Washington, D.C. – On September 9, 2016, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) will participate in the inaugural meeting of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), where mayors from across the globe will convene at the World Forum in The Hague. Unlike any other urban network, the GPM will be the first, and only, international organization exclusively for mayors and it will serve as an unprecedented platform for municipal leaders to collaborate on solutions to a wide range of global challenges. Under the leadership of USCM President and Oklahoma City (OK) Mayor Mick Cornett, a delegation of mayors including USCM Second Vice President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin, Dayton (OH) Mayor Nan Whaley and USCM CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran will take part in the meeting, which will run through September 11, 2016.

More than 75 cities, both large and small and from developed and emerging countries, will be represented at the meeting, including Amman, Bangkok, Cape Town, Paris, Dakar, Rio de Janiero, Quito and Warsaw. The two-day agenda will focus on three central topics: Migration & Security, the Environment & Climate Change, and the Governance of the GPM.

The concept of the GPM grew out of Dr. Benjamin Barber’s 2013 book If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities, which argues that cities, and the mayors that run them, offer the best new forces of good governance. Cities are already home to more than half of the world’s population and are the primary incubator for cultural, social and political innovations. According to Barber, a new international coalition of city governments has the potential to accomplish more than any individual national government.

“Every day, mayors are forced to be practical, responsive and pragmatic. We do not enjoy the luxury of ideological debate. We are the level of government that is closest to the people, listens to the people and can actually get things done. Mayors across the globe share many of the same problems, from rising water, crumbling infrastructure and vulnerable populations. The newly formed GPM gives mayors an extraordinary forum to come together, brainstorm best practices and, use our collective power to advocate for more effective urban policy. We look forward to getting to work with our international colleagues to find innovative solutions that will ultimately make our cities better for our citizens and the next generation,” says USCM President Oklahoma City (OK) Mayor Mick Cornett.

“The United States Conference of Mayors is proud to have relationships with mayors on every continent. The Global Parliament of Mayors will finally create the needed place for mayors of the world to learn, share and make significant progress on the global metrourban challenges we are facing,” says Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director. “The formation of this new organization marks an historic moment as no other international coalition for mayors, and run by mayors, exists.”

“If national governments cannot agree on the challenges we face, we remind all that through this GPM collaboration, we will go forward, as mayors do every day, to meet these challenges for our people and for cities around the world.”

On Friday, September 9, participants will gather at the Marriott Hotel in The Hague (Johan de Wittlan 30) for a welcoming reception. Press may attend and members of the USCM delegation will be available for interviews.

All plenary sessions of the GPM (The World Forum, Churchillplein10, The Hague) on Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 are open to press.

At the conclusion of the meeting on Sunday, September 11, reporters will be briefed on the deliberations of the GPM. Interested press should contact Sara Durr at [email protected] or 202/215.1811.