On March 24-25, 2014, Mr. Denis Ricard, Secretary General of the OWHC, went to Philadelphia and met representatives of the City of Philadelphia and representatives of the Global Philadelphia Association.

This meeting has been organized at the request of the City of Philadelphia and is a direct consequence of an initiative to make Philadelphia the first World Heritage City in the U.S. In addition to visiting the Independence Hall and attending an evening reception, Mr. Ricard had the opportunity to discuss the future steps and challenges that Philadelphia might encounter sooner or later.

"As an Observer Member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, the City of Philadelphia was proud to host Secretary-General Denis Ricard and to display much of the historic and modern heritage that our city has to offer," said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. "We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the OWHC over the coming months and years as we showcase Philadelphia as one of the world's great heritage cities."

"The Global Philadelphia Association, representing Philadelphia's international community, has formed a unique public-private partnership with the City to assist it in pursuing full membership in the OWHC," said John Smith, an attorney with the global law firm Reed Smith LLP and the Association's Board Chair. "By helping to articulate Philadelphia's historical and cultural heritage and its international significance, we believe that a strong case can be made for that membership."

As of Mr. Ricard, he foresees a bright future for the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) in U.S. as well as for Philadelphia into the OWHC. ‘’This was an impressive visit in Philadelphia! This city definitely has a rich history and a rich culture! However, I must say that I’m even more impressed by the dynamism and the leadership shown by Mr. Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia, by Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor, Director of Commerce, and Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, by the city’s administration and by the Global Philadelphia Association. The actions taken so far by the OWHC and by the City of Philadelphia will definitely serve as a model for the expansion of our organization throughout U.S. and the rest of the world, in cities that possess a similar socio-political context.’’

Finally, one must know that from the year 2012, the Global Philadelphia Association, under the leadership of Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director, started its work so that Philadelphia would become a World Heritage City. In mid-September 2013, the city became an observer member of the OWHC. As of today, Global Philadelphia is still continuing its efforts.

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