The movement began in the International Year for Peace, 1986, when 62 cities were chosen from among thousands. Representatives of these 62 cities met on 7 and 8 September 1988 at Verdun, to participate: "in the building of a world less violent and more humane, a world of tolerance and of mutual. respect to enable the requirements of peace based on justice and human rights to be better understood".
The International Association of Peace Messenger Cities was established in 1988 and now administers the programme according to the statute of the Association and criteria for membership. Member cities of the Association meet twice year with the aim of exchanging programmes, ideas and experience in cities around the globe.
Their website, www.iapmc.org, is active after the General Assembly which was held in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia.
As of 2006, the list of Peace Messenger Cities is: