Last June 26 and 27, Berlin and its Governing Mayor Michael Müller (who is also a Co-president of Metropolis) hosted the 4th Global Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development. The event brought together 40 mayors from around the world, as well as representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society, who discussed the challenges faced by local authorities in receiving migrants and refugees, as well as their joint commitments on migration policies.
The event was a space of encounters, discussions and exchange of good practices in the field of local and metropolitan governance, especially for mayors and other city officials. The forum has shown that, in the overall context of urbanization, the focus of migration policies and reception of migrants and refugees from a local perspective becomes essential, especially when, in many cases, these local and metropolitan governments have neither the skills nor the resources (technical and financial) or the support from their respective national governments.
The conferences of the forum have been guided by the main frames of reference of global agendas, such as the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and indicated that we must work to make towns and cities more inclusive and cohesive.
One of the main results of the meeting was the declaration "Mayoral Declaration on Migrants and Refugees: Meeting Needs, Protecting Rights and Fostering Empowerment", which reinforces the need to work in a multi-level governance; a key recognition of local governments in the policies of reception of migrants and refugees; the need for the adaptation of public policies with the objectives of the global agendas; and finally a necessary transfer of resources and responsibilities to local governments.
Ten members of Metropolis were represented in the forum: Athens, Berlin, Beyrouth, Dakar, Durban, Johannesburg, Madrid, Quito and Rabat. From the Metropolis Secretariat General, Eugeni Villalbì, responsible for the projects Metropolis Observatory and the Platform Policy Transfer, attended the event after his participation in a workshop about local policies for the integration and acceptance of migrants held by the OECD on June 26, also in Berlin.