In line with the vision of "Equal Citizenship Is Possible" of Tunç Soyer, Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, the Third International Coexistence Summit is held in Izmir in order to draw attention to human rights and the culture of living together. Speaking at the online opening of the summit, President Soyer invited Terra Madre Anadolu to be held in İzmir in 2022 and said, “The fair will be a great opportunity to advance our discussions on food accessibility and social equality.”
With the vision of "Equal Citizenship Possible" of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, the third International Living Together Summit, which was held in Izmir after Montreal and Düsseldorf, started. At the online opening of the summit, which brought together mayors from all over the world to find solutions to global problems, especially the pandemic, and to create more livable cities, Montréal Mayor Valérie Plante, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Senior Representative Miguel Angel Moratinos, UNESCO Policy and Program Director Ângela Melo also made a speech. The Mayor of Dusseldorf, Dr. Stephan Keller attended the summit by sending a video message. The summit, which will continue online today, will be held physically on December 10 at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center.
“Cities must be at the center of our plans to create an equal future”
Speaking at the first session titled "Mayors' Dialogue on Social Cohesion in Cities", Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that life in cities has not become difficult only with Covid-19, and said, "Discriminating urban policies, increasing income gap and climate emergency make the lives of millions of people difficult. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that municipalities and other local agencies have extraordinary potential to respond and act quickly to emergencies. The pandemic has been a very important experience for our future. The way to increase this efficiency even more is to come together. Cities should be at the center of our plans to create a more democratic, environmentally friendly and equitable future.”
Circular culture emphasis
Speaking about the declaration and the concept of cyclical culture at the UCLG Culture Summit held in İzmir, Mayor Soyer also emphasized that İzmir was declared the world's first Cittaslow Metropolis pilot city. Soyer said, “The outbreak of the pandemic has made existing inequalities more evident. In these challenging conditions, cities now have the opportunity to strengthen local democracy. Therefore, like everything else, the fight against inequalities needs a cultural basis, a cyclical culture. Underlining the harmony with nature for a sustainable future, Soyer said, “Living together is not only living together with people but also with nature. We must learn to live in harmony with our nature.”
Terra Madre invitation to presidents
Inviting all mayors to Terra Madre, one of the world's largest food fairs and to be hosted by İzmir in September 2022, Mayor Soyer said, “Terra Madre Anadolu will be the center of different agricultural cultures. Refusing to surrender to the industrial conditions and standardization of food in agriculture, the fair will be a great opportunity to advance our discussions on food accessibility and social equality. With this summit, as the International Observatory of Mayors, we are creating an open space to create an inspiring vision for the cohesive cities of tomorrow. I am confident that this summit will offer practical solutions and long-term strategies to the current and future problems of cities.”
“Cities can learn from each other”
Starting his speech by thanking Mayor Tunç Soyer for hosting the summit, Düsseldorf Mayor Dr. “I really believe that cities can get better by learning from each other. Much has changed since Düsseldorf hosted this summit. We experienced an epidemic process that no one could predict. We are at the forefront of fighting the epidemic in our cities. For this reason, I fully believe that the third summit in Izmir will help us deal with the epidemic, how we can achieve social cohesion and achieve economic success," he said.
Presidents sought answers to questions about the future
After the opening speeches, mayors and local representatives from Quebec, Canada, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Strasbourg, France participated in the Mayors Dialogue. In the session, the issues to be done at the local level regarding social cohesion and policies related to “living together” were discussed.
Presidents will meet in Izmir on 10 December
The Coexistence Summit, organized by the Urban Justice and Equality Branch in cooperation with the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Social Projects Department and the Foreign Relations Department, will continue online between 16.00-20.30 today. Three thematic workshops will be held under the titles of “Building Resilience in Cities”, “Promoting Diversity, Equality and Inclusion” and “Promoting Dialogue and Solidarity”.
Participation in the summit can be done with the following link:
On December 10, the "Mayors' Summit" will be held at the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center with physical participation. “Human Rights and Democracy Session” was attended by Deep Poverty Network Founder Hacer Foggo, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) Founding Board and Ethics Committee Member Prof. Dr. Nilgün Toker, Former Deputy Mayor for Cultural Development, Rome City Council and Initiator of the 2020 Rome Convention Luca Bergamo, İzmir Bar Association President Özkan Yücel and Aydın Deputy, CHP Party Assembly Member Bülent Tezcan will attend.
In the "Coexistence and Human Rights High Level Panel", together with Mayor Tunç Soyer, Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras, Nicosia Turkish Municipality Mayor Mehmet Harmancı and Karşıyaka Mayor Cemil Tugay will give a speech. Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer will attend via video message.