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The Second Regional Meeting of Mayors for Peace
in Latin America and the Caribbean Hosted by Mexico City

Mexico City,September 20-21, 2016
Report provided by Pol Dhuyvetter,
Coordinator of Mayors for Peace in Latin America and
Executive Advisor of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

The second regional meeting of Mayors for Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean titled “Capital de Paz, Capital Social” was held on September 20 and 21 in Mexico City (CDMX) at the invitation of Mayor of Mexico City Miguel Mancera Espinosa, who is a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace.

The meeting attracted approximately 600 participants each day, including Mayors of Managua, Nicaragua and Cartago, Costa Rica, representatives from San Jose, Costa Rica and Granollers, Spain. There were high-level guests including Ambassador Sergio Duarte, former UN Undersecretary for Disarmament Affairs and Ambassador Felipe Macedo, Secretary-General of OPANAL, who gave compelling speeches about the urgent importance of nuclear disarmament and praised Mayors for Peace; also attending were Mr. Juma Assiago (Kenya), Coordinator of the Safer Cities network of UN Habitat; Mr. Jonathan Granoff who represented Nobel Peace Laureate International Peace Bureau; Mr. Akira Kawasaki, Executive Committee member of the NGO Peace Boat.

During the two-day meeting, the participants embraced the five conditions necessary for peace as promoted in “Making Peace,” a photo exhibition produced by the International Peace Bureau.
(1) Disarmament and Nonviolence
(2) Conflict Prevention and Resolution
(3) Economic and Social Justice
(4) Human Rights, Law and Democracy and
(5) Environment and Sustainable Development.

While recognizing that Mexico City is the historic epicenter for nuclear disarmament through the Treaty of Tlatelolco, establishing the first inhabited nuclear weapon free zone in the world, it was also emphasized that local governments face major challenges as Latin America and the Caribbean are now considered by the UN to be the most violent region in the world with regards to homicide.

During the two-day meeting, participants discussed and exchanged knowledge on important themes such as the promotion of a culture of peace, non-violence and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, as well as the protection of human rights. The participants also learned about the leading role of Mexico City in constructing peace in the metropolis through its effective programs for voluntary disarmament and social and economic inclusion.

At the start of the closing plenary, Ms. Jackie Cabasso, a North American coordinator of Mayors for Peace, delivered a message from the Mayor Matsui of Hiroshima City, President of Mayors for Peace. There was also an inauguration of a sculpture ¨Wings for Peace¨ made out of three tons of collected small arms.

The Mexico City Peace Declaration, which reflects the range of issues that were discussed, particularly nuclear disarmament, is currently being finalized by CDMX and will be released soon.

Mayor Rolando Rodriguez Brenes of Cartago, President of the National Union of Local Governments of Costa Rica and Vice President Confederation of National Associations of Municipalities in Central America and Caribbean (CAMCAYCA) has proposed to host the third regional conference of Mayors for Peace in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017.

The second regional reunion was considered by all participants as a success thanks to the high quality of the speakers and the smooth organization which was coordinated by the team of the Secretary of Social Development, Mr. José Ramón Amieva Gálvez. Since the first regional meeting in Bogota in June 2015, preparations for the second regional meeting were coordinated for over one year by Arlette Cortes from the CDMX International Affairs Office and Pol Dhuyvetter, Mayors for Peace Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean.

>Message from Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima for the Regional Meeting

>Message from Mayor Cownie of Des Moines, Iowa, a lead city of Mayors for Peace, for the Regional Meeting

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