Message From M. Jean-Paul Huchon
President METROPOLIS and President of the
Living together never seemed as important before as it has in the past few months. The tragedies of Paris, as well as of Copenhagen, Brussels and Ottawa, have sounded a clear warning. Events in France tested a concept we had long taken for granted—that all French citizens fully endorse the principles on which our Republic was established. All nations hit by recent terrorist attacks have suffered the same trauma. Suddenly, it seemed as if the foundations of our living together were less solid than we had supposed.
As mayors and elected officials of the world’s great cities, we must provide our citizens with a living environment in which they can coexist. While the world’s great cities are often engines of economic and cultural development, they also harbour social disparities that hamper such harmony. By tackling inequality, promoting mobility within our communities and ensuring sustainable, environmentally friendly development, we can breathe new life into the process of living together.
As President of METROPOLIS, a unique network of 140 metropolises around the globe, I applaud the work our association has done so far to promote all innovative strategies favouring social inclusion and sustainable development in our cities and urban centres. Sharing such local initiatives is the key to everyone’s success. This is why we must work together.
This Montréal Summit is the perfect opportunity for us to discuss our respective experiences and perhaps provide a roadmap for living together in the future. Globalization of trade, increasing demographic mobility and the “metropolitan phenomenon” are challenges that we, the policymakers, must meet. We must be equal to these challenges and apply the enormous potential afforded by this Summit in finding new ways of living together.
President, Île-de-France Region