The whole family of local and regional governments expresses its emotion and sadness following the death of Jacques Chirac, former Mayor of Paris and sponsor of the Founding Congress of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
United Cities and Local Governments welcomes the role that President Chirac has played in strengthening links and solidarity between local authorities, and in unifying the international municipal movement, notably at the first UCLG Congress in 2004 in Paris.
Addressing the members of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) and UCLG at the Founding Congress, President Chirac welcomed his commitment to decentralized cooperation, enabling international solidarity to create ever closer ties between citizens from all continents.
In his founding speech, he took the vision of cities to the international level. "Together within UCLG, you will be able to facilitate the dialogue of cultures and cooperation between cities and regions that our world needs most. Together at UCLG, you will be able to make your voice better heard in multilateral forums, where they have their place. Together at UCLG, you will be better able to meet these challenges faced by elected officials around the world. »
President Chirac has consistently demonstrated his commitment to local democracy, which he referred to as "the cradle of civilization, the place where dreams and cultures flourish, but also sometimes the place where violence and injustice are most cruelly prevalent. »
Jacques Chirac, showed his relationship with to territories and the dialogue between cultures, by telling UCLG members: "The mixing of peoples and communities so characteristic of modern cities is sometimes perceived as a threat to identities and cultures. If we know how to establish in our cities the rules of modern savoir-vivre in which nationalities, religions and cultures will live side by side in harmony and mutual respect, our world will better respond to the challenge of opening borders and the coexistence of civilizations. »
A visionary, he paved the way for a stronger presence of local governments in multilateral fora: "We must act within the framework of international institutions, and first and foremost the United Nations. This implies giving more space to the countries of the South, and making local elected officials and associations more vocal. I propose that there be permanent consultation between local governments and international organizations. In this way, each of us, for our part, will contribute to the establishment of a peaceful, just and united global democracy, our political response to globalization. »
With our sincere sympathy, President Chirac will be remembered as a great defender of the global municipal movement.