35 Mayors and representatives of G20 cities gathered in Tokyo for the second Urban 20 Summit at the kind invitation of the city Governor, Yuriko Koike. Building on the legacy of the first Urban 20 Summit in Buenos Aires, cities called on G20 leaders to work together for climate action, social inclusion and sustainable economic growth to achieve the Global Goals.
The world is facing complex challenges and cities have a big say in the way societies are shaped and the global goals are achieved. It is in this spirit that cities came together at the Urban 20 Summit to convey local views to the G20 agenda. City leaders handed a joint Communique including their recommendations to national governments on climate action, social inclusion and sustainable economic growth that was handed to the Japanese Prime Minister and 2019 G20 Chair, Shinzo Abe. The document was endorsed by the leaders of 30 cities, representing 126 million people.
The Summit recalled the key role of the 2030 Agenda as a universal framework for addressing many of the planet’s most urgent priorities, and stressed the importance of cooperation between all spheres of governments to achieve the Global Goals.
Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike highlighted the need of working together with national governments to truly achieve global sustainable development. In her words, “If we do not implement local policies, neither SDGs nor the Paris Agreement will be realized”.
UCLG commits to further advance dialogue with the G20 and the future ahead of the Urban 20 initiative
In her speech, Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of UCLG emphasized that the Urban 20 message is not a message of big cities nor about big cities only, highlighting that cities might have ideas to help national governments achieve sustainable development. "There's no single model of development but there is only one kind of happiness: having a decent place to live, safe streets & access to education. All in hands of cities", said Emilia Saiz.
Cities need the support of national governments and build a continued structured dialogue that allows cities and national governments work together to develop and implement adequate housing strategies, take bold climate action, provide access to basic social services and build inclusive, peaceful, safe and discrimination-free cities.
For his part, Fernando Straface, Secretary General of the City of Buenos Aires underlined that “cities are being challenged to be a bridge of dialogue and cooperation with the nations of the G20" and the role that the first Summit in Buenos Aires played in building this platform.
David Miller, Director of international Diplomacy of C40, mentioned the importance of taking climate action and building a continued dialogue with the G20 leaders. “In the largest cities of the world, climate change is felt already. This is why such a specific group of cities - the U20 - addresses a specific group of nations - the G20”.
In a strategic meeting Mayors and city representatives discussed the continuity and future ahead of the Urban20 platform and their commitment to bring their joint recommendations on climate action, social inclusion and sustainable economic growth to the G20 agenda.
The key role that cities play in housing, education, healthcare and infrastructure and the relevance of city action to address global challenges where echoed in the room. Mayors are not alone in the challenges they are facing and city leaders expressed the need to harmonize both agendas national and local and stressed that serving cities is serving the national agendas.
Prime Minister and 2019 G20 Chair, Shinzo Abe received the Urban 20 delegation and the joint Communiqué from the hands of the Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike as the 2019 U20 Chair and host of the Urban 20 Mayors Summit and committed to explore how to inform and build dialogue with the G20.