Mayoress Martina Rudowitz welcomed the guests to the Hans-Sachs-Haus in Gelsenkirchen. She appreciated the fact that the municipalities present are keen to continue to open up internationally, for the purposes of economic, ecologic and social sustainability. “I wish you lasting and great success in this”, she said. Ulrich Kaltenbach from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) emphasized: “Municipalities worldwide are faced with enormous challenges. Increasing urbanisation, poverty, the growing number of refugees, climate change, health care and mobility are but a few of them. In many cities, several smart minds are already working on practical solutions for these challenges. Municipalities are therefore very important. They have the knowledge to find solutions to global problems at the local level.”
Over the course of both conference days, the participants worked intensively on the topic of the SDGs and on ways to implement them at the municipal level. Among the partnerships are both new municipal partnerships as well as partnerships that have already cooperated for a long time and are now seeking new joint impulses for sustainable municipal development. Both small rural municipalities as well as metropolises are participating. With the partnership between Munich, the district of Treptow-Köpenick in Berlin and Subotica in Serbia, an international tripartite municipal partnership is also represented in the pilot project.