This is the VOA Special English Development
Sister Cities International is an
organization that brings together communities from different areas and different
cultures. Sister-city relationships
can help communities learn from each other and solve problems together.
Often these partnerships are based on special projects or exchanges. People
share their knowledge in areas like education, government, business or
Building sister-city relationships was one of the ideas
for the "People-to-People" program created by President Dwight
Eisenhower. He established the program at a White House conference held on
September 11 and 12, 1956.
President Eisenhower wanted to connect citizens who shared an interest in
other cultures. He wanted to increase international understanding and friendship
through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities. He believed that
citizen diplomats could help build peace.
Sister Cities International is a non-profit organization based
in Washington, D.C. The group is involved with programs in 134 countries.
Today, 700 American communities have
partnerships with almost 1,800 communities in other countries.
Atlanta, Georgia, for example, has 18 sister-city partnerships. One
is with Brussels, Belgium. Another is with Lagos, Nigeria. These two
relationships have existed for more than 30 years. The areas they involve include economic
development and trade.
Matthew Corso works for Sister Cities International. He says that within
the past 15 years, more American cities have created partnerships in developing
countries. Projects have involved water quality, health care and good
government, for example. In Africa, projects might also deal with AIDS and HIV.
Mr. Corso says that sister-city partnerships usually result from local
connections. Local governments also become involved and many provide some
leadership. But, generally, citizen groups are responsible for organizing and
Some sister-city relationships are 50 years old. And now there are even
"cyber sister cities" -- partnerships created over the Internet.
And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss.
Sister Cities International is on the Web at sister-dash-cities dot o-r-g. And
if you would like to download transcripts of our reports along with audio files,
go to www.unsv.com. I'm Steve Ember.
relationship : 姐妹城市/友好城市关系