The Substantive work of the Meeting was organized in deliberations in a plenary setting and more focused discussions within three main commissions.
During the deliberations on 28 and 29 November 2012, the Mayors of South Delhi, Urmia, Gaziantep, Qom, Karaj, Madaripur, Rasht, Tabriz and representatives from Lahore, Guangzhou, Al Quds Al Sharif, Tabriz, and Dhaka addressed the meeting. The Mayor of Gaza, who could not attend the meeting because of the new attacks by Israel, had also sent a message to the General Assembly which was delivered by Secretary General of Manama Municipal Council. Ms. Agnès Bickart, as the special representative of Mr. Alain Le Saux, the Secretary General of Metropolis, also delivered his message expressing his will in sharing the information and expanding mutual co-operation with the AMF.
The discussions in the commissions were focused on three main topics:
1. Common Challenges to Asian Cities,
2. City to City Cooperation, and
3. Local Governance and Public Participation.
Upon requests by many Mayors and Representatives of the AMF Member Cities who participated in the Third General Assembly, it was decided to combine the sessions of the three AMF Standing Commissions in one full session in order to provide opportunities for smaller delegations to participate in all three Commissions and make further interaction among delegations possible.
The full session, chaired by Dr.Vallop Suwandee, Deputy Governor of Bangkok, and Mr.Jasim Redha, Secretary General of Manama Municipal Council, and supported by Secretary General of AMF and his team was held on 28 November, 2012, and a brief report of the deliberations and conclusions under each Commission follows:
Common Challenges to Asian Cities
The Mayors and Representatives of Shiraz, Urmia, Tabriz, Lahore, Kuwait City, Hu Chi Mineh City, Tehran, and Qom spoke on this subject.
References were made to the relation between local and central government and problems arising thereof. The Mayor of Tabriz emphasized on the importance of sustainability of financial resources for implementation of development projects and briefly explained his experience in turning any project into a profit making project in order to get the private sector involved with further development of cities.
The Mayor of Lahore noted the importance of sharing experiences and getting to know the successful samples and the representative of Hu Chi Mineh City suggested the creation of a disaster relief fund as means of more integrated cooperation of Asian cities in dealing with common challenges.
The Mayor of Qom referred to ever more expansion of big cities and raised the possibility of regional municipality as a way of dealing with challenges going beyond the extent of one single city. The representative of Tehran briefed the meeting of Tehran's achievements in devising and implementing a sustainable transportation network and emphasized that Traffic congestion as a challenge cannot be solved and needs to be managed through establishing a sustainable transportation system and a human-oriented city. Tehran also expressed its readiness to host an ad hoc Committee in cooperation with AMF to share its experiences with other member cities and prepare a data bank of Asian projects to advise the best sustainable urban transportation solutions to the Asian cities at the AMF events.
City to City Cooperation
Mayors and representative of Tehran, Guangzhou, Islamabad, Baalbek, Lahore, Dhaka, Kuwait City, Rasht and Urmia addressed the meeting on this subject.
The representative of Tehran in a statement dealt with expansion of direct city to city relations and proposed to the meeting to consider and recognize popular associations of Asian citizens as an important pillar of AMF. While inviting the AMF support for any media networking within the framework of Asian cities, he also proposed the consideration of an annual AMF award for personalities taking effective steps in efforts to promote interaction between Asian cities and citizens.
Other speakers while expressing interest and support for the idea of expansion of relations between Asian citizen, emphasized on the importance of creation of a data bank of experiences and best practices in implementation of city projects in order to help other member cities to have access to such experiences. The representative from Kuwait City raised the importance of networking Asian cities and the Mayor of Urmia asked the AMF Secretariat to take steps in creation of such data bank.
The representative of Tehran, in reaction to the shared interest in creation of such a repository of information on city projects, informed the meeting that should the necessary input be provided by member cities, Tehran municipality will be ready to provide the expertise for creation of such data bank.
Local Governance and Public Participation
Mayors and representatives from Tehran, Urmia, Islamabad, Bangladesh and Baalbek took the floor under this subject.
The representative of Tehran had an in depth presentation of Tehran's experience in decentralization of city affairs through "Neighborhood Management Project". In his presentation he explained how elected representatives of each neighborhood are involved in better management of area specific issues.
Other speakers expressed interest and appreciation for the presentation and sharing of such successful experiences with other member cities.
The representative of Islamabad also informed the meeting on how Islamabad has succeeded in encouraging public participation through public ownership of major city projects. The Mayor of Urmia also noted the use of information technology for promotion of culture of urban life.
The broadest common understandings and views of member cities expressed in the commissions are reflected in the Bangkok Declaration.