A centenary full of promise
By Alain Le Saux, Secretary General of Metropolis.
I discovered the international movement of cities and local authorities in June1988 when I was contracted as Scientific Director for Metropolis. The President, Michel Giraud, and the Secretary General, Pierre Pommellet, suggested I reflect on the creation of a metropolitan institute of major risk prevention because they had become increasingly aware of the topic following the earthquake in Mexico in 1985 whose lasting damage was still visible at the time of the 2nd Metropolis Congress in 1987.
I would never have imagined at that time that one day I would be Secretary General of Metropolis and experience first-hand the intensity of the development of our movement over the last few years. By way of contribution to the event that celebrates the centenary of our movement, I would like to recall the period 1991-1997 as it seems to me to have been the most determinant in all that was to follow.
I would like to pay homage to the key political actors of this period: Pierre Mauroy, Michel Giraud, Pasqual Maragall, Ricardo Triglia, Mamadou Diop, Jaime Ravinet, Jaime Lerner, Norbert Burger, Jorge Sampaio, Daby Diagne, Ernest Koumo Mobio, Bernard Stasi, Agustin Marina. All of whom had a clear and determined vision and a resolute commitment to the international action of local authorities.
At a technical and administrative level, I would like to quote Jean-Marie Tétard, Michel Bescond, Alberto Laplaine Guimarais, Drew Horgan, Paul Bongers, Peter Slits, Elisabeth Gateau, Margarita Obiols, Selahatin Yildirim, Marianne Anache, Regis Vigneau, Robert Smith, Badredine Senoussi, Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi, Lakbir Shinchal, Jordi Borja, Jaime Torreslara. We all worked for the success of our movement by ferociously defending the interests of our respective organisations!
New-York, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Istanbul, Paris, 6 stages that have allowed our movement to evolve and generate a collective dynamic whose end result was the creation of UCLG. Other developments followed right up to the creation of UCLG in Paris in 2004, which was the logical result of this sequence but that in itself only constitutes another step among many in a long history that has only just begun!
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