Francophone mayors from five continents convene in NOLA to think locally and act globally on development issues

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Gallier Hall
545 St Charles Avenue
70130 New Orleans , LA
United States
Louisiana US

“Think globally, act locally!” Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and current President of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) thus summed up the crucial role of mayors in areas such as economic development, social growth, the environment, cultural understanding, and global peace. Hidalgo and her colleagues hailing from as far as Senegal and Benin and as close as Lafayette, LA, and Quebec, came to New Orleans on March 31, 2015 for AIMF's annual conference, which was hosted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and focused on “Territories, collective memory and local development: creativity impact and potential contributions for a balanced and sustainable development.”

A major outcome of this two-day colloquium was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of both AIMF and the US Conference of Mayors. The accord formalizes the relationship between Francophone and Francophile communities of the world, bolstering cultural and educational exchange, tourism, and cooperation on climate action.  This event is most timely as the contribution of mayors to the fight against climate change is high on their agenda in preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) summit to be held in Paris this coming December.  Over 1000 mayors will participate in the summit and will focus on a range of local environmental actions with global implications.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to this historic event by Meagen Moreland, Communications Attaché at the French Consulate in New Orleans.  Meagen, a PhD student at Tulane’s Department of French and Italian, was a student in one of my International Development courses, last spring - Development in the Francophone World - which is offered to both undergraduate and graduate students and taught entirely in French.  This course will be offered again this fall (IDEV 4952/6911).

If you would like to learn more, the New Orleans Mayor's office posted a video of the AIMF Welcome Ceremony on the Mitch Landrieu YouTube channel:

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