting in Denver, promised his time to create within the Annual Meeting a time and place for us to further solidify as we plan now for the Second International Conference of Mayors in June of 2003.
In New York, Mayor Webb, the host mayor of our 71st Annual Meeting in Denver, promised his time to create within the Annual Meeting a time and place for us to further solidify as we plan now for the Second International Conference of Mayors in June of 2003.
It was most appropriate that we featured Mayor Dimitris L. Avramopoulos of Athens, Greece at our founding luncheon. The first city'state was Athens. Cities began thousands of years ago in our mother city of Athens where democracy was born. It is alive today as we leave New York, and it will continue to live as we carry the spirit forward with our time and energy to make our globe better for all cityurban and suburbandwellers.
Let no one doubt. We have woven the mayoral threads into an international fabric that will not be torn asunder. We will wrap ourselves in the cloth and be stronger for it. Thank you, Marc Morial. You have done well for us in more ways than oneand we will show our appreciation for you and your incredible year as we gather for our Annual Meeting this June in Madison. Thank you, Mayor Wellington E. Webb, for your continued steadfast and deliberate actions which have brought us to this point of reality in our history. And thank you, Mayor Menino and Mayor Garner, for your forward thinking and decisions to take us even to new heights, new accomplishments, as we bring the mayors of the world to one spiritual and political placeThe International Conference of Mayors.
For information about all aspects of the International Conference of Mayors please contact me directly at 202-293-2354 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org since our Communique has directed me as the Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors to be the Secretariat of this initiative as we go forward.