Support Foreign Policy that Keeps America Safe

Adopted at the 87th Annual Meeting in 2019

  • WHEREAS, the United States has taken a leading role in global affairs since World War II and led the creation of international institutions that helped both the United States become secure and prosperous and the world achieve a historic rise out of poverty and reduction in violent conflict among nations; and

    WHEREAS, America's diplomats and international development and commercial trade professionals based around the world at embassies and consulates promote our nation's values and interests, protect U.S. citizens abroad and at home, promote American jobs and businesses, challenge our adversaries, and rally allies to our side; and

    WHEREAS, American diplomats, through their engagement with foreign counterparts and societies, strive to promote peace and stability, prevent and end wars and forge partnerships to confront global challenges; and

    WHEREAS, State Department funded exchanges with foreign government officials, students, civil society actors, and others are instrumental in promoting our values and interests abroad, including in some of the most oppressed nations and societies; and

    WHEREAS, our great country faces current and future threats and challenges which require that we have a diplomatic force ready to keep America safe, in partnership with the brave men and women of our armed forces; and

    WHEREAS, senior military officials have repeatedly emphasized the importance of State Department diplomacy to their own role in protecting and defending the United States; and

    WHEREAS, U.S. diplomats, including the most experienced, are leaving public service at an unprecedented and alarming rate and numerous key leadership positions at State Department headquarters and embassies remain unfilled; and

    WHEREAS, American allies play a critical role in American safety and prosperity by contributing to shared objectives such as supporting democracy, a fair, free trading system, an open internet, and military interventions when necessary; and

    WHEREAS, the Indo-Pacific region presents major challenges and opportunities for U.S. global leadership including cooperation with allies and partners, is a destination for 30% of U.S. exports and nearly $700 billion in foreign direct investment together supporting 3 million good-paying American jobs, a source for nearly 30 million visitors spending $90 billion and 750,000 international students contributing $28 billion to the U.S. economy, and source of a fast growing and influential Asian-America population and rich civic and people-to-people ties; and

    WHEREAS, America's cities benefit greatly from ties with foreign partners; and

    WHEREAS, America's businesses need foreign markets for their exports and foreign companies and individuals invest in our cities to create jobs; and

    WHEREAS, international students pay tuition and enrich campus life, and foreign tourists boost our economies; and

    WHEREAS, foreign-born entrepreneurs invigorate our economy, create jobs, and new technologies that benefit all of us; and

    WHEREAS, immigrants and refugees enrich and diversify our communities, through art, food, culture, and traditions; and

    WHEREAS, partnership with other countries keep our city residents safe from terrorist plots, transnational criminals, cyber attacks, and viruses like Ebola, and is the only way to combat climate change which is affecting all Americans; and

    WHEREAS, an increasing number of subnational actors, including U.S. cities, are measuring their own progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, the "Global Goals," which 193 countries adopted under the auspices of the United Nations; and

    WHEREAS, international and American networks of cities are upholding commitments under the Paris Climate Accord and sharing best practices around prosperity, resilience, and security; and

    WHEREAS withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord and assailing other international agreements jeopardizes the trustworthiness of the commitment by the United States to international compacts; and

    WHEREAS, global public opinion of U.S. leadership has reached historic lows, foreign investment in the United States has plunged since 2016, and foreign tourism to the U.S. dropped in 2017 [and 2018?], leading to a loss of jobs and income for U.S. workers; and

    WHEREAS, other major powers are eager to take over and in some cases undermine aspects of America's traditional global role in securing prosperity and stability, but not with traditional American values of respect for human rights, fair and free elections, rule of law, labor standards, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, independent judiciary, environmental protection, diversity, anti-corruption, open internet, intellectual property protection, open markets and more,

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) calls on the President and Congress, as an urgent priority, to invest in diplomacy by funding the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development to operate at full capacity; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls for the Administration to fill expeditiously the vacancies in all foreign policy leadership positions, including with women and diverse candidates who reflect America; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the Administration to refrain from publicly disparaging, without cause, foreign governments as well as countries, regions and peoples, particularly U.S. allies; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to respect and cooperate with long-standing Indo-Pacific alliances and developing partnerships and strengthen ties through diplomacy, defense, culture, commerce, development, education, exchange, and research; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to re-engage actively in the United Nations and its related agencies, as well as in other multilateral institutions that seek to promote the rule of law, human rights, and make the world safer and more prosperous; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the United States to once again measure its progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals and to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement in order to take part in these global efforts to improve the lives of the American people and people worldwide.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Congress to support local elected leaders' international engagement by passing the City and State Diplomacy Act to establish an Office of Subnational Diplomacy at the United States Department of State.

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