United Towns Organization
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United Towns Organization
(Fédération Mondiale des Villes Jumelees), a nongovernmental, international organization aiding the development of cooperation and friend-ship between cities of various countries and between their populations, regardless of race, language, religion, and political convictions. Founded by representatives of fraternal cities on Apr. 28, 1957, in Aix-le-Bains (France), the organization in 1970 united up to 1,000 cities of more than 50 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The head-quarters is located in Paris.
The aims and tasks of the United Towns Organization are expressed in the Charter of Related Cities and in the Political Program of Fraternal Cities. The highest body of the organization is the general assembly, composed of delegates of the member cities; the assembly convenes once every two years and elects an executive committee of 42 members. The organization holds international congresses and conferences of related cities on various problems and since 1963 has organized yearly meetings of the youth of the fraternal cities. The United Towns Organization publishes a collection, Cites Unies, two or three times a year. By a resolution of the organization the last Sunday in April is designated International Related Cities’ Day. At the seven international congresses (the seventh was convened in Leningrad in 1970), questions on such topics as cultural exchange, cooperation, and the establishment of contacts between cities of countries with differing economic levels were discussed.
The United Towns Organization facilitates the establishment of communications between the municipal administrations of fraternal cities and the widening of exchanges between them in the fields of culture, education, information, sports, tourism, and economics and trade. One of the organization’s basic aims is rendering aid to the cities of developing countries. The United Towns Organization supports the principles of the protection and the strengthening of peace, of fraternal mutual assistance, and of peaceful coexistence; it has called repeatedly for the cessation of imperialist aggression in Indochina and the Near East and for the strengthening of European security, and it has condemned American aggression in Vietnam.
An active role in the United Towns Organization is played by the cities of the USSR, which united in 1964 into the Association for Communication Between Foreign and Soviet Cities; the association became part of the Union of Soviet Friendship Societies. Hundreds of cities in the USSR have fraternal cities in the socialist countries; in 1970, more than 120 cities of the USSR had fraternal relations with 250 cities in capitalist and developing countries.
D. K. MITROPOL’SKII