New Year Greetings from Consul General Anne-Claire Legendre [fr]
"After a year marked by tragedies and uncertainties, 2017 will be full of important challenges."
My dear fellow citizens,
After a year marked by tragedies and uncertainties, 2017 will be full of important challenges.
The democratic challenge, first of all. On April 23 and May 6, you will be called to the polls for the Presidential election, followed by the general election on June 3 and June 17. Many of you registered to vote this Fall. The Consulate will be fully mobilized to allow you to perform your civic duty across the 9 sites and 16 voting polls opened in our district. This will be a major task and we will accomplish it together. Already, I am calling on all of you to volunteer at those polling centers.
A new American administration will take office later this month. We will work on establishing the most constructive relationships with the incoming team, in keeping with the common principles shared by France and the United States.
The celebration of the centenary of the United States entry into World War I, on April 6, will be an opportunity to reaffirm the tightness of our bonds and to honor our shared values: the same determination to defend freedom, the same attachment to democracy and human rights. To commemorate this alliance, New York will welcome the Queen Mary II on July 1st, for the last stop of a symbolic voyage across the Atlantic. I hope many of you will join this celebration.
Another challenge will be to strengthen France’s influence – this is the mission of French diplomacy, and of this Consulate.
This will mean contributing to our country’s economic recovery. Here in New York, we will keep working on supporting the exceptional energy of our entrepreneurs and the answers they bring to tomorrow’s challenges. France will present the largest delegation of startups at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. We will also highlight them in New York throughout the year. We will work on promoting our country’s attractiveness, particularly in the context of the Brexit. Paris is ready to welcome foreign investors and entrepreneurs: the French government, the Paris region, and the city of Paris, all answered the call. It is now up to us to convey the message.
France’s influence is not just economic of course: French culture is an incomparable source of prestige and pride. In 2017, in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Consulate will bring our community together around a series of exciting events: concerts by the French-American Piano Society, the Fashion Week, Goût de France…
In March, we will also celebrate the Francophone world. With 274 million French speakers across the world, and more than 750 million by 2050, French is a language of the future, which is learned every day in New York, in our accredited schools as well as an increasing number of public schools that have been adopting bilingual curricula – not to mention all of FIAF programs of course.
2017 will also be a big year for sports: Paris’ campaign for the 2024 Olympics bid will be in full swing through September 13. The 2017 World Men’s Handball Championship, held in France in January, will set the tone for the year, and the Consulate will share all these moments with you.
These challenges, dear fellow citizens, will be faced together.
It is now time for me to wish you a wonderful New Year, and to extend my best wishes for happiness, health and prosperity, to your and your loved ones.