200 Mayors Sign “Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy”

March 28, 2023
3 min read
Photo credit: Triff / Shutterstock.com

200 Mayors from five continents endorse the Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy promoted collaboratively by the Global Parliament of Mayors, GMF Cities, and the Pact of Free Cities. The declaration is being presented at an official event for the second Summit for Democracy (S4D2).  Building Democracy from the Ground Up:  The Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy. 


WASHINGTON, DC – The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), the Global Parliament of Mayors, and the Pact of Free Cities, are delighted to announce that 195 mayors, from more than 50 countries on five continents have signed the Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy.

The declaration will be presented at the official sub-cabinet level event co-sponsored with USAID for the second Summit for Democracy (S4D2) “Building Democracy from the Ground Up: The Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy”. The program of the virtual event features a few of the signers – the mayors of Kyiv (Ukraine), Amsterdam (Netherlands), St. Louis (United States), Banjul (The Gambia), Buenos Aires (Costa Rica), and Seoul (Republic of Korea) – and will be moderated by Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Special Representative for City and State Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State.

Cities are on the front lines of the fight to preserve liberal democracy. The more than 35 Ukrainian mayors who have signed the declaration – more than any other country – are a testament to this. Even as they are fighting for the existence of their democracy, and with a relatively recent history of decentralization and local autonomy, their unwavering commitment to the values of democracy and the role of cities in furthering and fortifying these through practices and policies on-the-ground is remarkable.

An early signer and speaker at the official cities event of the second Summit for Democracy, Rohey Malick Lowe, Lord Mayor of Banjul (The Gambia) said: “Democracy, its institutions, and processes are in high demand. This is especially clear as they recede around the world. It is critical to deepen and sustain democratic principles, while encouraging political leaders to offer ways for people to get engaged in pushing back against growing authoritarianism and strengthening democratic institutions and processes.”

The Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy builds on a previous initiative of the mayors of Budapest, Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw, who saw the growth of illiberal forces eroding democracy in their respective countries and united to develop in 2019 the powerful Pact of Free Cities. All four mayors have signed the Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy, as have dozens of their colleagues worldwide—from Fort Collins to Freetown, and from Seattle to Skopje. A video of the Pact of Free Cities’ founding mayors speaking about the declaration is here.

The declaration’s origin is in the commitments mayors made at the 2021 Summit for Democracy and informed by a dialogue on democracy hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and GMF Cities. The declaration was also highlighted in the September G7 communiqué as an important example of cities taking responsibility for addressing global challenges and playing a critical role in democratic innovation.


German Marshall FundAngelina Sutalo, Senior Press Officer; Irvin McCullough, Press Officer

Email: [email protected]; [email protected], Phone:  +32 486 514 479; +1 202-876-6605

Global Parliament of Mayors: Caroline Schep, Executive Director GPM Secretariat, [email protected], Phone: +31 (0)6 22 01 63 23

Pact of Free Cities: Oliver Pilz, City Diplomacy Officer, City of Budapest, [email protected], Phone: +36 308 778 437