Background DocumentsCity of Vancouver Report – March 2005Summary of the Preparatory Conference Proceedings – November 2004World Peace Forum 2006: A Working Vision – November 2004Peace and Justice Committee Proposal for a World Peace Forum- March 2004

Vancouver’s rich tradition of peace and justice activism began with its self-proclamation as a “Nuclear Weapons Free Zone” city in 1983. Since then, the city has been part of numerous peace initiatives such as calls for disarmaments, walks and rallies for peace, and public dialogues to prevent nuclear war. Since 1986 the City of Vancouver has been one of the 92 members of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities. More recently, Vancouver became member of the Mayor for Peace Network, among 619 cities in 110 countries.

Ten years after the self-proclamation and following Vancouver’s efforts to become a sustainable city, Vancouver City Council established the Peace and Justice Committee to oversee the organization of a major international event: The World Peace Forum. This is the first large gathering of cities and communities, government and civil society organizations, collaborating toward a common goal: end war and build a peaceful, just and sustainable world.

Global militarism has become an imminent threat to our cities and communities- the home of nearly 50 percent of the world population. It is pivotal to raise global awareness of militarism and its consequences, develop effective models to reduce violence and encourage peaceful means to end conflicts, achieve justice and reach sustainability in our world.

The 2006 meeting of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities will take place in Vancouver in the context of the World Peace Forum 2006. Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima, as President of the Mayors for Peace Network, has acknowledged his “hearty endorsement of the World Peace Forum 2006” Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign will enter a new phase in 2006 following the May 2005 United Nations Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The World Peace Forum 2006 will provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen the links between Mayors and citizens that have been involved in the campaign to date.

As well, the Cities for Peace Network has acknowledged that the World Peace Forum 2006 in Vancouver will provide an important opportunity for cities to engage in strengthening civic commitments to building bridges of peace between municipalities, nations and culture.