On August 2, 2001, the 5th World Conference of Mayors for Peace opened first in Hiroshima. Events were also held in Nagasaki. Approximately 220 people participated from 63 cities and two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 28 foreign countries and from 44 municipalities in Japan. Nine countries participated for the first time, including Pakistan, which conducted a nuclear testing in 1998.
Discussions included what cities and citizens should do to eliminate nuclear weapons. The issue of violence among children was discussed for the first time at the conference. Participants resolved to make the 21st century the ‘century of humanity,’ a century in which “peace is realized not through violence but through reconciliation, cooperation, reason and conscience.”
Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi of Hiroshima City, the chairman of the conference, gave a speech in English at the opening ceremony saying, “The 20th century was an era of war. We hope to make the 21st century a century of peace and humanity. We must not forget that cities are expected to play an important role towards that goal.”
Morishima Michio of London University gave a speech at the opening ceremony in Hiroshima saying, “In the 21st century, we must transcend the interests of ethnic nationalities and act to protect the earth.”
World Conference of Mayors for Peace to open in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Peace Media, Chugoku Shimbun Peace News August 3, 2001
World Conference of Mayors for Peace Through Inter-City Solidarity opens in Hiroshima, Chugoku Shimbun Peace News, August 5, 2001