Ministry of Urban Development

The inception meeting of the sixth U20 cycle is underway in Ahmedabad on 9-10 February 2023


Urban 20 (U20), an Engagement Group under the G20, which brings together city sherpas, mayors and representatives from cities in G20 countries

Posted On: 09 FEB 2023 7:16PM by PIB Ahmedabad

Urban 20 (U20), an Engagement Group under the G20, which brings together city sherpas, mayors and representatives from cities in G20 countries, to collectively deliberate key urban challenges and inform the G20 negotiations. The inception meeting of the sixth U20 cycle is the City Sherpa meeting, which is underway in Ahmedabad on 9-10 February 2023. Ahmedabad is the chair city for U20. The event is being attended by over 70 delegates from close to 40 cities and more than 200 participants from participant an observer  cities, U20 Conveners, representatives from various working groups and engagement groups of the G20, senior officials from government, national and international organizations and other invited guests.

The event began with all dignitaries and participants observing a few moments of silence in solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria and praying for the well-being of those affected by the recent disaster.

 

The opening ceremony commenced with lighting of the lamp and a welcome address by the Hon’ble Mayor of Ahmedabad, Shri Kiritkumar J Parmar. This was followed by an inspiring audio-visual message from Hon’ble Unipn Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri. Thereafter, the key note address was delivered by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel, in which he highlighted the rich urban legacy of Ahmedabad, a UNESCO World Heritage City, and recounted various urban development initiatives being undertaken by the Government of Gujarat under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.

India’s G20 Sherpa, Shri Amitabh Kant shared his thoughts on the importance of the U20 engagement group, given the importance of cities in taking forward the global sustainable development agenda. He gave a clarion call to all delegates to act as brand ambassadors of India’s G20 presidency and carry the message of de-globalizing, de-carbonizing and digitizing cities.

The U20 Conveners from C40 and UCLG facilitated a round of introductions by all the City Sherpas present at the meeting.

The second session explored areas of convergence between urban priorities and aspects being discussed as part of key G20 working groups. The session included presentations by Mr. Solomon Arokiraj, Chair, Infrastructure Working Group, Mr. Kamal Kishor, Coordinator, Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group and Dr. Sandip Chatterjee, Member, Digital Economy Working Group. They stressed on the importance of collaboration and convergence of the G20 streams with U20. The Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs also made a special presentation on ‘India’s Urban Imperative’ highlighting the need for reforms in urban planning frameworks, infrastructure financing and moving towards sustainable services.

A special session was held to showcase the pioneering work being undertaken by Ahmedabad and other cities in Gujarat. The speakers, Shri Mukesh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of Gujarat, Shri Keshav Varma, chairperson, HLC of urban planners, urban economists and institutions, and Prof. H.M.Shivanand Swamy - Professor Emeritus, CoE-UT spoke about successful examples of affordable housing, riverfront development and sustainable urban transport among others.

In the last session city Sherpas from around the world discussed the urban issues and opportunities that they want to discuss in priority with their G20 national government counterparts. Praveen Chaudhary, Sherpa for the city of Ahmedabad (U20 2023 Chair), presented the main issues that the city wants to address during their leadership. Sri Hayati, Sherpa for the city of Jakarta (U20 2022 Chair) shared evidence of the impact that U20 can have by demonstrating that during Jakarta’s cycle the U20 recommendations focused on infrastructure financing were reflected and endorsed by the G20 Leaders Bali Declaration. Over 20 international cities took part in the open floor discussion and responded to invitations issued by G20 dignitaries that morning, to continue dialogue between the G20  workstreams and U20.

The day concluded with a city excursion for the delegates to Sabarmati Ashram and Atal Bridge. This was followed by a special programme hosted by the government of Gujarat at the Sabarmati Riverfront including a musical and dance performance and a Gala dinner.

YP/GP/JD



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