Vice President of the Communication and International Affairs Center of Tehran Municipality Zoheir Sabaghpour explained the Municipality’s programs in international arena.
Speaking in an interview with the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA), Sabaghpour referred to the programs of the International Affairs Center of Tehran Municipality, and said: "These days, the issue of urban diplomacy has received more attention than before, because governments around the world are shrinking and the municipality as the representative of the people and the citizens, can become the auxiliary arms of the governments in solving many problems.”
He said that today more than 60% of the world's population lives in cities and this is a strong support for urban diplomacy.
He added: Urban diplomacy is the art of negotiation, bargaining and interaction with other cities, international organizations, NGOs active globally and other entities in this field, with an aim of achieving urban interests. It is said that today urban diplomacy is of special importance in the world. At first glance, many of the problems that cannot be solved through official and state diplomacy can be solved in the field of urban diplomacy. The issue goes back to the fact that first of all urban diplomacy is less political and secondly the media and the public are less sensitive towards it.
He said that today more than 60% of the world population live in cities and this is regarded a strong support for urban diplomacy. He added: “Urban diplomacy is the art of negotiation, bargaining and interaction with other cities, international organizations, NGOs active in the world and other entities in this field with an aim of achieving urban interests. Today urban diplomacy in the world is of special importance. At first glance, many of the problems that cannot be solved through official and state diplomacy can be solved in the field of urban diplomacy.
He added: "Tehran has a lot of potential in this field, part of which is due to being the capital city of a country like Iran, as a special country in regional and global equations, and the other part is due to the special geographical and historical positions of Tehran."
Referring to the global outbreak of coronavirus, Sabaghpour continued: "We tried to turn the corona crisis from a threat to an opportunity, and we rely on the principle that corona is a common concern of city managers in different parts of the world. We created a movement among different cities. In recent days, the Mayor of Tehran has been in contact with the mayors of various cities, including Seoul, Muscat, Budapest, Vienna, London, etc. regarding finding solutions to the problems that have emerged following the outbreak of corona.
Emphasizing that Dr. Pirouz Hanachi's direct talks with the mayors of other cities in the world could be a turning point in the history of Tehran's urban diplomacy, the vice president of the International Center of Tehran Municipality said: "All over the world, mayors are usually non-political people with artistic, cultural or scientific backgrounds. For this reason, some existing problems can be solved by relying on the existing relations with the mayors of other cities of the world and on the basis of urban diplomacy.”
He added: "In addition to presenting a report on the actions of the Tehran Municipality in containing the corona virus, the Mayor of Tehran also provided explanations about the impact of the US brutal sanctions against Iran and emphasized that Iran is not fighting only the corona virus but the sanctions virus which has caused numerous problems to serve the citizens of Tehran.