Thanks to hard campaigning by Nanjing University Professor, Liu Cheng, and Executive Chairman of the Institute of the Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace program, Mr. Zhang Jianjun, Nanjing has officially become China’s first International City of Peace.
At present, the list consists of 172 cities from over 50 different countries. Nanjing has just made it in, at number 169. The Executive Director of the International Cities of Peace association, J. Frederick Arment, said in a video speech, “This [the Nanjing Massacre] history makes people remember the war and makes them more aware of the significance of peace”.
International Cities of Peace is a non-profit, tax-exempt association with the mission to network, encourage, document and provide resources and information for leaders and organisations, working to make peace a consensus value through the global Cities of Peace movement.
How cities are selected is based loosely on the following: cities that have been ravaged by war, have settled a conflict via a peace treaty, cities which award peace prizes (or seen to be greatly contributing to peace in various ways) and cities which honour prominent historical figures who were once great advocates of peace. “Nanjing is among the cities that felt the greatest pain in WWII…so we understand how valuable peace is”, said Zhang Jianjun.
In addition to successfully campaigning for Nanjing to be listed as a City of Peace, Prof. Liu helped Nanjing University to become acknowledged, “at home and abroad as China’s centre for peace studies”, by assuming head of the UNESCO Peace Studies Program. Thanks to Mr. Cheng and his colleagues, the university has become the first in China to offer a course in Peace Studies.