Message From The Honourable Denis Coderre
Mayor of Montréal
Dear Colleagues, welcome to Montréal,
I am delighted to warmly greet each of you on behalf of all Montrealers.
With increasing immigration over the past three decades, women and men of different backgrounds and faiths now live side by side in our big cities. Montréal, for example, is home to individuals from some 120 nations, who speak nearly 200 languages and dialects. One of every two Montrealers was (or has a parent who was) born abroad. Our big cities have accordingly become microcosms of the world around us. While such diversity, with its rich mixture of experience and opinion, constitutes an asset in many respects, it can also reflect global tensions.
I have convened this Summit of Mayors in Montréal at an important juncture for the world’s metropolises—and out of our shared duty to take action. I have invited you to participate in this historic event so that the Montréal Declaration we adopt at the conclusion of this Summit will mark the start of a new era of living together.
Why did we only invite mayors to this Summit? Because the process of living together is a local one. Harmonious living together requires a political commitment by municipal authorities to welcome all citizens, help them find jobs and help them become part of mainstream society. Living together requires day-to-day efforts by our cities. Each mayor is an integral part of this process. Mayors understand their constituents’ needs and circumstances. They are situated at the heart of the action and in touch with the different communities that make up their city’s social fabric.
This first Living Together Summit serves, above all, to recognize the city’s role and power as the local government properly situated for taking action in the field and promoting social cohesion. How can big cosmopolitan metropolises keep growing and prospering because of this diversity, while providing residents with an inclusive, secure living environment? How can we foster the concept of open, diverse and welcoming communities, while preventing exclusion and discrimination? How can we strike the right balance between openness and vigilance?
These questions are central to living together and to this Summit attended by you, mayors of the world’s great metropolises. The International Observatory that we intend to create, in conjunction with the world’s cities and their universities, will certainly contribute to broader knowledge and the sharing of experiences on this subject.
I am honoured that you have accepted my invitation and I wish you all an outstanding Summit on Living Together and a wonderful stay in Montréal.
Through your participation, I know we will talking about this event for a long time . I wish us fruitful deliberations!
Maire de Montréal