AIMF’s Standing Committee 2021: perspectives on social cohesion

October 26, 2021

The meeting of the Standing Committee on living together gave an opportunity to exchange on the challenges and the involvement of cities with respects to social cohesion in the context of the pandemic.

The annual meeting of the AIMF Standing Committee on living together was held online on October 21. In continuity with the theme of the last AIMF’S Congress, this meeting sought to continue the joint deliberations about living together at the municipal level, with a particular emphasis being placed on the challenges of social cohesion in the context of a pandemic.

Mayors and representatives from several cities of the Francophone world - including Cotonou, Gatineau, Namur, Quebec City - attended the meeting, which was chaired by Ms. Cathy Wong, member of the Executive Committee, responsible for diversity, employment inclusion, the French language and the fight against racism and discrimination and representative of the Mayor of Montréal, Ms. Valérie Plante.

The meeting was also an opportunity to present Montreal's Strategy for reconciliation with indigenous peoples, adopted by the city of Montreal in November 2020. This presentation was followed by a rich exchange session between the represented cities during which examples of good practices on living together and social cohesion in the respective cities were shared.

Among the issues discussed were the restructuring of public spaces in order to make them more inclusive and equitable, the importance of the neighbourhood - as an urban unit - in serving as a catalyst for interaction and exchange between citizens, the importance of increasing the visibility of marginalized groups within the city's self-image and heritage, and the need for bilateral and international relationships between cities.

The meeting also aimed to consider the perspective of Francophone cities in view of the upcoming Summit of Mayors on living together, which will take place in Izmir, Turkey, from December 7 to 10. This Summit will follow a hybrid format - with two days online and a symbolic day on site, reserved for mayors, and will focus on the theme of cities and human rights.

About the Standing Commission on living together

Established at the initiative of Montreal in 2016, this Commission is a space for action and reflection on living together, both at the political and technical levels, within the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF). It brings together around fifteen cities, which are also members of the International Observatory of Mayors on living together.