The Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram have set out plans to convene a global network of cities and charities to support the recovery of Ukraine after the war.
Mayor Burnham today (Wednesday 15 November) travelled to Krakow in Poland where he put the plan to the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyi. Mayor Rotheram joined the meeting remotely. Mayor Sadovyi visited Manchester in May of this year and met with the city’s Ukrainian community before travelling on to Liverpool for Eurovision, hosted on behalf of Ukraine.
The proposal for an Unbroken Cities Network was developed by Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram in response to a request for support from Mayor Sadovyi for Unbroken, a national rehabilitation programme to help his country recover from the trauma of war.
The two UK Mayors have offered to convene other mayors of 15 to 20 cities across the US and the UK in the Unbroken Cities Network. It would provide Lviv and other Ukrainian organisations with strategic and technical support from global cities that have experienced terror attacks and extremist violence, as well as opening up their medical and charitable networks in support of Lviv.
Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram have secured support for the proposals from major US military charity Semper Fi & America's Fund, following an introduction from survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing and the One World Strong Foundation, which would convene the network. Greater Manchester-based humanitarian charity UK Med is also set to become a founder member of the Unbroken Cities Network.
The network will provide a forum to share experience, knowledge and help to connect Ukrainian cities to existing recovery initiatives that address the physical and emotional traumas of war and conflict.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
“Since the beginning of Russia’s appalling invasion of Ukraine, Greater Manchester has stood in full and firm solidarity with the country and its people.
“It’s understandable that the world’s attention has moved elsewhere given the seriousness of events in the Middle East. But it is essential that we don’t forget the people of Ukraine.
“I am here today in Krakow to carry that message and assure the Mayor of Lviv that Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region will stand with him for the long haul, together with friends from the US, and support his plans for the long-term recovery and rehabilitation of his country.”
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:
“In May, the Liverpool City Region had the honour of hosting Eurovision on behalf of our friends in Ukraine. As well a festival of fun and music, it was an important opportunity to meet with our allies from Ukraine, like the Mayor of Lviv.
“I was inspired by Mayor Sadovyi’s plans to make Lviv a global centre of excellence for rehabilitation once Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has ended. In typical Scouse fashion, I offered to do whatever we could to help alongside Greater Manchester because I know that we are stronger together.
“Working alongside our allies in Europe and across the globe, we will do our bit to help rehabilitate, rebuild and regenerate Ukraine after this awful war is over.”
Mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovyi said:
“I greatly appreciate that our idea of the Unbroken network is alive and is spreading to other cities worldwide. This means that we are doing everything right.
“We thank the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region for all of their support. Together, we must ensure that Ukraine wins this war.”
With an endorsement of the plans from Mayor Sadovyi, the two North West Mayors will seek formal backing for the Unbroken Cities Network from the UK Government and the US Government, aiming to present their plan at the US Convention of Mayors in early 2024.
Since 1992 Lviv has been twinned with Rochdale in Greater Manchester, and in 2002 a bridge over the River Roch was named after the city to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the twinning.
Article Published: 15/11/2023 17:31 PM