City mayors form global alliance to combat infectious disease

By on 05/06/2020 | Updated on 24/09/2020
City mayors have agreed to support the free movement of people and goods between cities in future crises. (Photo by Ethan Brooke via Pexels).

Mayors and governors from 42 cities around the world came together last week to discuss ways to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and share ideas on how they might best recover from the crisis. They have agreed to form an alliance that would help cities respond to future outbreaks of infectious disease.

Hosted by Seoul Metropolitan Government between 1-5 June, the Cities Against COVID-19 (CAC) Global Summit 2020 took place via video conference and was attended by 120 city leaders.  

On 2 June, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon gave a keynote speech in which he shared the city’s COVID-19 quarantine strategy – widely regarded as having been successful in containing the virus – and outlined his proposals for “overcoming urban crises in the pandemic era”. This included a recommendation that an intercity network, potentially called the Cities Alliance Against Pandemic (CAAP), be created. The participating mayors agreed to his proposal.

The alliance will be the first international effort of world cities established to deal with infectious diseases. Its aim is to encourage cooperation between cities to pre-emptively respond to future infectious diseases, and to create models that can be adapted and deployed by cities around the world.

The mayors issues a statement detailing the roles of participating cities, including identifying recognition systems that could help to detect infectious diseases before they become widespread; sharing information and implementing joint efforts to contain viruses; and supporting the free movement of people and goods between cities.

“Mayors are not walls but bridge makers. I strongly agree with strengthening global solidarity and cooperation between world cities emphasised in the Seoul Statement,” London mayor Sadiq Khan said.

Jakarta governor, Anies Baswedan, added that he hopes the crisis will create an opportunity “for a future paradigm shift to digital innovation and the green economy”.

About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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