Mexico City has been recognized as an International Capital of Non-Violence for its programs to promote voluntary disarmament and create a culture of peace and respect by the Non-Violence Project Foundation, or NVP.

The honor was bestowed on the Mexican capital on Saturday by the NVP, which counts celebrities like Yoko Ono and musician Ringo Starr among its supporters.

The former Beatle, who is touring Mexico for a series of concerts, was expected to attend Saturday's awards ceremony, but he was unable to attend.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera accepted the award and said the capital won mainly because of social programs such as Por tu Familia (For Your Family) and Desarme Voluntario (Voluntary Disarmament).

Desarme Voluntario has exchanged about 9,000 firearms for merchandise and other items since December 2012, the mayor said.

"Mexico City wants children to grow up safe and develop in an environment of peace, so the government will continue to promote programs like Desarme Voluntario," Mancera said during the ceremony in the Zocalo, the capital's largest plaza.

The mayor thanked Ono and Starr, who are members of the foundation, for their efforts to promote non-violence.

The Non-Violence Project Foundation previously honored New York, Malmö, Beijing and Berlin with the award.

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