Opening Speech The 13th WCO Silk Road Mayors Forum-Antalya 2018
Dear Citizens of Antalya, Silk Road Mayors, Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters: Today is a historical day for all Antalya citizens because you are the Host of this very special Forum on the Silk Road!
I am happy to see so many old friends from Silk Road cities here today, and I am also glad to see many new faces in this Forum. You are all world citizens united coming from everywhere to this special city Antalya, and we are going to make new history together!
On behalf of the World Citizens Organization, I would like to say, in Turkiye language – ‘Techekkuler’, to thank Antalya citizens, Mayor of Antalya Belediyesi and his capable staffs. I know how hard all of you have been working up to this very minute to prepare for this historic event.
Because of you, we are able to come here to learn about your 2000 years of Antalya’s traditional values, symbolized by your district of Pamphilia – which means “Friendship”, and also your district of Lycia – which means “Enlightenment”.
To trace our WCO Silk Road Journey in the past 12 years we must salute the Mayors and citizens who hosted our 12 previous Silk Road Mayors Forum from 2006 to 2017. Without them breaking the grounds for WCO, and extending their hospitality from one caravanserai to another on the actual Silk Road, we would not come this far to celebrate our 13th years of un-interrupted ‘Journey for Humanity’.
These 12 Friendly and Enlightening Host Cities – starting in the year 2006, was Tashkent, then it was Lanzhou in 2007, Almaty in 2008, Pyeongtaek in 2009, Shiraz in 2010, Grozny in 2011, Gaziantep in 2012, Yeosu in 2013, Urumqi in 2014, Bursa in 2015, Qazvin in 2016, and last year we met in Kabul. Let’s give a big round of applause to these 12 Silk Road City Mayors and their citizens!
Because of YOU, we no longer have to imagine what life was like along the ancient Silk Road.
Because of YOU, we have connected the past with the present Eurasia Continent.
Once again I would like to express our “Thank You” in your different languages: teshekulair, xie-xie, spasiba, shocran, hvala, gracias, merci, danke, terima kasih, dannebaht, arigatou, obrigado, gomapssumnida, thank you, and more thank you, to all of you !
Sitting among us today are also many global thinkers and world citizens beyond borders who have accompanied me on this wonderful journey since the 1st Silk Road Mayors Forum in Tashkent 12 years ago.
Year after year these distinguished world citizens in our past 12 Mayors Forum have shown us how to collaborate with open mind and positive energy, so that we can build new WCO knowledge to live as civilized world citizens in the 21th Century.
Because of YOU, we are here again-to make this Antalya Forum ever more meaningful and relevant to our world TODAY.
As I reflect on my personal involvements in the 12 Silk Road Mayors Forum – it was my privilege to have met hundreds of mayors and citizens from all over the world.
Because of them, I am no longer just a world citizen in theory. My life is the Silk Road and you are a part of Me.
I will not do anything if that is only good for my city or country but not for others. Nowadays I communicate with world citizens in the Andes, Rocky and the Himalaya mountains; across the Sahara and Gobi deserts; islands after islands from Jeju, Malta, Maldives, Aeland, Kota Kinabalu to Seychelles to all over the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen, In the past 12 years, we have turned even old ignorance to new knowledge for humanity to live together in harmony. Let me recap what we have learned from each other in the ACTUAL Silk Road cities in the past 12 years:
ONE – We learned very precious WCO knowledge called, ‘Glocalization.’ It’s a completely new concept. Now with this new concept ‘Glocalization’, we are no longer divided arguing between globalization and localization.
TWO – Now we learned and enlightened to accommodate our local differences not to hate or even tolerate but we turn them into human celebrations! We can turn old ignorance to new knowledge!
THREE – Now we learned the true meaning of WCO knowledge called ‘Servernance.’ We don’t believe the traditional ‘Governance’ from the top down. We have to serve people not ruling over them.
FOUR – Now we turn international political diplomacy to inter-urban quality of life diplomacy. We are more concerned about citizens’ daily basic needs, like caring of children and elderly people and building infrastructure for public transportation and protecting environments.
FIVE – Now the Silk Road Mayors and we all agreed that city development objective should not be only limited to economic or political gains, but we need to consider at least 6 more E’s to Economics – and they are ‘Environment, Education, Ethics, Engineering, Energy and Enjoyment of life.’
Respecting the 5 aspects of our new knowledges and also realizing that the 13th Silk Road Mayors Forum-Antalya will begin a new Cycle of citizens’ engagement, Antalya and WCO have designed the main theme as “United People in the Glocalizing World,” and we have also designed the three Sessions for our general discussion as follows:
The 1st Session on Glocalization of Tourism and the Economy + 6E’s;
The 2nd Session on Inter-city Diplomacy and the Economy + 6E’s;
The 3rd Session on Servernance of Municipality and the Economy + 6E’s.
During, and after, these 3 topical sessions you are encouraged to express your views freely as to where humanity is in this particular juncture of world history and where humanity has to go from here.
You are also encouraged to suggest your concrete plans as to how cities should be remanaged. As you know cities covering only 3% of Planet Earth surface generate over 75% of pollutions. Citizens must change life styles dramatically to be more environmentally sound.
Throughout these 3 Sessions you can also help Antalya city staff extract the salient points into the < ANTALYA ACCORD and ACTION PLAN> for the next 12 Silk Road Mayor’s Forum.
I will look forward to your contributions during these 2 historic days as we stay as united people in Antalya!
So at this Historic Moment, I would like to call upon the Honorable Antalya Mayor Menderes Turel to come forward to the Podium, and I would also like all of you to stand-to join with me. We, United People in Antalya, declare that the ‘13th WCO Silk Road Mayors Forum -Antalya 2018’ is now Open!
October 21, 2018