The Mayor of Geneva, Ms Sandrine Salerno, has decided to question her city, and de facto her canton, on its role as a global city in the game of global governance.  Returning from Mexico at the end of 2010, she realized that 2011 would be a year marked by the emergence of at least two new actors in global governance, namely, groups of towns or megalopolises, and groups of regions.  If the G20 achieves legitimacy from the economic weight of its members, its will to act, and from its necessary responsibility at world level, why shouldn’t other actors such as the major cosmopolises and regions of the world also have a necessary influence on the game? However, be they G20, R20 or C20, they will not supplant the UN which is irreplaceable as a base for legitimate multilateral cooperation.  The UN is positive in its support for the G20, says Joseph Deiss in our columns – see the exclusive interview with the current President of the General Assembly of the UN.  But it seems that regional or plurilateral groupings have the following wind, in that they can spin rapid development of a given situation by creating a circle of consensus. 

For the Mayor of Geneva, the city has a special quality:  it is a world capital precisely because of the presence of a large number of heads of international agencies operating under the UN umbrella.  Concerned to establish a relationship with the Genevans, be they Swiss nationals or expatriates, and also to facilitate the work of the organizations present in the city, she has decided to set up three public debates to take place on 3, 10 and 17 March 2011 at 18.30 in partnership with the University of Geneva, which hosts the meetings, and with The Global Journal, whose editor-in-chief will act as presenter. These debates will take place, unless otherwise informed, at the Uni Mail, room R080, Geneva.  Attendees will include professors and heads of international organizations, discussing three themes linked to Geneva and its role in global governance: peace, human rights and humanitarian action; migration and refugees; trade and sustainable development. 

For further details on these debates, the guests and practical information contact: or