The 5th Executive Board Meeting of Asian Mayors Forum (AMF) was organized successfully with parallel sessions on transportation and tourism, on 29 August 2015, in Tehran, Iran, hosted by Tehran Municipality. Many mayors and representatives from MEWA region including Adana, Baghdad, Büyükçekmece, Diyarbakır, Elmadağ, Eyyübiye, Gaziantep, Gaziosmanpaşa, Istanbul, Isfahan, Kocaeli, Konya, Osmangazi, Pendik, Seferihisar, participated in the meeting.
The program started with the opening speech of Mohammed Khodadi, Secretary General of AMF. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General who took the floor after Mr. Khodadi, underlined the contributions of civil society’s organization in the west to the traffic problem by remarking the relation between transportation and tourism. Duman, giving the example from the high tourism statistics in the cities of developed countries, stated that “In developed countries investment and planning on tourism have been transferred to local governments from central governments. Tourism is one of the important sources of income, in fact in many places it is considered as the most important source of income. Every year London welcomes tourists which double the population of the city, and Paris hosts tourists approximately eight times more than its population.  In today’s world there is a tendency on transferring responsibility in many areas such as security and economy from central governments to local governments. Therefore, municipalities are trying to create opportunities in the city they serve, in order to increase the production of patent as one of the criteria of development, and they switch to smart cities. In such an atmosphere, it’s time for Asian cities that have such a historical wealth, to make a leap to increase tourism incomes. “
Ahmet Selamet, Deputy Mayor of Istanbul, who took the floor on behalf of Dr. Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul and President of UCLG, drew attention to the increasing graphic of Asian cities. He mentioned the important problems that local authorities should fight against such as global warming, poverty, and migration. At the end of his speech, Mr. Selamet mentioned the cities where drama and disasters are happening in the countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Both Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, and Dr. Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf, Mayor of Tehran, UCLG-MEWA President, UCLG Vice President, and Founder of AMF who made speeches after Ni Qiang, Mayor of Haikou and President of AMF, mentioned the urgent need for peace in the region. Şahin also drew attention to the situation of citizens who migrated because of the situation in Syria.
In the second day of the event, UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture Meeting was organized.  The membership application of Konya Metropolitan Municipality to the committee was accepted in the meeting where local authorities shared their cultural activities with each other. Moreover, it was proposed to organize a side event for UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture at the 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that will be held on 10-20 July 2016 and hosted by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
In parallel with the UCLG-MEWA Committee on Culture meeting, workshops titled “Transport and Traffic Management: Sustainable Urban Transportation in Asian Cities” and “Culture and Economy Urban Tourism” were organized in the second day.
The other part of the meeting which started in Tehran, continued in Qazvin on 31 August 2015. Technical parallel sessions on Sustainable Urban Transportation in Asian Cities, and Culture and Economy of Urban Tourism in Asian Cities were held in Qazvin. With the presentation of the reports of technical meetings, the 5th meeting of Asian Mayors Forum was concluded.

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