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The right to peace

In 1954 the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Paul Ruegger invited La Pira, as mayor of Florence, to address the Committee on civil defence in the case of war.

This invitation led La Pira to reflect (go to Valore delle città) on the city’s right-duty to defend itself from the threat of war, especially when the nuclear threat leaves every city open to the risk of total destruction.

This reflection led the successive initiative (1955) of summoning the mayors of the world’s capital cities to Florence (go to Le  città non vogliono morire), inviting them to unite in solemnly affirming before the history of all time their indestructible right to exist …no one has the right to destroy any city!

This is why in all his initiatives in favour of international dialogue, negotiation and peace from then on up to 1965, La Pira was not only a politician concerned with the danger of the so-called “balance of terror” but precisely as a mayor, shouldering the responsibility the office conferred on him. In recognition of this innovative vigour that he had brought to the office of mayor (and also the custom of twinning that had always been seen as a highly politicised pact), the Worldwide Federation of United Cities appointed him as president in 1967 (…unite cities to unite nations … nations pass but cities remain …go to Parigi 1967): the theme was not only merely the repudiation of war but the role that united cities could play to construct peace.

For the concrete actions undertaken by La Pira to promote international peace, see Themes/peace