SEOUL – WeGO’s Secretary General is increasing efforts to expand his organization’s network of cities through a continuous series of meetings with heads of diplomatic missions in Korea.
Over the past week, Secretary General Kyong-yul Lee paid courtesy calls to the ambassadors of Canada, Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Tajikistan, to pave inroads to relationships with local governments outside WeGO’s network and to discuss possible areas of cooperation.
Canada expressed interest in the Urban Innovation Challenge: Citypreneurs, along with the Seoul Global Challenge – two programs aimed at corporations and startups – and pledged to introduce WeGO to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Global PPP Forum in Toronto.
In the meeting with Kazakhstan, the ambassador welcomed a partnership between WeGO and Kazakh cities, in particular the emerging smart city of Akol. He also mentioned the economic forum to be held in the country’s capital in May, and promised to discuss with the organizers opportunities for WeGO’s involvement.
Mexico, whose capital serves as the host of WeGO’s Latin America Regional Office, conveyed high hopes for the scheduled visit by Mayor Won-soon Park of Seoul, who sits as the President of WeGO, to the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum. The annual event for city leaders will see the exchange of experiences in developing integrated urban solutions, building economic and environmental resilience, engaging with communities, and sustaining a high quality of life in urban regions.
In his talks with Tajikistan, SG Lee welcomed partnerships with Tajik cities and any initiatives of capital Dushanbe to organize international events. The ambassador stated his intention to discuss these prospects with Dushanbe’s mayor, to whom WeGO is prepared to invite to one of its coming events.WeGO is in close contact with other diplomatic missions to schedule further meetings over the coming months.
Last month, SG Lee also met with the ambassadors of Turkmenistan, who showed interest in WeGO’s training program in June, and the annual roundtable discussion hosted by the Mayor of Seoul, the Seoul Smart City Summit, and Afghanistan, who spoke about capital city Kabul’s urban development plans.