Fifty delegates from 15 countries, representing 23 cities (Abidjan, Berane, Brighton & Hove, Coventry, Kotor, Kragujevac, Kumanovo, Kyrenia, Lefkoniko, Maputo, Morphou, Oswiecim, Plonsk, Prilep, Rostock, Sarajevo, Slovenj Gradec, Sremski Karlovci, Torun, Volgograd, Yokohama, Zagreb and Zurrieq), have met from September 26-29, to attend the 30th General Assembly of the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, hosted by the city of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The conference was opened by the speeches of Sarajevo Mayor Abdulah Skaka, Plonsk Mayor Mr Andrzej Pietrasik, former president of the IAPMC, Mayor of Slovenj Gradec, Mr Tilen Klugler, Secretary-General of the IAPMC and representative of the Foreign Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Ahmet Halilović.
The positive atmosphere throughout the entire General Assembly showed that cities are aware of the importance of participating in such events. The Assembly, apart from producing a Sarajevo Declaration 2019, which pointed out the necessity of increasing the awareness of environmental impact, also noted the importance of following the UN Sustainable development goals, also offered the opportunities for delegates to present reports from their cities, explain and share their good practices in promoting the culture of peace, tolerance and cooperation and understanding. Rapporteurs elaborated on several issues: the Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms Semiha Borovac, opened the subject of the first topic, Migrant Crisis – Tolerance in the Context of Diversity, Mr Dušan Stojanovič, Deputy-Secretary of the IAPMC introduced the second topic: UN Sustainable Development Goals, Prof Dr Damir Kapidžić from the Faculty of Political Science ha dan introductory speech to the third topic, Promotion of the Culture of Peace in the 21st Century Against Culture of War in 20th Century, while the city representatives from numerous cities presented their experience and reports on implementation of beforementioned subjects.
As a part of the official programme, delegates also participated at the opening of the Antiwar Cartoon Exhibition, presented by the city of Kragujevac (Serbia), a biannual display of antiwar artwork from around the globe, for which the IAPMC is awarding the highest award - Grand Prix. The exhibition was set up for display in History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, specially transfered from Kragujevac for this occasion.
The Association accepted two new member cities: Prilep (North Macedonia) and Sremski Karlovci (Serbia). After finishing their three years term, the Association elected new Executive Board and Executive Officers by acclamation. The new Executive Officers are:
SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Hezegovina, represented by Mr Abdulah Skaka, Mayor) (presiding in 1st year)
VOLGOGRAD (Russian Federation, represented by Mr Vitaliy Likhachev, Mayor) (presiding in 2nd year)
MORPHOU (Cyprus, represented by Mr Victor Hadjiavraam, Mayor) (presiding in 3rd year)
ABIDJAN (Ivory Coast, represented by Mr Vincent Kouaoh N'Cho, Vice-Governor)
SLOVENJ GRADEC (Slovenia, represented by Mr Tilen Klugler, Mayor)
Mr Dušan Stojanovič (Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia)
The following cities represent the Executive Board of the IAPMC:
Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
Coventry (United Kingdom)
Kumanovo (North Macedonia)
Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia)
The International Association of Peace Messenger Cities has awarded diplomas of Distinguished Fellowship for their outstanding service and long-time active participation and involvement of the IAPMC affairs to the following recipients:
Vincent Kouaoh N'Cho, vice governor of the District of Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Victoras Hadjiavraam, Mayor of Morphou Cyprus
Andrzej Pietrasik, Mayor of Plonsk, Poland
and Dušan Stojanovič, Deputy Secretary-General of the IAPMC.
A special award was presented to the town of Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia, for their 30th anniversary of receiving the title of Peace Messenger, the award was accepted by the Mayor of Slovenj Gradec, Mr Tilen Klugler.