Are only mayors allowed to participate in the World Cities Summit 2022 in Singapore?

By August 4, 2022 Government, Society

We came across this post being shared on Twitter:

According to the post, Arvind Kejriwal who is Chief Minister of Delhi should not have been invited to the World Cities Summit held in Singapore from 31 July to 4 August 2022 as it is a conference for mayors of different cities.

For context, Kejriwal was initially invited by High Commissioner of Singapore Simon Wong to attend the summit on 1 July 2022 to discuss avenues for collaboration and cooperation in the sectors of water, waste management, and public housing. Later, it was announced that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, VK Saxena had rejected Kejriwal’s visit to Singapore for the global summit, stating that since the event was a conference of mayors, it would not be fitting for a Chief Minister to attend it. In his letter to Kejriwal, Saxena described urban governance in Delhi as being addressed by various bodies including the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in addition to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). As the GNCTD does not have exclusive domain over these issues then, Saxena advised Kejriwal to not attend the summit.

Subsequently, Kejiriwal’s reply to LG Saxena was published, where he argued that the summit was not just a Mayor’s conference, but a conference of mayors, city leaders, knowledge experts, and others. He further elaborated that it was of great pride to present the Delhi model of governance to city leaders from the whole world and concluded by stating that he would be going ahead with attending the conference.

Another spanner was thrown in the works however with the Singaporean government ultimately withdrawing their invitation to CM Kejriwal, with their reason being that the invitation acceptance deadline was 20 July and the Chief Minister’s had not submitted is response by then. Curiously, this was not the first time that the Indian government has blocked Kejriwal from attending an event of this nature with the Chief Minister having been prevented from attending the C40 World Mayors’ Summit held in Denmark as the Lieutenant General’s Office had commented that it was “not befitting of a chief minister to attend a mayors’ conference”.

Is the World Cities Summit only for mayors?

While the available information we could find did not exactly paint a clear picture on the circumstances and which party was most responsible for CM Kejriwal’s rejection from attending the summit, we decided to explore the claim that the World Cities Summit 2022 is an event only for mayors.

When we visited the official website for the summit, the list of attendees was divided into the categories of mayors/city leaders, ministers, moderators, partners, and speakers, immediately suggesting that the event is not solely attended by mayors like the tweet suggested.

Further research found that another Chief Minister from India, CM of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu had attended the summit in 2018, dispelling the claim that the summit is exclusively for mayors.

In conclusion, while the circumstances of CM Kejirwal’s rejection from attending the World Cities Summit 2022 are currently unclear, it is false that only mayors are allowed to participate in the World Cities Summit.

Leave a Reply