Colognes Mayor's Conference "Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation"
28th November - 1st December
The Cologne Mayors' Conference "Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation" is jointly organized by the City of Cologne, the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA), the Union of Local Authorities in Israel (ULAI) and the Municipal Alliance for Peace in the Middle East (MAP). The owners of the conference and follow-up initiatives are APLA and ULAI, the municipal associations in Palestine and Israel and also the stakeholders of MAP.
Further partners are VNG International (Netherlands), the German and French sections of CEMR, Cités Unies France (CUF), and the Standing Committee for the Euro Mediterranean Partnership of Local and Regional Authorities (COPPEM).
The conference will bring together invited representatives of municipalities from Europe and the Middle East as well as representatives of national governments and donor organizations to discuss how cities may co-operate across borders in order to improve the living conditions of their citizens and facilitate mutual understanding, respect and peace in the Middle East. As general guidlines, the "Joint Understanding of IULA, FMCU, APLA and ULAI" of 2003 ("Wittenburg Declaration") and the Declaration "Municipal Alliance for Peace in the Middle East" of 2005 ("MAP establishing Declaration") are the political platform and common denominator of the Cologne conference.
The aims of the Cologne conference are
- to present best practice examples of bi-, tri- and multilateral co-operation projects between Israeli, Palestinian and European municipalities,
- to discuss and promote the specific role and unique potential of city-to-city cooperation in a region of conflict,
- to lead to new concrete bi- and trilateral cooperation agreements thus bringing people together on a real and meaningful level ("deeds, not words"),
- to promote the improvement and establishment of funding mechanisms by national, European and international development agencies in support of city-to-city cooperation in the Middle East.
Finally, the forum shall generate new city-to-city cooperation agreements rather than a political statement. Moreover, the Cologne Mayor's Conference shall only be the beginning of a series of similar conferences in order to keep the momentum and broaden the initative.
29th to 30th November 2011
Internal round table between Israeli and Palestinian mayors
In the round table mayors will develop concrete ideas for cross-border cooperation projects between Palestinian and Israeli local authorities, especially in the fields of environment, water issues, infrastructure and economic development.
30th November to 1st December 2011
Forum "Euro - Middle East City-to-City-Cooperation"
The forum, to which European mayors and representatives of municipal associations, governments and donor organizations will be invited, shall explore and promote the potential of Euro-Middle East city-to-city partnerships, engage international partners and lead to the signing-in to new interregional projects.
26th November to 3rd December
The mayors' conference will be preceded and accompanied by a Youth Forum, to be held from and organized by the City of Cologne, the Cologne Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Bethlehem University and the University of Tel Aviv-Yafo. It will bring together young people from Bethlehem, Cologne and Tel Aviv-Yafo who shall develop ideas for a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Middle East 2025. Their conclusions will also serve as an input to the forum.
City of Cologne - The Mayor
International Affairs Office
Mr. Frieder Wolf
Phone: +49 (0)221 / 221-26031
Fax: +49 (0)221 / 221-21849