Press Release

April 10, 2000

Conference of Mayors Concludes First Transatlantic Mayors Summit in Lyon, France with Commitment for Future Partnership
Conference President Webb Welcomes German, French Mayors
into "Cities 2000" Initiative

The United States Conference of Mayors concluded the first Transatlantic Mayors Summit in Lyon, France on April 8, with an invitation to the 30 participating French, German, and U.S. Mayors to meet again in Denver and Berlin to continue their work on the challenges of globalization in fast-growing urban centers. The Summit was a joint effort of the U.S. embassies in Germany and France, the Aspen Institutes in France and Germany, and The Conference.

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"Our cities are economic engines that drive our respective nation's economies, and through our collective efforts and partnership we can fully claim the role of international economic and cultural brokers," said Mayor Wellington E. Webb, Mayor of Denver and President of The Conference. "Today, Mayors have an unprecedented level of access to international markets, and credibility in international business and media circles. This partnership will help Mayors from these three nations to forge relationships which will benefit all our cities."

Added Jean Paul Delevoye, President of the French Association of Mayors, "This year's meeting set an exciting start to discussions on urban issues, and showed clearly the need for Mayors from both sides of the Atlantic to learn from each others successes and problems."

The Mayors decided to set up a working group to meet in Denver prior to holding another plenary session in Berlin in 2001. In issuing the invitation to meet next year in Germany, Mayor Herbert Wagner of Dresden said that the Lyon meeting of Mayors from diverse social and economic constituencies had underlined the international role that cities would increasingly play in the 21st century.

This event is one in a series of international exchanges taking places as part of The United States Conference of Mayors' "Cities 2000" initiative. "Cities 2000" was launched earlier this year by Mayor Webb, to promote the role of cities in the international economic and political arena, and to facilitate the exchange of metropolitan best practices and strategies across continents.

Initiated by Felix G. Rohatyn, United States Ambassador to France, and John Kornblum, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, the meeting was conceived by The United States Conference of Mayors in coordination with the Aspen Institutes in Germany and France. The Lyon meeting was hosted by Raymond Barre, former Prime Minister of France and Mayor of Lyon, France, and was attended by Mayors of 30 cities in Germany, France and the U.S.

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. As President of The United states Conference of Mayors, Mayor Webb represents over 1,100 Mayors throughout the United States. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

For further information contact: Jubi Headley at (202) 861-6766