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Thursday, November 20, 2008
Asian mayors meet in Tehran
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf announced on Wednesday that the Asian mayors meeting in Tehran is the beginning of efforts to establish more contacts between nations.
The first Asian Mayors Forum opened on Wednesday at Milad Tower. A total of 44 mayors from 33 Asian countries are participating in the conference. Representatives from the UN, the EU, the OIC, ECO, and many other international bodies are attending the conference.
“The Asian mayors’ warm welcome of the meeting is a sign of the desire of citizens to develop relations between nations,” Qalibaf told the participants.
The Tehran mayor said he is proud that he is hosting dignitaries and representatives from great Asian cities in the conference.
He said Tehran hosts many conferences and international exhibitions every year but the Asian mayors meeting is of particular importance, as it is expected that experiences exchanged in the meeting will help develop cooperation through the establishment of constructive and friendly relations between city managers with the aim of improving the standard of living throughout Asia.
“Today is a historic day for Asia. Many mayors and city officials from large Asian cities have gathered in Tehran at the Milad Tower, which is the symbol of modern Tehran, to reaffirm their commitment to make every effort to build a better future for Asian citizens and to develop a new path for cooperation in this rich and colorful continent,” Qalibaf added.
He expressed his appreciation to all the participants for attending the Tehran forum and also thanked Asian parliaments, especially the government and parliament of Iran, for their support for the Tehran Municipality’s initiative to hold the meeting.
Qalibaf said the Asian Mayors Forum is just a starting point and their efforts to improve the standard of living and promote shared Asian values will accelerate day by day.
He stated that meeting society’s demands requires a cooperative approach and that the nature of global developments leaves no room for unilateral moves.
Common objectives have made modern man seek peace, security, justice, equality, welfare, sustainable development, democracy, and the rule of law, Qalibaf said.
“City management in Asia can be based on collective wisdom and common local examples. The Asian Mayors Forum in Tehran is being held with the aim of opening a new dialogue for city management and interaction among Asian citizens,” he added.
The diverse challenges Asian cities are facing necessitate dialogue on efficient management, he said, noting that resolving problems requires innovation on the one hand and learning from successful experiences on the other hand.
The mayor of Tehran added that the rapid process of urbanization has drawn attention to ways to develop cities.
The issue of sustainable development of cities, which is discussed in many academic venues, is a strategy for creating equality between citizens and all future generations, and sustainable development means prosperity for people living in urban areas, he noted.
What makes Asia powerful, developed, and influential in the world is its integration in all issues related to urban life, he observed.
In light of such integration, Asia is able to have a positive influence on current events, Qalibaf added.
To develop their capacity, Asian megacities should prioritize improving infrastructure in all spheres, including tourism, the economy, and technology, he said.
He emphasized that achieving integration among governments requires integration among citizens.
The establishment of the Asian Mayors Forum will definitely help all the cities improve their urban management, the Tehran mayor said.
Qalibaf also stated that the Tehran Municipality is prepared to establish a secretariat for the Asian Mayors Forum in Tehran