Promote Democracy And Civic Innovation On The Global Stage
The majority of the world’s population now lives in cities — and the share is growing, making the role of city governments more important than ever. Cities stand on the front lines of challenges such as climate change, inequality, and migration, even as some national governments abandon global commitments on these issues. As host city to the United Nations and home to the largest diplomatic community in the world, New York City is uniquely positioned to ensure cities have a say in global policy decisions that impact the lives of New Yorkers. New York City will work with cities around the world to strengthen efforts to promote democracy and civic innovation worldwide.
When the United States withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, Mayor de Blasio took practical action by signing an executive order the very next day committing New York City to the principles of the Paris Agreement, inspiring cities around the country to do the same. A few months later, we became the first city in the world to publish a plan to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. These actions build upon our longstanding leadership in the area of climate change, having partnered with cities across the world in coalitions such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Additionally, New York City is at the forefront of global migration advocacy. While local governments don’t get to decide who comes to our cities, we are responsible for the well-being and inclusion of our new arrivals, from access to education and health care, to their relationships with law enforcement. Cities have a responsibility to make sure our new neighbors have the resources to thrive. That’s why we assembled a coalition of 50 cities to advocate for the inclusion of local voices in the global migration dialogue. We will continue to lift up the collective voices of cities in the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration, pressing for measures such as expanded access to public services for immigrants worldwide, ensuring access to proof of identity, and more. Despite New York City’s progress, we remain a city with daunting challenges, just like the global community we reflect. At the same time, New York City is a hub for finance, tech, and creativity, and is therefore a place of opportunity and ultimately hope for the world. We will continue to engage in city diplomacy to both learn from municipalities around the world, and share the strategies that have succeeded here.
New York City is committed to doing its part to realize the SDGs. The Mayor’s Office for International Affairs (IA) established the Global Vision | Urban Action program to share New York City’s innovations in sustainability with cities and countries from around the world. Through this program, the City invites the diplomatic corps to visit communities to see firsthand how the City is implementing SDGs at the local level, and to discuss shared challenges. In turn, New York City represents local voices at the UN to infuse our city’s perspective into global policy discussions regarding the implementation of the SDGs. We will continue to strengthen New York City’s relationships with cities across the world to help achieve all 17 SDGs by 2030.
Youth engagement is key to achieving the SDGs. We will continue to empower youth through the NYC Junior Ambassadors program. This program empowers seventh graders (ages 11–13) to become global citizens actively engaged with the United Nations and its mission of addressing the most pressing challenges in the world through curated tours of the United Nations, classroom visits from diplomats, and a community project designed to address the priorities selected by each class.