Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recognizes ICMA China Center as part of EcoPartnerships program.
Beijing - The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has launched an ambitious initiative to exchange governance best practices with officials in China. The ICMA China Center, formed in December 2011 as a partnership between ICMA and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), promotes good governance and environmental sustainability at the local and state levels through research, information sharing, and other activities.
A key milestone of the China Center’s progress and promise was achieved as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton formally announced ICMA and CUPL as part of the U.S. Department of State’s EcoPartnerships program at a signing ceremony during her recent trip to Beijing. Only 18 partnerships have been accepted for this prestigious program.
Addressing guests at the ceremony, Secretary Clinton had this to say: “Our cooperation is really paying dividends for the people of both our countries and the world. This illustrates once again that the United States and China can and will work together in new ways and through many channels to address our common challenges on energy and the environment, two issues that transcend politics that we live with every single day in our homes, our businesses, and our communities.”
The mission of the ICMA China Center is to improve the quality of city management in China by providing information and services to Chinese city officials. Local government professionals from the United States will also have an opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience with rapid, large-scale urbanization. Through this exchange the ICMA China Center hopes to achieve the following goals and objectives:
- Establish cooperative relationships between ICMA and institutions and organizations in China to facilitate training and exchange programs
- Create comprehensive, fee-based education forums for local government officials, administrators, academics, and other interested individuals
- Create a domestic and international corporate partnership program to support the organization, sponsor events, and provide additional opportunities
- Establish a certification and recognition program for individuals and local governments participating in ICMA China Center training programs.
This State Department program contributes to the goals of a Ten Year Framework for Cooperation on Energy and Environment signed in 2008 by the United States and China. Its purpose is to develop new models of mutually beneficial voluntary arrangements between state, local, and private-sector organizations to promote energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability in both countries.
In applying for acceptance into the EcoPartnerships program, ICMA and CUPL formally agreed to develop collaborative projects that support the program’s aims. Already, the two organizations are cooperating in several relevant activities: (1) training for city officials in the area of sustainable development and city management; (2) energy saving, emission reduction, and low-carbon cities development programs; and (3) solid waste/landfill management and Chinese city environmental governance.
Other current and anticipated activities, beyond the Center’s EcoPartnerships work, include research and information sharing, training and conferences for municipal officials, internships, study tours and other cultural exchanges, consulting and technical assistance, and publications.
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. The organization’s mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people’s lives. ICMA provides member support, publications, data and information, peer and results-oriented assistance, and training and professional development to 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.
ICMA’s other activities in China have included an MOU in 2009 with the city of Changsha, Hunan Province, pledging mutual cooperation to build the city’s capacity in municipal management through the exchange of information, management practices, and technical expertise. In 2010, ICMA provided leadership development training to Chinese students in the United States and hosted a group of Chinese officials tasked with public sector reform in cities and districts in Jiangsu Province. ICMA also implemented a program supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Landfill Gas: Creating Green Energy in China, providing technical assistance in the recovery of methane gas from landfills.
The China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), located in Beijing, is a multi-disciplinary research university under China’s Ministry of Education. It has 19 schools and departments and 10 research institutes focused not only on law but also on such other disciplines as political science, management, economics, philosophy, and literature. Founded in 1952, CUPL has more than 14,000 current students and more than 200,000 graduates. The university has established international relationships with more than 100 universities in 33 countries or regions.