Sister Cities International will host its 57th Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, July 11-13. Over three days, more than 500 community leaders, citizen diplomats, business executives, educators, mayors, and municipal officials from the U.S. and around the world will meet to discuss the power of multi-sector partnerships in building “Sustainable Cities. Sustainable Relationships.”
“The conference is an exciting opportunity for engaged citizens and sub-national officials to learn, network, and share best practices to strengthen and grow their sister city programming,” said Mary D. Kane, President & CEO, Sister Cities International.
The conference, being held in San Antonio for the first time, will celebrate and promote the sustaining relationships of internationally linked cities. San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, serving as the honorary chair of this year’s conference, and the City of San Antonio will host delegations and several mayors from five of its sister cities including Monterrey and Guadalajara in Mexico; Gwangju, South Korea; Kumamoto, Japan; and Wuxi, China; and four of its relationship cities including Puebla and Queretaro in Mexico and Nanjing and Yangzhou in China. This conference also marks the first time San Antonio hosts multiple sister city delegations at one time.
“San Antonio has a long and proud history of strong economic and cultural ties with cities and countries around the world, especially with our sister cities,” said Mayor Castro. “I am excited to welcome attendees of this year’s conference to San Antonio so they can see what makes it a diverse, economically vibrant and globally competitive city with a solid vision for national and international economic development.”
Conference speakers include: Julián Castro, Mayor, San Antonio; Henry Cisneros, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Former Mayor, San Antonio; Seishi Kohyama, Mayor, Kumamoto, Japan; Kang Un-Tae, Mayor, Gwangju, South Korea; Margarita Arellanes, Mayor, Monterrey, Mexico; His Excellency Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Ambassador of Indonesia to the United States; and The Honorable Hideaki Mizukoshi, Minister and Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan; The Honorable Klaus-Jochen Guhlcke, Consul General of Germany in Houston; The Honorable Alexander K. Zakharov, Consul General of Russia in Houston; The Honorable Parvathaneni Harish, Consul General of India in Houston; The Honorable Koo Hyunmo, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Houston; Junichiro Chano, Director, Japan Foundation; and Xie Yuan, Vice President, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
The 2013 Sister Cities International Annual Conference will also feature the 2nd Urban Environment Accords Summit. The Summit will provide an opportunity for cities to showcase best practices in sustainability. The UEA was signed by 52 cities in San Francisco on June 5, 2005 on World Environment Day and was created in conjunction with the United Nations Environmental Programme. Today, 149 member cities from 52 countries are signatories of the UEA. These accords are a set of 21 concrete actions across seven thematic areas to achieve sustainable development at the city level. The key issues addressed include energy, waste reduction, urban design, biodiversity, sustainable transport, environmental health, and water.
For detailed agenda and information on the Sister Cities International Annual Conference and the Urban Environmental Accords Summit, visit SisterCitiesConference.org