Saturday, October 25, 2014

History

Over 30 Years of Sister Cities Relationships

Affiliations between the United States and other countries began shortly after World War II and soon became popularly known as Sister Cities. The Sister City movement became a national effort when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the People-to-People program at a White House conference in 1956. Today, over 2,000 U.S. cities in all 50 states are linked with over 1,800 foreign cities in 123 different countries. Sister Cities International celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1996. For more than 42 years, the Sister Cities program has broadened its areas of focus from educational and cultural exchanges to also include technical assistance, trade, and economic development.

Sister Cities International, as the national nonprofit membership organization serving members in the United States, acts as a clearinghouse and facilitator in assisting communities with the development and maintenance of their Sister City partnerships. Besides Phoenix, other Arizona cities that are members of Sister Cities International and support local sister city organizations include Flagstaff, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Prescott, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside, Sierra Vista, Tempe, Tucson, and Yuma.

The City of Phoenix joined the Sister City movement in 1972 with the creation of Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC). As a nonprofit organization seeking to develop understanding and better relationships with designated cities around the world, PSC filed for Articles of Incorporation in 1975 and signed their first Sister City linkage with Hermosillo, Mexico in 1976. Since then, Phoenix has linked with Himeji, Japan (1976); Taipei, Taiwan (1979); Chengdu, China (1987); Ennis, Ireland (1988); Grenoble, France (1990); Calgary, Canada (1997); Catania, Italy (2001); Ramat-Gan, Israel (2005); and  Prague, Czech Republic (2013).

These invaluable partnerships offer a forum for fostering and encouraging mutual understanding, friendship and peace through cultural, social, educational, and economic exchanges between the people of Phoenix and the people of our Sister Cities.

For information on Sister Cities International, please click here.