Last July, 400 peoplegathered in Paris, to discuss various challenges that towns and regions are facing. The occassion was a conference organized by Cités Unies France (CUF), on the internationalization of towns and regions. While a large part of the representatives were French local government representatives, different delegations from partner countries, as well as embassy officials attended as well..
From urbanisation to climate to youth
The plenary talks focused on questions varying from “Facing the increasing urbanisation issues, what role can the local governments play?" to "What is our vision of the world for 2030? What is our local approach to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?” Three workshops were organised on the themes of Climate, Migration and Youth. Micro-workshops were held in parallel, allowing participants to promote their initiatives, projects and innovative approaches, such as CONNECT, the European Days of Local Solidarity (EDLS), the PLATFORMAwards or the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was an opportunity to listen and share experiences. The event was organized in partnership with PLATFORMA. The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by various actors (local authorities, companies, researchers, academics, representatives of civil society) was central to debates throughout the day.
A range of interesting speakers
Among the speakers were Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg and President of Cités Unies France, Ramon Javier Mestre, President of Mercocuidades, Mayor of Cordoba (Argentina), Emilia Saïz, Secretary General of Cities and Governments United Cities (UCLG), Jérémie Pellet, Deputy Director General of the French Development Agency, Brigitte Bariol Mathais, Director General, National Federation of Urban Planning Agencies (FNAU), Bettina Laville, State Councilor, Chair of the Committee 21 , Ronan Dantec, President of the Climate Chance Association, Christine Moro, Ambassador, Delegate for External Action of Local Authorities – DAECT / MEAE, Martin Bortzmeyer, Head of the Sustainable Development Delegation, Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Marlène Simeon, Director of PLATFORMA, Gérard Wolf, President of the Sustainable City Task Force of MEDEF International, and Gérard Pigault, President of the Presidents’ Conference of RRMA.
Latin-America side event
The second day consisted of a seminar named "Europe – Latin America “Crossed perspectives – towards sustainable international action”, organised at the City of Paris by Cités Unies France, AL-LAs network, Mercociudades and PLATFORMA. During this entire day, the relations with Latin America stood central.
Next year, Cités Unies France is organizing the tenth edition of the Meetings.