Diplomats and Washingtonians gathered at the Chamber of Commerce to attend a gala hosted by Sister Cities International. The lively midweek gathering drew members of Congress, municipal officials, business and community citizen leaders, and 50 Ambassadors to celebrate “Peace through People.”
The cultural event featured appropriately international cuisine, a full open bar, live entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction to raise money for the non-profit. Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit which serves as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the U.S. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers in 545 communities with over 2,100 partnerships in 145 countries on six continents.
A sister city, county, or state relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries. A sister city, county, or state relationship is officially recognized after the highest elected or appointed official from both communities sign off on an agreement.
A city may have any number of sister cities, with community involvement ranging from a half dozen to hundreds of volunteers. In addition to volunteers, sister city organizations may include representatives from nonprofits, municipal governments, the private sector, and other civic organizations.
Sister city relationships offer the flexibility to form connections between communities that are mutually beneficial and which address issues that are most relevant for partners.
Sister Cities presented the following awards to community members and corporations:
- Corporate Diplomacy Award: D.C. United
- Congressional Diplomatic Leadership Award: The Honorable Richard Lugar
- Global Citizen Diplomat Award: The Honorable Vin Martin
- Excellence in Diplomacy Award: The Maryland National Guard
- Congressional Diplomatic Leadership Award: The Honorable James Moran
- Diplomatic Leadership Award: The Honorable Aldona Zofia Wos, M.D.