Mayors of the Americas Share Challenges and Solutions on Migration and Climate Change

June 8, 2022
Contact: Inter-American Dialogue 

Los Angeles, CA –  Leaders from the region shared best practices on the issues of migration response and economic inclusion, as well as climate adaptability in the Americas that could be replicated according to the needs of each city. The meeting was attended by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

With the purpose of sharing and consolidating actions that will help us continue to build more inclusive, sustainable, productive, intelligent and safe cities in the Americas, CAF, Development Bank of Latin America, the Dialogue, and the City of Los Angeles organized the first Summit of Mayors, within the framework of the IX Summit of the Americas.

The meeting, which brought together 15 mayors from around the Americas, addressed two central themes of discussion in which cities share challenges and solutions: climate change and migration. The diagnosis is clear. According to figures from UN Habitat, more than 113 million people live in informal settlements, a trend that is especially driven by the migration growth rate, which has increased by at least 107 percent during the last three decades, resulting in challenges for cities and affecting their environmental and social sustainability.                     

The meeting was opened by the president of the Dialogue, Rebecca Bill Chavez; the executive president of CAF, Sergio Díaz-Granados; and the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. The closing remarks were made by U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken.

“The innovative policies that are generated at the local level are more important than ever as we see national governments stymied by polarization, gridlock, and stalemate. In many cases, it is mayors who are providing the much-needed innovative solutions,” said Rebecca Bill Chavez, president of Inter-American Dialogue.

CAF’s executive president, Sergio Díaz-Granados, noted: “With this event CAF once again reaffirms its commitment to working with local governments in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of contributing to their sustainable development through concrete actions that help them to face major challenges, such as climate and migration, for the benefit of the whole population.”

During his speech, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, affirmed that: “Los Angeles is a city where diversity is our greatest strength – where our melting pot of cultures and backgrounds give us deep connections throughout our hemisphere.” “We’re honored to host the Ninth Summit of the Americas to celebrate our shared history with our neighbors to the south and the north, and to continue working hand-in-hand on the solutions to the pressing challenges our residents faces,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

Finally, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, said: “I met with mayors from across the United States and the broader hemisphere in Los Angeles today to build partnerships toward more sustainable and resilient cities. I announced that we will host the first Cities Summit in Denver in April 2023.”

We consider to be it of the utmost importance to strengthen these spaces for dialogue and exchange between mayors of the Americas. For this reason, CAF and Inter-American Dialogue will hold this meeting annually, where leaders from the region will meet to reflect on opportunities for collaboration and best practices to address issues that affect citizens in general.