City leaders from G7 countries have gathered in Tokyo and online for the third annual U7 Mayors Summit.
The mayors discussed their vision for the role of cities in the G7 process, with a particular focus on the 2023 Japanese G7 Presidency. Mayors applauded the G7’s unprecedented recognition under the 2022 German G7 Presidency of the Urban7, cities, sustainable urban development and multilevel governance.
Core Cities UK Chair Mayor Marvin Rees gave an address by video, highlighting cities ability to face huge global challenges like climate change and migration.
City leaders presented the Mayors Declaration, which was drafted collaboratively by the national city networks of the G7 members and the U7 Secretariat. The declaration highlights the important role of cities as custodians of peace and democracy. It also outlines how sustainable urban development can serve as the engine for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and facing the global climate emergency. Furthermore, the declaration addresses the role of cities in disaster preparedness, response, and resilience, especially in the wake of the recent earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
Minna Arve, Mayor of ICLEI Member Turku (Finland) and Vice President, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability notes, “This year's Declaration of Mayors reflects the main challenges we face in different parts of the world. More importantly, it demonstrates that it is local governments that deal directly with their consequences and are at the forefront of delivering solutions. This is why a strong role of local leaders in the G7 process is of paramount importance. The U7 has made significant progress along this path and we look forward to continuing this work with a longer term perspective.”
Mayors furthermore took the Summit as an opportunity to address pressing challenges, including the climate emergency and the destruction of Ukrainian cities due to Russia’s illegal ongoing war in Ukraine. They explored the role that cities can play in addressing these challenges as partners with their national governments.
Mayors present praised the Japanese G7 Presidency for their support of the Urban7 process and openness to engaging with city leaders. Dr. Peter Kurz, Mayor of ICLEI Member (Mannheim) Germany and Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors added, “The Urban7 is a process, not an end goal. As this process enters its third year, I am pleased with the progress we have made, and optimistic about the growing recognition of the value cities can add in international processes, especially the G7. I firmly believe that real multi-level governance will lead to better policy, which means better outcomes.”
The event was hosted by the Japan Designated City Mayors’ Association (JDCMA), with support from the U7 Secretariat (ICLEI and the Global Parliament of Mayors, as well as the city association from the country leading the G7 that year. In 2023, the G7 Presidency is held by Japan and thus the Japan Designated City Mayors' Association (JDCMA) is fulfilling that role in the U7 Group.