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In recognising Mayor Somers’ achievements, including facilitating the long-term integration of refugees and immigrants, the world mayor jury highlighted Mayor Somers’ approach of demanding from all citizens, and in equal measure, a full respect of the rule of law and a total rejection of any kind of discrimination.
“This prize is for all citizens of Mechelen who, in these past years, have made sure that we didn’t let go of each other, that with 128 different nationalities we stayed together”, said Mayor Somers.
The World Mayor Prize is awarded every two years by the philanthropic City Mayors Foundation to a mayor who has made exceptional contributions to his or her community and whose vision for urban living is relevant to towns and cities across the world. The prize was formerly awarded to LI Deputy President and then Mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, in 2008.