Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to re-assure you that Prague is an open-minded and liberal city which strongly promotes freedom, democracy and human rights. I believe that cities are important agents in defending these crucial values.
In 2019, Prague together with other V4 capitals – Budapest, Bratislava and Warsaw – founded the Pact of Free Cities in order to defend freedom and democracy and tackle anti-liberal tendencies, inequalities, populism, climate change denial and xenophobia. 19 cities from Europe and beyond joined the Pact this September and I feel empowered that the voice supporting human rights and democratic values is strong. I would therefore like to pass this encouragement also to you.
Even though my duty is to deal with issues directly concerning Prague, human rights and freedom are universal values. When they are being violated it is also a duty to speak out. I condemn all practices which lead to the deprivation of civil liberties and human rights. The persecution and pressuring of people for political reasons or on the basis of their religion or ethnicity is unacceptable. This is also why I support the right of Tibetan people for self-determination.
Also, Tibet is strongly affected by climate change. This leads me to another vital and universal topic – there is a clear link between human rights and climate change challenges. The right for a safe, clean and sustainable environment is a basic human right, moreover climate change impacts other human rights.
Let’s work collectively towards mitigating climate change and defending human rights.
Thank you for your attention and many greetings from Prague.
Mayor of the City of Prague
02 November 2021