The Mayor of Ahmedabad, Kiritkumar J Parmar, becomes chair of the 2023 Urban 20 (U20) cycle following the G20 presidency handover from the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of India.

Kiritkumar J Parmar will chair the sixth U20 cycle, taking place in 2023.

Following the handover from Jakarta, the U20 chair in 2022, and West Java, the U20 Summit co-chair in 2022, U20 cities will continue their engagement with the G20 and re-confirm their commitment to working together with national governments to address today’s complex challenges which often require a joint response from different spheres of government, focusing in particular on water security, climate finance and leveraging the potential of cities and their local identity. 

Mayor Parmar said: “The strength of the Urban 20 lies in its ability to bring together city leaders from all corners of the world to discuss and champion issues that transcend national boundaries. I look forward to welcoming fellow mayors to Ahmedabad and to working together to bring an urban perspective to the G20 agenda.”

Following in the footsteps of former chair cities, the sixth U20 chair will continue to call for enhanced partnership between cities and national governments and direct funding for cities in areas where urban action can deliver the most impact, as well as increasing ambition for an inclusive recovery at the national level. Ahmedabad will deliver a U20 agenda aligned with the priorities of India’s G20 presidency, which is centred around the theme “One Earth, One Family, One Future.” The agenda will present an opportunity for U20 cities to bring their joint voice to the G20 and define U20’s unique contribution to this year’s G20 policy dialogues.

G20 India Sherpa Amitabh Kant said: “India’s urban development trajectory has been such that while transitioning into ‘cities of tomorrow,’ we have aimed to retain ‘a sense of place’ to preserve the cultural heritage and local identity in connecting the old with the new. Some examples of the same are development projects across the cities of Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Ujjain, Bhubhaneshwar, etc., including the Sabarmati Riverfront, Kashi-Vishvanath Corridor and more. Hence, these are not only historical sites but also social and economic assets for local communities and national development.

“As U20, it is important to deliberate on building cities of tomorrow while preserving cultural heritage, promoting lifestyle for the environment (LiFE), accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and working towards building resilient, inclusive and sustainable futures.”

M. Thennarasan, Municipal Commissioner of Ahmedabad, said: “As we gather for the 2023 U20 cycle in Ahmedabad, let us come together as global citizens united in our pursuit of a sustainable future. Let us use the U20 platform as an opportunity to collaborate, innovate and reshape the global urban sector. With the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ guiding us, let us turn intentions to Action and work hand in hand toward creating a better tomorrow for all.”

Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities, said: “Collaboration is a particular strength of cities which understand the value of multilateralism, especially today. Urban 20 is an opportunity for city leaders to showcase urban leadership globally and show G20 leaders that they can support, invest and work with cities to address the multiple environmental, social and economic crises of the day.”

Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), said: “Local and regional governments are at the forefront tackling inequalities, development challenges and emergencies alike, while they bring about innovative action for the localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, cities continue to struggle with gaps in capacity, inadequate financial resources, lack of recognition, and recentralisation setbacks. Urban 20 remains the necessary space to call for solidarity amongst countries, building on the experiences of the municipal movement that are united to shape solutions to the growing interconnected crises.”

U20 cities will gather in Ahmedabad in mid-2023 for the U20 Mayors Summit and present their joint recommendations to the government of India ahead of the upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit, which is set to take place in New Delhi on 9–10 September 2023.

The first meeting of the 2023 U20 cycle will take place 9-10 February in Ahmedabad, India. Representatives from more than 20 cities from around the globe are expected to attend to discuss shared priorities and begin engagement with other G20 stakeholders.

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