Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is in Italy this week, attending conferences at the Vatican on sex trafficking and climate change.
Her office says she is one of nine U.S. mayors attending the conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday, and that she’s the only Midwest mayor and only female mayor on the trip.
Pope Francis will be at the sex trafficking conference, Vatican officials said.
Hodges said in a statement:
I am deeply thankful that Pope Francis is tackling issues of such grave importance not only to Minneapolis but to the world. It’s an honor to have been invited to attend the gatherings at the Vatican. I look forward to learning how Minneapolis can join hands in global efforts around climate change and ending the factors that contribute to 21st century trade in human beings, and to sharing the successes that we as a city have achieved.
The official description of the conferences:
The Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences are organizing a one-day workshop that will take place on 21 July 2015, during which 50 Mayors of the most important cities of the world will have the possibility of sharing this commitment in the presence of Pope Francis.
This special symposium will bring together local government leaders and other urban development practitioners to consider how cities can drive the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda and forge a roadmap for their realization. Mayors and other participants will consider the challenges of social inclusion, economic development and environmental preservation including cities’ carbon commitments.