City to City Cooperation

AMF has Three Commissions:

First Commission : City to City Coopration

Second Commission : Common Challenges

Third Commission : Local governments

 

Development of City to City Cooperation (C2C)

 During the last two decades of the twentieth century, cities have been actively participating in international relations more than ever before. Three main reasons may be responsible for this trend: Firstly, urbanization is a growing trend all over the world especially among developing countries, rapid development of urban areas characterized the first industrial revolution in the North. Secondly, due to increase of human connectivity arising from globalization, cities in the world are both interdependent and committed to sharing ideas, views, natural resources etc... And thirdly, Local governments have taken initiatives to assert their place in the world and to develop international links with the aim of furthering economic and social cooperation with other cities. Although cooperation among cities goes back long before 1980s and 1990s, however it was during this period that the scope for concrete cooperation between local authorities on issues of mutual interest expanded considerably. Moreover, cities were increasingly responding to their role in combating the root causes of poverty and fostering sustainable economic and social development. These advances at the local level coincided with the growing recognition in the international community that the process of urbanization, particularly with the movement of population from rural areas towards the cities of the developing countries, raised new issues and challenges such as issues of governance - as well as of economic, social and environmental policy – which called for new approaches to capacity-building at the local level. ‘City-to-City Cooperation’(C2C) may cover all possible forms of relationship between local authorities at any level in two or more countries which are collaborating together over matters of mutual interest, whether with or without external support. C2C may take place between cities in neighboring countries or between cities at opposite ends of the globe. In recent years the practice and scope of C2C has widened considerably on the initiative of city leaders, strengthening the capacity of cities and providing the opportunity for cities to deal with their own problems in close touch with their citizens. Cities are increasingly collaborating together on topics affecting their responsibilities. Exchange of information and experience on a peer group basis and transferring and adapting successful practices to new contexts are good examples of these collaborations. Cities are also becoming increasingly involved as direct participants in international programs addressing the problems and challenges of urbanization and difficulties in achieving sustainable development. There has been a notable convergence between the growth of C2C practices initiated by cities and the growing focus upon urban issues among the international institutions. The challenges of urbanization and the roles of the various civil society stakeholders as partners in policy formation at local, national, regional and global levels were strongly underlined during the series of major United Nations conferences in the 1990s. This process started at the Rio Earth Summit 1992, and the Istanbul City Summit 1996 went much further in recognizing that cities and local authorities, as the level of governance closest to the people, are essential partners of national governments and the international institutions in the processes of translating international agreements on economic, social and environmental issues into effective action on the ground. Agenda 21 adopted in Rio recognized that these “global problems have their roots in local actions” and that cities are thus key actors in the quest for sustainable development. In response to the trends and political developments outlined above, cities and local authorities have also taken significant initiatives to define their role as partners in the international policy processes addressing urban issues. Moreover, they have stated their wish to participate in drawing up the ground rules for future international programs and to engage in sustained dialogue with the international community about development priorities and approaches. Establishment of the Secretariat of the Asian Mayors Forum in Tehran in 2008 has the goal of preparing fertile grounds for discussing successful experiences and innovative ideas for enhancement of cooperation among cities in Asia while also providing an opportunity for cities and municipalities to engage in dialogue and deal with new challenges facing Asian cities.