City of Philadelphia Delegates and the Global Philadelphia Association to Attend 12th Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities

Philadelphia, November 14, 2013–  Representatives from the City of Philadelphia and the Global Philadelphia Association will travel to the 12th World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) to discuss the challenges and management of World Heritage Cities.  OWHC works to protect historic cities that have made notable impacts on the world. Headquartered in Québec City, Canada, the OWHC is made up of more than 200 cities throughout the world that house sites included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) World Heritage List.


The 12th Congress will be held in Oaxaca, Mexico from November 18th through November 22nd.  The theme for the 12th Congress is “Heritage Cities, Sustainable Cities.”  It will focus on the importance of implementing sustainable development strategies for OWCH cities.


“Our Administration has set the goal of being the greenest city in America by 2015 – a goal we are well on our way to achieving.  The 12th Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities is an excellent way to promote our sustainable efforts internationally,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  “Being a OWHC member is not only an opportunity to dialogue about shared interests with the international community but also a chance to highlight Philadelphia as an forward-thinking global city.”


Fernando Treviño, Deputy Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, and Kevin Dow, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Commerce Director, City of Philadelphia’s Commerce Department will represent the City at the World Congress.  In addition, John F. Smith, III, Board Chair and President, Global Philadelphia Association and a senior partner at Reed Smith, LLP, will attend.


“We at the Global Philadelphia Association believe strongly that Philadelphia’s heritage is worthy of international recognition. We are pleased to be working with City officials to secure that recognition. Our visit to Oaxaca, Mexico, to attend the 12th World Congress of World Heritage Cities as an Observer Member is a start and we look forward to pursuing full accreditation as a World Heritage City from UNESCO over the next several years.” Smith said.


The City of Philadelphia joined the OWHC as an Observer Member.  Its status was announced in September 2013 at the opening ceremony for GlobalPhilly 2013, an international exposition presented by the Global Philadelphia Association.  Philadelphia is the first U.S. city granted this status. 


For more information, log on to or  You can follow the Congress on Twitter @OaxacaCongress and #PHLinOaxaca.  Follow @GlobalPhila for updates from the Global Philadelphia Association and @PhillyMOIMA for news from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.



The Global Philadelphia Association is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3)certified organization consisting of over 130 institutional and individual members. Its mission is to assist – and encourage greater interaction among – the many organizations and people who are engaged in one form or another of international activity within the Greater Philadelphia Region, to promote the development of an international consciousness within the Region, and to enhance the Region’s global profile. The Association coordinates a World Heritage City Working Group, comprised of numerous civic, business, and academic leaders from the Philadelphia region. For more information, visit

Posted in Mayor's Press Releases, Press Release
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