From the Manager's Desk: The Cities Alliance to Relocate to Europe

The unanimous decision by the Consultative Group to relocate the Cities Alliance to Brussels in 2013 underscores the view of members that the partnership is poised to enter the next phase in its development.

In light of the significance of the decisions taken at the recently-concluded meeting of the Consultative Group (CG) in Hanoi on November 1 & 2, I wanted to take this opportunity to convey these decisions more personally.  Amongst a number of major issues that the CG meeting addressed, the most important and far-reaching was the unanimous decision to support the relocation of the Secretariat to Europe during the course of 2013, with a tentative target date of July 1.  
The decision was a strong vote in the relevance and importance of the organisation, and underscored the view of members that the Cities Alliance was now poised to enter the next phase in the development of the organisation.
Members also unanimously agreed that the city of Brussels would be the new home for the organisation.
As usual, the meeting was conducted with the open, vibrant and constructive debate that characterises Cities Alliance meetings. Members expressed their strong satisfaction in the direction of the organisation, and with the improved results emanating from the new Charter and business model and—in particular—with the Country Programmes (of which Vietnam is one).
All members acknowledged the quality and consistency of the support that has been provided by the World Bank, which was unanimously selected as the host of the Cities Alliance at its launch in 1999. Although it is still somewhat premature to bid farewell to our current home and host, CG members welcomed the assurances that the World Bank will remain an active and engaged member of the Cities Alliance.
We now enter an intense period of transition, as we try and keep to the CG’s target date of 1 July 2013. EXCO will meet again—in Brussels—on 4 February 2013, with the meeting being open to all CG members.
We will keep you regularly briefed on developments, as the Cities Alliance enters the next phase of its short but eventful history.
William Cobbett