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Helsinki Mayor meets New York City counterpart, speaks at US Mayors Conference

Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen is paying an official visit to the USA on 17-20 January. First on the agenda is a meeting in New York with the Mayor of New York City Eric Adams, marking the first time that the Helsinki and NYC mayors have met. After this Mayor Vartiainen will travel to Washington DC to attend the US Conference of Mayors. The latter part of the trip comes at the invitation of the US State Department.
Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen and Mayor of New York Eric Adams.
Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen and Mayor of New York Eric Adams. Photo: City of Helsinki

Helsinki Mayor Vartiainen and New York City Mayor Adams met in New York to discuss the urban development priorities for both their cities, in order to identify new possibilities for increased cooperation. During their visit, they also talked about the effects of the international security and geopolitical situation on cities.  

Mayor Vartiainen also met with other representatives of New York on Tuesday, including New York City Commissioner for International Affairs Edward Mermelstein and the leadership of the Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation.  

The Helsinki Mayor will travel to Washington DC on 18-20 January to participate in the 91st Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, where he has been asked to contribute remarks in several parts of the programme. In a session devoted to combating hate and extremism and the violence they fuel, for example, Vartiainen will share the measures Helsinki has taken to prevent this negative development.

“No global challenge can be solved without cities and the international cooperation between them. Whether the topic is security, climate change or sustainable finance, cities can constantly learn from each other. I appreciate this opportunity to highlight the City of Helsinki’s solutions to security questions, rising inequality and other challenges that directly affect residents’ everyday lives and services. The discussions that will take place during this trip are extremely important, both for Helsinki and all of Finland,” Mayor Vartiainen said. 

During his time in Washington DC, Mayor Vartiainen will also have several other meetings. Among others, he will meet with Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor at the National Security Council Joshua Geltzer and Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the US Department of State Victoria Nuland. The meetings are linked most strongly to security issues and will be attended by both US and European mayors. The Mayors of Antwerp and Nuremberg and the Deputy Mayor of Munich will join the Helsinki Mayor. The meetings will focus on the exchange of information between the US and European mayors, as well as the strengthening of relations. Russia’s role in the promotion of disinformation and anti-democracy movements will also be discussed.

Mayor Vartiainen also plans to visit the Washington DC-based research centre Brookings Institution during his stay.

Updated on 20 January 2023: There have been changes to the conference agenda for its European participants, so the Helsinki Mayor will not have the opportunity to meet with President Biden as previously reported.