Sister Cities International
1301 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Suite 850
Washington
DC 20004
USA
Tel: + 1 202-347-8630
Fax: +1 202-393-6524
Email:
info@sister-cities.org
Internet:
www.sister-cities.org


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Communities in some 125 countries
work for peace through Sister Cities

Sister Cities International is a nonprofit, citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between US and international communities. Citizen diplomacy can be described as the concerted attempt to increase global cooperation through unofficial contacts at the primary and individual level.

The sister city movement goes back to 1956 when US President Dwight D. Eisenhower called for people-to-people exchanges at a special White House Summit on citizen diplomacy. The calling of Sister Cities International is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation - one individual, one community at a time.

Similar to the European ‘twinning’ concept, the partnerships help US cities develop deeper connections with countries in Asia, The Americas, Africa, the Caribbean, Eurasia, Oceania, the Middle East, and Europe. The network represents more than 2,500 communities in 125 countries around the world. As an international membership organization, Sister Cities International officially certifies, represents, and supports partnerships between US cities, counties, states, and similar jurisdictions in other countries to ensure their continued commitment and success.

As an official member of Sister Cities International, members acquire many benefits. They gain the opportunity of networking with all members of Sister Cities International. Through the network, members can gain access to a comprehensive database and search engine that enables them to share information on existing programs. Members can also use an instantaneous translation service in 10 different languages for emails and documents. In addition, the expert professional staff at Sister Cities International provides private consultation services for program development and sustainability.

An elected board of directors governs the organization. A professional staff and an executive director provide membership and program support from the Washington, DC, headquarters. Sister Cities International promotes programs for sustainable development, youth involvement, cultural understanding, and humanitarian assistance.

These are a few of the projects that Sister Cities International has developed:
Sustainable Development
• Sister Cities Network for Sustainable Development

The Network for Sustainable Development assists with capacity building and aids sister city partnerships in expanding or developing new projects based upon the United Nations 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Using the Sister Cities International "model," sister city partnerships promote the participation of local citizens at all levels of project development. This includes identifying project areas, suggesting and drafting proposed solutions, overseeing their implementation and evaluating the results. Within this network the organization promotes programs in areas such as HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention; Emergency Preparedness; Transparency and Openness; Information and Communication Technology; and Urban Management.  

• Millennium Development Goals Challenge Pilot Program
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) City-to-City Challenge Pilot Program mobilizes and enlists the aid of city-to-city relationships to promote sustainable development. Sister Cities International, in cooperation with the World Bank Institute (WBI), selected three sister city partnerships for this exciting project. These cities agreed to focus on MDGs as part of their active membership in the Sister Cities Network for Sustainable Development.

• Open World Leadership Program
The Open World Leadership Program aims to advance ideas on accountability, transparency, and citizen participation in governments in Eurasia. The program brings Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbek elected officials, political candidates, and emerging political and civic leaders to the United States. The Academy for Educational Development (AED), in partnership with Sister Cities International, administers the program. The Open World Leadership Center at the US Library of Congress sponsors the program.

Humanitarian Assistance
• Wheelchairs for Peace

In 2002, Sister Cities International and the Wheelchair Foundation embarked upon a five-year initiative to distribute wheelchairs to sister city communities throughout the world. The Wheelchair Foundation has committed a total of $4.5 million in matching funds to be combined with funds raised by sister city chapters to deliver wheelchairs to children and adults in their sister cities living with disabilities.

• US-Iraqi International Partners for Peace Initiative
The "International Partners for Peace" initiative is a new public-private partnership between the US and Iraqi communities. It is designed to strengthen relationships with people in order to cultivate more extensive communications with them, leading in turn to greater cooperation and understanding. Initial efforts will concentrate on humanitarian aid programs. Sister Cities International will organize this initiative with funding support from the US Department of State.

Arts and Culture
• Young Artists Competition

Since 1988, the Sister Cities International Young Artist Competition has engaged youth from around the world in the sister city mission. Young artists use the competition’s yearly theme to express their concept of the quest. Applying their imagination and thoughts to the theme, they creatively convey the significance of sister city partnerships through various images. Recent themes have been “Coming Together to Build a Better World;” “Reach for a Hand, Touch a Heart;” and “No Borders, No Fences… Just Friends.”

Youth and Education
• The Youth and Education Network

Sister Cities International recognizes the role of youth in sustaining current sister city relationships and fostering future partnerships. The Network increases the ability of member communities to design and deliver effective youth and education programs. Members can also find funding opportunities through foundations, government grants, and other potential projects.

• Sister Cities International/Academic Year in the USA (AYUSA) Partnership for Youth Exchange
Sister Cities International and AYUSA International formed a strategic partnership to offer exciting new youth exchange opportunities to its members. Sister Cities International/AYUSA Partnership for Youth Exchange facilitates exchange programs for youth to promote long-term, substantive partnerships between US and international communities.

• Islamic Youth Initiative and Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program
The Youth Exchange and Study (Yes) program, sponsored by the US Department of State, provides full scholarships for students from the Islamic world to travel to the United States for an academic year. The students live with host families, attend school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, and help educate Americans about their own countries and cultures. The 2004-2005 program includes 220 students from Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, West Bank and Yemen. Sister Cities International has formed partnerships with AYUSA, ASSE, and AMIDEAST and iEARN for this initiative.

World Mayor 2014
26 mayors from across the world are competing for the 2014 World Mayor Prize
CHOOSE THE WINNER NOW


Support the Mayor you believe should win the 2014 World Mayor Prize



NORTH AMERICA
Mayor Naheed Nenshi
Calgary, Canada
Mayor Annise Parker
Houston, USA
Mayor Mick Cornett
Oklahoma City, USA
Mayor Kevin Johnson
Sacramento, USA



LATIN AMERICA
Mayor Marcio Lacerda
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Mayor Álvaro Arzú
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Mayor Carlos Eduardo Correa
Monteria, Colombia
Mayor Carlos Ocariz
Sucre, Venezuela



EUROPE
Mayor Daniel Termont
Ghent, Belgium
Mayor Alain Juppé
Bordeaux, France
Mayor Albrecht Schröter
Jena, Germany
Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, Thessaloniki, Greece
Mayor Giusy Nicolini, Lampedusa, Italy
Mayor Nils Usakovs
Riga, Latvia
Mayor José Ramón García, Ribera de Arriba, Spain
Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol, UK
Mayor Joe Anderson, Liverpool, UK



ASIA
Mayor Tri Rismaharini (Risma)
Surabaya, Indonesia
Mayor Yona Yahav
Haifa, Israel
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog
Iloilo City, Philippines
Mayor Hani Mohammad Aburas
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Mayor Park Won-soon
Seoul, South Korea
Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu
Izmir, Turkey



AUSTRALIA
Mayor Clover Moore
Sydney, Australia



AFRICA
Mayor Jacqueline
Moustache, Victoria, Seychelles
Mayor Thabo Manyoni
Mangaung, South Africa



Previous winners
and runners-up

Previous winners and runners-up include the mayors of Bilbao, Perth, Mexico City, Oklahoma City, Cape Town, Zurich, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Athens, Mississauga and Tirana. The World Mayor Project aims to show what outstanding mayors can achieve and raise their profiles nationally and internationally. MORE