The 12th Edition of the Conf?rence De Montr?al is taking place from June 5 to June 8 2006 here in Montreal. The English version of the conference title, Conference Of Montreal, may not be much help in understanding what is happening. However the alternative title, The International Economic Forum of the Americas, is more helpful. The conference tagline is ‘Gets you closer to the world’ and that seems no idle promise. The conference theme this year is ‘Growing Through Partnership: From Risk To Reward’.
The International Economic Forum of the Americas / Conference of Montreal has as its principal mission the promotion of wide-ranging and completely open discussion of the major international economic issues. It also aims at facilitating the creation of contacts between representatives of businesses, governments and international agencies as well as members of the academic world and civic society, thereby encouraging international exchanges.
The agenda seems suitably wide-ranging:
- June 5 : Governance And Sustainable Development
- June6 : Culture, Health And Society
- June 7 : Trade And Economics
- June 8 : The Americas And The World Economy
The moving spirit behind the conference is Gil R?millard. He has had an illustrious career in government at all levels and is now a professor at the ?cole nationale d’administration publique du Qu?bec (?NAP). He is affiliated to the Universit? du Qu?bec and is Counsel for the law firm of Fraser Milner Casgrain. He can be justifiably proud of what he has created.
The first conference in 1995 had 250 participants. This year there are over 3,000 registered participants, 186 speakers and 100 accredited journalists. It is almost invidious to single out particular speakers from the stellar cast but this sample will show the eminence of those who are speaking.
- Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba
- Alain Jupp?, former Prime Minister of France and visiting professor at the ?cole nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)
- Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- Koichiro Matsuura, Director General, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and
- David H. Wilkins, United States Ambassador to Canada
Given the magnitude of the global problems it is unlikely that even an impressive conference such as this can produce any dramatic breakthroughs. However the networking and the new relationships that develop can only be a power for good. It is only fitting that this should be taking place in Montreal, which demonstrates so effectively the strength that results when people of goodwill from different cultures work together.