The U20 Engagement Group of G20 is set to convene on 7-8 July, 2023 for the highly anticipated Mayoral Summit. This year's summit is expected to be one of the largest U20 gatherings to date, with over 500 participants including Mayors, Deputy Mayors, city officials, and esteemed knowledge partners in attendance.
What is U20?
The U20, also known as Urban 20, is a city diplomacy initiative that brings together cities from G20 countries. Its primary objective is to foster ongoing engagement among cities and create a unified voice highlighting cities' crucial role in advancing the sustainable development agenda. As an engagement group within the broader G20 intergovernmental forum, the U20 plays a significant role in providing valuable perspectives, addressing concerns, and presenting innovative ideas from cities to enhance and enrich the overall G20 negotiations.
What will the U20 Mayoral Summit talk about?
The summit will feature a series of thematic sessions focusing on key areas of urban development. These sessions include:
- Decarbonising Built Environment: Exploring strategies to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability in the construction sector.
- Mainstreaming Women, Youth, and Children in Urban Development: Highlighting the importance of inclusivity and empowerment in shaping the future of cities.
- Redefining City Investments: A Global Urban Framework Utilizing Future Technologies. Examining innovative approaches to urban investment and leveraging cutting-edge technologies.
- Closing the Loop: Circular Economy in Water, Wastewater, and Solid Waste: Emphasizing the adoption of circular economy principles to promote resource efficiency.
- Building Climate-Responsive and Resilient Cities: Addressing the challenges of climate change and fostering resilience in urban areas.
- Making Data Work for People: Harnessing the power of data and analytics to improve urban governance and decision-making.
Who are the partners for the U20 Summit?
The U20 summit is a collaborative effort, bringing together esteemed knowledge partners from around the world. These partners include:
- World Economic Forum (WEF)
- C40 Cities
- All India Institute of Local Self Government (AIILSG)
Their expertise and contributions will enrich the summit's discussions and initiatives. Distinguished speakers and experts from organizations such as UN Agencies, World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and various multilateral organizations and development banks will participate in the sessions.
Global Representation at the Mayoral Summit
Delegates and participants from 57 cities worldwide, including 35 cities from India, will gather in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Gujarat for the Mayoral Summit.
Where is the U20 Summit 2023 being held?
As the chair of U20, Ahmedabad is taking the lead in hosting this prestigious event. The cities have put forth their priorities and objectives, which are prominently displayed through banners and posters across Ahmedabad.
Extensive Preparations for a Successful Summit
Ahmedabad is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the summit's success. In addition to the inaugural session and the symbolic handover of the U20 Communiqué by Mayors to G20 leaders, the two-day schedule is filled with various engaging activities. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), the Technical Secretariat of U20, and the U20 Conveners, C40 Cities, and UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments), are providing crucial support to Ahmedabad in organizing the summit.
Distinguished Inauguration and Perspectives
The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendrabhai Patel, and the Hon’ble Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Kaushal Kishore, will officially inaugurate the Mayoral Summit on 7 July. Kiritkumar J. Parmar, the Hon'ble Mayor of Ahmedabad, will extend a warm welcome on behalf of the city. Abhay Thakur, Sous Sherpa of G20, and Manoj Joshi, Secretary of MoHUA, will share their valuable perspectives on the development journey of Indian cities.
What Sessions and Spotlight Events are lined up at U20?
The summit will host thematic sessions focused on the six priority areas identified by U20. These priorities reflect the emphasis placed by the G20 on environmental responsibility, climate finance, and the cities of the future. The participating cities, including Tokyo, Riyadh, Paris, Surat, Srinagar, Amman, Los Angeles, New York City, Katowice, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Indore, Kitchener, London, Montevideo, Johannesburg, Kochi, and Durban, among others, will deliver talks and presentations during these sessions.
Additionally, the summit will feature spotlight sessions on:
- Decarbonising the Built Environment
- Mainstreaming Women, Youth, and Children in Urban Development
- Redefining City Investments
Exploring Ahmedabad's Cultural and Development Highlights
During the Mayoral Summit, delegates will have the opportunity to visit various landmarks in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. They will tour the state-of-the-art business district, GIFT City, in Gandhinagar. In Ahmedabad, delegates will partake in a heritage walk to explore the city's architectural marvels and visit Sabarmati Ashram, where they will learn about Mahatma Gandhi's pivotal role in India's Independence Movement and his message of peace and non-violence. Delegates will also witness the urban development initiatives in Ahmedabad, including the renowned Sabarmati Riverfront. Cultural events and authentic Gujarati cuisine will further enrich the delegates' experience.
Concluding with the Handover of the Communiqué
The summit will culminate with the symbolic handover of the Communiqué by the participating Mayors to G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant and the Hon’ble Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri. The Communiqué represents the outcome of U20 deliberations and is endorsed by cities across G20 countries.
By hosting the Mayoral Summit, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar aim to contribute to global discussions on urban priorities, sustainability, and future-oriented urban development. The U20 Engagement Group of G20 continues to serve as a vital platform for cities to collectively shape and inform G20 negotiations.