The Sister Cities Program was launched in 1956 by President Eisenhower to further international understanding and friendship at all levels of the community on a continuing long term basis. Since its inception four decades ago, the Sister Cities Program has grown into the world’s largest international organization. In theme with Sister Cities International’s slogan, "Peace Through People", the City of Atlanta currently has forged sister city relationships with 18 cities.
The spirit of the Sister Cities Program is expressed in the purpose of the Atlanta – Rio de Janeiro Sister City Committee: to facilitate increased contact and exchanges between the cities of Atlanta, Georgia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This aim is based on a belief that greater interaction between the two cities will build on feelings of mutual goodwill.