ICLEI Leaders and Members to strengthen Pope Francis' efforts on climate, modern slavery and sustainability

On 21-22 July 2015, a delegation of more than 60 Mayors from around the world will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican for a two-day event on climate change, human trafficking and sustainable development. (See the official press release of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the full program on July 21 on modern slavery and climate change and on July 22 on sustainable development and post2015 development agenda in collaboration with UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network)

ICLEI mobilized its leadership and membership to show full support to the groundbreaking and timely work of Pope Francis on these critical issues, thereby constituting around half of all cities represented at the events in both days. (Full list below and as pdf)

“The current wide-ranging crisis has brought us close to a point of no return and has the potential to nullify the social and economic progress achieved so far, thus posing a threat to the future existence of humankind” remarked ICLEI President Park Wonsoon. “We believe that the timely efforts of Pope Francis will help lead to bolder climate action and the birth of an inclusive and ambitious global climate regime”.
(See ICLEI´s response to Laudato Si)

ICLEI Leadership attending the events in Vatican include:

  • Park Wonsoon (Mayor of Seoul, Republic of Korea and ICLEI President, participating via video message)
  • Gustavo Petro (Mayor of Bogota, Colombia and Member of ICLEI Global Executive Committee)
  • Parks Tau (Mayor of Johannesburg, S. Africa and Member of Regional Executive Committee for Africa)
  • Matthew Appelbaum (Mayor of Boulder, USA and Member of Regional Executive Committee for North America) 
  • Estaella Marino (Deputy Mayor of Rome, Italy and Member of Regional Executive Committee for Europe) 
  • as well as George Ferguson (Mayor of Bristol, UK) and Anne Hidalgo (Mayor of Paris, France) as co-hosts of Transformative Actions Pavilion at UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21/CMP11)

High level representatives of ICLEI Members attending the events in Vatican include (listed in the alphabetical order of the name of the city):

  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Mayor Marcio Lacerda) 
  • Berlin, Germany (Permanent Secretary of Transport and Environment Christian Gaebler)
  • Bologna, Italy (Mayor Virginio Merola)
  • Boston, USA (Mayor Marty Walsh)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (President of Environmental Protection Agency Juan Carlos Villalonga)
  • Curitiba, Brazil (Mayor Gustavo Fruet)
  • Goiânia, Brazil (Mayor Paulo Garcia)
  • Medellin (Mayor Aníbal Gaviria Correa)
  • Mexico City, Mexico (Head of Foreign Affairs Office Cuauhtémoc Cardenas)
  • Minneapolis, USA (Mayor Betsy Hodges) 
  • New Orleans, USA (Mayor Mitch Landrieu)
  • New York City, USA (Mayor Bill de Blasio)
  • Oslo, Norway (Mayor Stian Berger Rosland) 
  • Portland, USA (Mayor Charlie Hales)
  • Porto Alegre, Brazil (Mayor José Fortunati) 
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Mayor Eduardo Paes)
  • San José, USA (Mayor Sam Liccardo)
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil (Mayor Fernando Haddad)
  • Seattle, USA (Mayor Ed Murray)
  • Stockholm, Sweden (Mayor Karin Wanngard)
  • Vancouver, Canada (Mayor Gregor Robertson)
  • Warsaw, Poland (Deputy Mayor Jarosław Jóźwiak) 
  • Zagreb, Croatia (Mayor Milan Bandić)

Senior ICLEI Staff attending events in Vatican include: ICLEI Deputy Secretary General Monika Zimmermann and ICLEI Head of Policy and Advocacy Yunus Arikan.

The meetings mark the first time that the Vatican has approached Mayors to work together and discuss how cities can help tackle the crucial issues facing humanity. From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has taken a firm stand against modern slavery, calling all communities to reject all systematic deprivation of individual freedom for the purposes of personal and commercial exploitation. In his well-received encyclical Laudato Si, the Pope has highlighted the connection between natural and human environment, emphasizing that global warming is one of the causes of poverty and forced migration and calling for all actors to work together in shaping a sustainable future.

As the world’s leading cities’ network on sustainability, ICLEI has been at the forefront of tackling issues related to climate change and sustainability in cities and regions worldwide. In both the global and local stages, ICLEI has been actively promoting and advocating for sustainable cities and regions, which are low-carbon, resilient, smart, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive, and healthy and happy.

“We are happy to observe an active and committed engagement of ICLEI Leaders and Members in the Vatican on 21 and 22 July. It is no surprise to us that Pope Francis has received a strong support from local and subnational leaders worldwide whose ambitious actions could help spur a global transformation to a sustainable urban future. This spirit and gathering in the Vatican will send clear signals to the global community and citizens of the world which will hopefully help ensure tangible and ambitious outcomes in the post2015 development agenda, climate negotiations and HABITAT III processes,” said ICLEI Deputy Secretary General Monika Zimmermann.

Links to speeches and videos:

Links to ICLEI’s advocacy documents:
– Towards UN Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21/CMP11)

ICLEI´s response to Zero Order Draft of UN Post2015 Summit in September 2015
ICLEI at Habitat III PrepCom-II
ICLEI Seoul Declaration
ICLEI Strategic Plan 2015-2021

Links to social media:

  • Watch the meetings via livestream: http://t.va/crtsf
  • Tweet with us @ICLEI, @Yunus_Bonn, @CasinaPioIV @UNSDSN
  • Hashtag #MayorsCare

Links to more program information:

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