President Biden announced at the June 2022 Ninth Summit of the Americas that Denver, Colorado and the U.S. Department of State will host the inaugural Cities Summit of the Americas.
The Cities Summit of the Americas theme, “Global Challenges, Local Solutions,” inspires leaders from municipalities, provinces, states, and Tribal Nations across the Western Hemisphere to implement locally the commitments made by government leaders at the Ninth Summit of the Americas. Community activists, civil society, private sector, academic and youth representatives, as well as Indigenous organizations and representatives of under-represented groups will join in these discussions. These engagements will cultivate further regional cooperation and strengthen city-to-city ties throughout the hemisphere.
The Cities Summit of the Americas will implement the following commitments to effectively promote democratic governance, inclusive economic growth, humane and orderly migration, sustainability and resilience, and equitable social inclusion across the hemisphere.
- Denver Declaration on City Priorities for Regional Cooperation: Mayors from across the hemisphere will sign onto the Denver Declaration. City of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock will lead this landmark commitment by mayors attending the Cities Summit of the Americas to advance mutual priorities across their local communities, which include housing and sustainable development, migration, climate action, finance and investment, technology, and good governance.
- Cities Forward: A flagship urban sustainability initiative of the U.S. Department of State, Cities Forward fulfills commitments made at the Ninth Summit of the Americas by President Biden and Secretary Blinken. This program will support selected cities across the hemisphere develop sustainability action plans and implement projects that ignite job creation and innovation investment; mitigate pollution; strengthen climate resilience in the built environment; and improve health and welfare in underserved communities. Through a vast network of urban sustainability experts led by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and the Institute of the Americas, Cities Forward will support participating cities in their efforts to deliver transformative projects in green infrastructure, sustainable urban services, and the circular economy.
- Anti-Racist Cities Network and Anti-Racist Cities Pact: Launched by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Eduardo Paes, the Anti-Racist Cities Network and Anti-Racist Cities Pact expands on the work of 26 Brazilian cities to promote collaboration on anti-racist initiatives. With the support of cities across the region, including in the United States, efforts will focus on inclusivity in municipal governance and planning as well as sharing best practices learned in tackling racism.
- Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy: This declaration affirms an unwavering commitment by mayors from across the hemisphere to promote democracy, free and fair elections, and defend rule of law at all levels. Approaching the one-year mark of this effort, over 20 mayors globally have signed this declaration.
- Strong Cities Network: The Strong Cities Network launched in 2015 at the UN General Assembly. Since forming, this network has supported 160 local governments with responses to complex security and safety challenges. Mayors from across the Americas will renew commitments to institute city-led responses against hate, polarization, and extremism. The National League of Cities and the Atlantic Council will collaborate with the Strong Cities Network to release a statement on Enhancing Mayoral Leadership Against Hate, Extremism, and Polarization and Addressing Local Democracy in the Americas.
- Memorandum of Understanding on Combatting Fentanyl: This agreement between the City of Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs will bolster forensic capacity throughout the Americas to support the early detection of fentanyl use and other synthetic drugs as well as identify drug trends. This collaboration will enhance efforts to combat fentanyl use in communities across the United States and abroad.
- Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar (Alumni TIES): This new exchange program will bring 40 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs from across the United States and Western Hemisphere to Santiago, Chile. Participants will explore using a multi-sectoral approach for building climate resilience. The seminar will also focus on strengthening the capacity of regional urban centers to address the challenges of climate change.