The Fifth World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-City Solidarity opens on August 4 in Hiroshima City, with the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons from the world through a global network of cities. On August 2, days prior to the opening, mayors of participating cities and other delegates began arriving in Hiroshima.
The keynote theme of this conference is "In order for humankind to
live through the 21st century: Towards reconciliation between humankind
and science and technology." For six days through August 9, the conference
will meet first in Hiroshima, then in Nagasaki, to discuss the roles cities
should play in building a peaceful 21st century.
The agenda for the Plenary Session includes discussion of what cities and
citizens should do to eliminate nuclear weapons. The issue of violence
among children will be discussed for the first time at this conference,
after a survey of participating cities revealed a high interest in this
Subcommittees will discuss specific themes including "dissemination
and articulation of the A-bomb experience" and "peaceful resolution
of conflicts." Subcommittees in Nagasaki will discuss the building
of coalitions with non-governmental organizations (NGO) as well as global
As of August 2, sixty-nine cities and two organizations (municipal NGOs)
were planning to attend from 31 foreign countries. First-time participants
from overseas include 41 cities and two organizations, accounting for almost
60%. Nine countries are participating for the first time, including Pakistan,
which conducted a nuclear testing in 1998, and New Zealand, which is a
long-time proponent of total nuclear disarmament. A record 44 municipalities
will attend from Japan.
On August 2, a total of about 20 participants from eight cities in four
countries, including Banepa (Nepal) and Matara (Sri Lanka), and one non-municipal
organization arrived in Hiroshima City.
(Caption) Delegations from Galle (Sri Lanka) and other cities arrive in Hiroshima to attend the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-City Solidarity. They are greeted by Hiroshima City employees (right). (7:55pm, August 2, at JR Hiroshima Station)