Montreal has an explicit, long-term policy for encouraging international co-operation. This is set out in a document called Strategic framework for the international relations of the city of Montreal: urban diplomacy working for the Montreal community and the world. The strategy supports several activities aimed both at promoting Montreal abroad and at conducting real municipal diplomacy at the international level in sectors such as living together and inclusion, economic development, the climate, migration, human rights and democratic metropolitan governance. The strategic framework is implemented through the operating budget allocated to the International Relations Office (BRI); other specific measures may also receive outside funding (e.g., Federal Government).
Montreal is also the seat of the International Observatory of Mayors on Living Together, a network that brings together some 50 cities and mayors from all over the world to exchange experiences on social cohesion, diversity and inclusion. On the same subject, Montreal has also set up a Standing Committee on Living Together made up of around 20 French-speaking mayors in the International Association of French-Speaking Mayors (AIMF).
Outside the strategy, the International Relations Office supports a development aid leave programme under which employees are able to share their experiences in third countries which some Montreal citizens come from, and implements co-operation programmes in Haiti, a country which has a large diaspora in Montreal.
Moreover, since 1979, the city of Montreal has maintained official bilateral relations with many cities in Asia, Africa, Europe and America.
Lastly, the city also works actively to attract and retain businesses, organisations, events, talent and international events through Montreal International, a non-profit body set up for the purpose in 1996, which is funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Quebec, Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) and the city of Montreal. In addition, the non-profit cultural organisation, Vitrine Culturelle, provides a passport for international students that gives them free access to several institutions and student services in several leading universities.