On 3 September 2021, Carolin von Buddenbrock, Chief of Protocol of the Federal State of Berlin, took part in this year’s online U20 (Urban 20) conference, representing the Governing Mayor.
In view of the growing urbanization worldwide, the Governing Mayor has long been an advocate for incorporating the cities’ interests in the G20 process and allowing local governments to play a decisive role in dealing with global challenges.
The pandemic, which has hit the world’s metropolises especially hard, has shown us once again how necessary it is to involve the cities in solving these problems.
The 2021 communiqué was agreed on in the run-up to the conference and was signed by 28 cities; it calls on the national governments to address a number of the most pressing issues.
The communiqué was structured on the same lines as the priority themes of this year’s G20: People, Planet, Prosperity. Its fundamental message is an appeal to the national governments to commit to a partnership with the cities in creating fair, carbon-neutral, integrative, and healthy societies, and to help the cities be better prepared for future crises. The overarching themes of climate action, inclusion and equitable participation, and a circular economy run through all of the paper’s calls for action. The communiqué, which was presented to the G20 president at the end of the summit, also addressed the issue of post-pandemic recovery, just as it did last year.
The current crisis in Afghanistan was also addressed at the conference. In addition, Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema called on the G20 states to take stronger action in support of women’s rights.