IPMCS hosts Hemispheric Mayors Conference

Miami, Fla. — The XIV Inter-American Conference of Mayors and Local Authorities, sponsored by Miami-Dade County and organized by Florida International University’s Institute for Public Management and Community Service (IPMCS), will take place June 16-19, 2008 at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Miami, Florida. This year's conference theme is “Building the Productive, Efficient, and Equitable Municipality: New Challenges – New Opportunities.” An estimated 600 mayors from throughout the hemisphere are expected to participate.

Among the confirmed speakers include the Director of the United Nations Division of Public Administration and Development Management, Mr. Guido Bertucci, the Assistant Administrator for Latin America of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr. Jose Cardenas, the Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Hon. Samuel Moreno Rojas and the President of the Inter-American Foundation, Amb. Larry Palmer, among other mayors and government officials.

This year’s program will focus heavily on how to establish and maintain public-private partnerships for promoting growth and economic development. Additional presentations will be made on the state of decentralization in the hemisphere, local governance, access to justice, promotion of transparency and communication within municipalities. Representatives from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in addition to several municipal associations, will be present.

The first Inter-American Conference of Mayors was held in Washington, D.C., attended by approximately 100 people, and co-sponsored by the USAID, IDB, the Organization of American States and the World Bank. The second conference, co-sponsored by the same organizations, was held in Miami and almost 200 individuals participated. Since that time, the conference has grown to be a major event for elected local officials of the region.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Senator Javier D. Souto, who has taken a leadership role in initiating the conference every year, commented that “the conference provides an opportunity for leaders from throughout the hemisphere to share thoughts about the building of democratic institutions and the promotion of good governance and economic development though increased exchanges between the countries of the Americas.”

The Director of the IPMCS, Dr. Allan Rosenbaum, noted “the conference also provides an opportunity for people to share ideas about the improvement of local service delivery and the building of more effective, transparent and responsible municipal government.”