2nd ASEM Meeting for Governors and Mayors - ASEM Goes Local: “Challenges and Solutions”
The ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) for Governors and Mayors (ASEM-MGM) stands for dialogue on a partnership basis and respectful cooperation between major cities of ASEM part-ner countries.
On 18 October 2012, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, opened the 2nd ASEM-MGM together with Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle; Dr. Fauzi Bowo, the former Governor of Jakarta, who initiated and hosted the 1st ASEM-MGM in Jakarta in 2010; and M.R. Sukumbhand Paribatra, the Governor of Bangkok.
The theme of the 2nd ASEM-MGM, hosted this time by Berlin, was “ASEM Goes Local: Strategies for Change.” The participating delegations came from 22 major cities in Asia and Europe and included, among others, the mayors of Bangkok, Yangon, Athens, Dublin, and Sofia. Participants discussed strategies and solutions that promote future-oriented management of major cities and exchanged information on “best practices” in innovative urban policy.
The conference concluded on 19 October 2012 with the adoption of the “Berlin Declaration.” With this declaration, the 22 Asian and European metropolises agreed on a model for urban development that is guided by quality of life goals for the city’s population and unites the ideas of and policies for economic growth, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability. In addition, they agreed to step up cooperation also below the level of mayors and governors. Plans call for concrete, project-related cooperation in the future on urban issues like transportation policy, the housing situation, and initiatives to combat climate change. As the closing declaration put it, enhancing exchanges of information, ideas, and experience is in the interest of economic and social stability and should also serve to promote progress in the individual cities. The next ASEM-MGM will be held in Bangkok in 2014.