July 12, 2019
MEDELLÍN – WeGO’s President completed a trip to Mexico and Colombia to promote the interests of his city and organization in Latin America, supported by the Secretary General, who additionally met with key stakeholders in Costa Rica.
WeGO President Won-soon Park, who also serves as mayor of Seoul, traveled to the region for bilateral meetings with the president of Colombia and mayors of Mexico City and Medellin, and to take part in the World Cities Summit (WCS) Mayors Forum.
Before the series of exchanges with Pres. Park, WeGO Secretary General Kyong-yul Lee led a team to Puebla as a supporting organization of this year’s Smart City Expo LATAM Congress from July 2-4. The LATAM Congress is a regional off-shoot of the global event that takes place annually in Barcelona. SG Lee presented on citizen-centric smart cities at the plenary session to over 500 attendees and took interviews with media outlets Agencia EFE, Foro TV, and U-GOB. WeGO also organized a packed session together with its regional office to around 165 attendees, where member cities such as Mexico City, São Paulo, and Coatzacoalcos showcased their smart city best practice to the broader region.
In Costa Rica, SG Lee introduced WeGO and its activities to ministers and other top officials from the Ministries of Housing and Human Settlements, Foreign Affairs, and Urban Development, as well as to mayors of cities across the country. With the support of the First Lady, WeGO hopes to partner with local governments to bring new smart city initiatives to Costa Rica.
At the WCS Mayors Forum in Medellin from July 11-12, mayors from around the world released a joint declaration that stressed the importance of technology, as well as dialogue and trust between citizens and their local governments, to create livable and sustainable cities. It also explicitly supported the UN’s SDG Goal 11, “making cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, and sustainable.”
Now at the end of its two-week mission, WeGO is following up with prospective partners from the region, including from Guatemala and Venezuela, to develop concrete ways forward in the area of smart cities.