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Rahm bringing global mayors, ministers to Chicago Thursday, Friday. Surprise!

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WASHINGTON--Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hosting an international gathering of mayors and ministers Thursday and Friday at Chicago's Cultural Center. The meeting is a "roundtable" sponsored by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), founded in 1961 with 34 member nations.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg--who appeared with Emanuel in Washington last Friday on an education panel--and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan are among the speakers, as well as Kim Campbell, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Gov. Pat Quinn and former Illinois Gov. James Thompson are also on the schedule--as are Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia and Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council, Manchester, United Kingdom.

This meeting--which was not flagged by the Emanuel administration since a press release January 24--was highlighted Wednesday by the OECD in a release. The U.S. Ambassador to the OECD is Karen Kornbluh, who was President Barack Obama's policy chief when he was a senator from Illinois.

City Hall spokesman Tom Alexander said planning for the event has been in the works for 10 months. The Chicago based MacArthur, Ford and Bloomberg Foundations are paying the $450,000 conference cost, according to Alexander.

No aldermen or Cook County Board members are participating.

The event is in keeping with Emanuel's desire to throw a global spotlight on Chicago, a reason he lobbied for the May NATO and G-8 summits in the city. On Monday, Obama announced he was moving the G-8 summit from Chicago to Camp David. Emanuel also landed the 12th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates summit at the University of Illinois at Chicago on April 23-25.

The event is titled the "Fourth OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers OECD Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metro-Region."

Below, the agenda..


Thursday, March 8 and Friday, March 9, 2012
Chicago, United States
Webcast and remote Q&A available on March 8

With over half of the world's population currently living in urban areas, cities are critical to achieving a more sustainable economic future. What can cities do to drive economic, environmental and social gains? How will they meet their huge investment needs? Who are the key players on the local, national and international levels to promote a greening of the economy? Ministers and Mayors from around the world will meet in Chicago to discuss these issues and to identify best practices.

The second day of the event is devoted to the economic future of the Chicago Tri-State Metro-Region. The OECD will present a Territorial Review of the region's economic assets and challenges, the first such report conducted in the United States. Based on this analysis, stakeholders will discuss together with international experts options for economic development in the Chicago region.


The following events are open to the press.

March 8 - OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington St, Chicago

09:00-09:30am Opening Remarks (Chicago Cultural Center, GAR Hall, 2nd floor / Webcast)
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York and Chairman of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Shaun Donovan, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Live webcast at http://www.livestream.com/chicagomayorsoffice

11:00-11:45am News conference (Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park Room, 5th Floor / Webcast)
Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York and Chairman of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Shaun Donovan, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Live webcast at http://www.livestream.com/chicagomayorsoffice
Journalists who will follow this news conference online can submit their questions via email to matthias.rumpf@oecd.org

1:00-2:30pm Luncheon (Chicago Cultural Center Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd Floor)
Honoring International Women's Day and launch of the OECD Gender Data Browser
MarySue Barrett, President of the Metropolitan Planning Council
Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of Canada
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Karen Kornbluh, U.S. Ambassador to the OECD


March 9 - OECD Review of the Chicago Metropolitan Region
Hilton Chicago, 201 N. State Street, Chicago

9:30-10:30am Presentation of the OECD Territorial Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metro Region
Matthew Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary USDOC EDA
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Karen Kornbluh, U.S. Ambassador to the OECD
James R. Thompson, Former Governor of Illinois

With contributions from:
Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council, Manchester, United Kingdom
Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois
Dan Hasler, Indiana's Secretary of Commerce

11:00-11:30am News conference (Hilton Chicago, Joliet Room)
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
Matthew Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary USDOC EDA
Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD
Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President

12:00-2:00pm Combating Global Headwinds: The OECD Perspective (Hilton Chicago, Waldorf Room)
Address by Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, on the OECD's current perspectives on the global economy

Press registration
Journalists who wish to attend any of these events are invited to register via email to lillian.grabill@oecd.org

Press ContactS
OECD, Matthias Rumpf, matthias.rumpf@oecd.org
C40 Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mike Marinello, mmarinello@c40.com
City of Chicago, Tom Alexander, City of Chicago, tom.alexander@cityofchicago.org
US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Peter True, peter.w.true@hud.gov

The full program for this event, a list of participating Mayors and Ministers and information on webcasts are available at www.oecd.org/urban/roundtable

The Territorial Review for the Chicago region will be available at http://oecdwash.org/chicagoreview

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Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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