22 February 2022, Beijing – Facilitated by United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), Mexico City of Mexico and Luoyang of China held a video conference for friendly exchanges. At the meeting, government officials from the two cities discussed how to promote exchanges and cooperation under the current epidemic situation.
The exchange was organized in continuation of a two-day online study course & experience exchange on “Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Tourism Development” under the UNOSSC Cities Project in December 2020 to share good practices and experiences in developing regional attractiveness and achieving sustainable tourism. Such measures include rediscovering historical/world heritage assets and facilitating partnership brokering among multiple stakeholders from the global South. Twelve Mexican cities joined the event with their Chinese counterparts, including Luoyang City. In the post-webinar survey, many cities expressed strong interest in cooperation and partnerships.
Building on this, UNOSSC, UNESCO Mexico and Mexican World Heritage Cites Association (MWHCA) formulated a joint pilot project to enhance cities’ capacities for achieving sustainable growth and recovery of the tourism sector and facilitate city-to-city knowledge sharing and mutual learning through South-South cooperation.
Mexico City and Luoyang are both endowed with rich cultural and historical heritage. In Luoyang, Longmen Grottoes date back to the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907) and represent the high point of Chinese stone carving. In Mexico City, the Historic Centre has about 1,500 buildings of monumental value, 196 civil and 67 religious monuments and concentrates the largest number of museums and venues.
At the meeting, Mr. BAI Zhibin, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Luoyang City, introduced the city’s cultural and tourism assets and expressed strong interest in collaborating with Mexico City in the areas of trade, technology, education and tourism.
”“As 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Mexico, Luoyang would like to have friendly exchanges with cities of Mexico, as well as seek opportunities to establish a sister city relationship with Latin American cities,” Mr. Bai said.
Ms. Diana Alarcon, the General Coordinator of Advisors and International Affairs, Government of Mexico City, pointed out that the two cities are faced with similar challenges, such as building cities that are friendly and sustainable for all. To achieve the goal, Mexico City has invested in infrastructure upgrading, especially in transportation, and improved education and social services.
”“Enhancing our city-to-city relationship will be a great opportunity for us to learn from what you have done, to look at successful experiences of economic development, of social integration, of cultural enhancement among your people,” stated Ms. Alarcon.
Officials from the two cities look forward to regular conversations with each other, to identifying areas of interest, and to sharing cultural events agenda and experience in new technology and innovation. Both sides thanked UNOSSC for providing a platform to build and strengthen city-to-city relationships, as well as the Cities Project’s facilitation and support under the framework of South-South cooperation.
About South-South Cities Clusters
Under the Cities Project, “South-South Cities Clusters” were launched on the South-South Galaxy platform as an online community of practice dedicated to facilitating information sharing, knowledge exchange, networking, and project collaboration among cities, local authorities, UN agencies, and other development partners. Currently, it offers interactive thematic spaces on COVID-19 Response and Public Health; Sustainable Tourism Recovery, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy; Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development; E-Commerce Development, Digitization and Smart Cities; Disaster Risk Reduction, Mitigation and Resilient Cities; Sustainable Transport, Air Quality, Waste Management, Green Cities as well as Renewable Energy Development. Today’s exchange also serves as an inaugural exchange of renewable energy cities cluster. Cities partners who joined today’s exchange expressed their strong interests in participating in more future sectoral exchanges with a broader international development community through the South-South Cities Cluster platform.