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European Chapter of Mayors for Peace Activity Report

January 2020
Report by Sean Morris, UK & Ireland Mayors for Peace Chapter Secretary

Launch of the cross-national European Chapter

As per the decision at the Executive Conference in November last year, the Mayors for Peace European Chapter was formally launched in January 2020, with the Mayor of Granollers as its Chair.

The legal statutes of the Chapter, are now being developed. Other issues are also being discussed among core working members, including drafting of the Operational Plan in 2020, establishment of the Secretariat in Granollers, and putting together of a European Chapter website. As 2020 moves forward, the Chapter will move forward its activities across the continent.

European Mayors for Peace representatives attend the Basel Peace Forum and associated meetings

On January 9-10, 2020, the Mayor of Granollers led a delegation of European lead city representatives to Basel in Switzerland to attend the annual Basel Peace Forum and a number of associated meetings. The Basel Peace Forum was initiated by the civil society group 'Swisspeace' and is partially funded by the Cantonal City of Basel. Every January it brings together an impressive collection of civil society groups; local, national and international politicians and officials; academics, humanitarian organisations; business contacts, journalists and artists to discuss different aspects of peace-making and peace-building.

The 2020 Basel Peace Forum focused on the issue of 'Cities for Peace' and included a lead panel discussion between the Mayor of Tirana, Albania, the Mayor of Maidan Shahr, Afghanistan, and an architect who was formerly a senior official at the City of Aleppo in Syria. The two-day event included an interesting mix of seminars and workshops.

A side meeting was held between the Basel Peace Office, the Mayors for Peace European Chapter and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) which brought together a wide mix of youth groups working on climate change, nuclear non-proliferation issues and peace education. The meeting included short presentations from the Mayor of Granollers and the Vice Chair of PNND, as well as presentations on a number of dynamic youth education projects. This included the awarding of the first 'Peace and Climate action of European Youth (PACEY)' award to a project in Mitrovica, Kosovo. The project is trying to bring together young people from the Kosovan Albanian and Serb communities in this divided city to create a community garden on the roof of the City Hall. Mayors for Peace is in touch with the organisers of this project as part of developing wider links in the area.

The Mayors for Peace delegation also held a meeting with senior leaders of Basel City Canton and held a short meeting discussing progress with the European Chapter.

(Photo Courtesy of European Chapter of Mayors for Peace)

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