Seminar at French Senate explores key roles of local authorities in realizing peace

May 26, 2023[French Chapter]

Report by Ms. Loréna Schlicht, AFCDRP–Mayors for Peace France

City diplomacy is a valuable tool for promoting peace, and local and regional authorities play a crucial role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recognizing this, an increasing number of local authorities in France called for a forum to discuss ways in which they could contribute to realizing peace, specifically in relation to SDG 16, “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.” In response to this growing demand, AFCDRP–Mayors for Peace France and Cités Unies France collaborated to organize a seminar at the French Senate in Paris on May 26.

During the seminar, participants including senators, elected representatives from local authorities, academics, and members of civil society discussed local authorities’ actions toward peace at the local and international levels. The discussion highlighted the importance of collaboration to implement peace projects that transcend national borders and address global challenges.

The seminar commenced with the opening remarks by Rocher Karoutchi, Vice President of the Senate, François Rebsamen, Mayor of Dijon and President of Cités Unies France, and Philippe Rio, Mayor of Grigny and President of AFCDRP–Mayors for Peace France. In his remark, President Rio stated:

In their local public policies, cities are working to anchor the values of peace, solidarity and mutual understanding. […] Thanks to the global network of Mayors for Peace, this form of city diplomacy thrives and remains effective today. With commitment and determination, the network alerts national political decision-makers to the nuclear risk. The nuclear threat, which continues to escalate, is often invoked in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.

 Link to the seminar video (Website of the French Senate):–odd-16-les-collectivites-agissent-

Image and Photo: courtesy of AFCDRP–Mayors for Peace France