At the invitation of the U.S. Consulate General in Düsseldorf, the mayors of Bonn, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Münster attended the 86th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. on January 24 and 25, 2018. The four mayors were also part of an international delegation of experts and mayors from across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland who gathered on the margins of the U.S. Conference of Mayors to launch the Public-Private Partnership Task Force Against Hate. The Task Force, sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in partnership with the German Marshall Fund, seeks to provide a forum to exchange best practices and discuss the resources needed to build inclusive, tolerant, and resilient communities. Additionally, the four mayors from North Rhine-Westphalia themselves led a roundtable discussion on strategies for building inclusive cities, federal-local dynamics in the German context, and opportunities for continued transatlantic engagement. The U.S. Consulate General in Düsseldorf supported the mayors’ participation and was pleased their attendance offered excellent opportunities to discuss solutions, challenges, and strategies to mitigate the impact of violent extremism with other mayors whose cities are members of the Strong Cities Network, the first global network of mayors. The four mayors returned with new insights and innovative ideas on how to better tackle one of the biggest challenges of Western societies. We thank them for their participation and look forward to our continued partnership with their cities as well as all of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Photo from left to right: Mayor Markus Lewe, Münster – Geraldine Gardner, The German Marshall Fund of the United States – Mayor Thomas Kufen, Essen – Mayor Thomas Geisel – Mayor Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, Bonn