More than 200 mayors or their representatives will gather in Beijing next week to discuss the key role of local governments in meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals and managing the aftermath of disasters and disaster prevention.
They will also meet with representatives from the World Bank and the United Nations for the World Mayors Forum and the 2005 Council Meeting of the World Organization of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) from June 8-10.
This forum is being held in preparation for the Millennium Summit review in New York in September, where UCLG will be advocating in favor of the creation of an officially recognized advisory role for local governments with the UN.
It is the first time for UCLG, the largest world organization of local governments, which was founded in May 2004, to convene its world council meeting and theme forum in China.
"Because all the member countries have strong interests in China's development, so they choose Beijing as the venue for the second annual council meeting," said Chen Haosu, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), told a news conference on Friday.
More than 260 cities in China have built up friendly relations with nearly 1,200 counterparts in the world by the end of last year, said Chen, saying the establishment of such a kind of relationship of twin cities was mutually beneficial and provided a channel for broader city-to-city co-operation covering such areas as economy, culture, city construction and personnel exchanges.
"The responsibilities of local governments are to bring benefit to the public and give service to development, which are increasingly highlighted in the new century. Therefore, it's necessary for world mayors to often exchange experiences and seek common growth," he said.
The annual council meeting and the forum, hosted by CPAFFC, are expected to attract approximately 400 representatives including some professionals from 38 countries and regions.
(China Daily June 4, 2005)