The US Conference of Mayors (USCM), the national association of America's big cities, unanimously adopted a powerful new Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums on June 23, 2014 at their annual meeting in Dallas.
The resolution, with its list of 27 sponsoring mayors can be downloaded here. You can get the official version here (does not include list of sponsors).
The resolution recounts the dismal U.S. disarmament record in recent years and calls on the U.S. to participate constructively and in good faith in a variety of new international disarmament initiatives, both within and outside the United Nations. It also documents the unprecedented level of U.S. spending on nuclear weapons and calls on the President and Congress to "reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities." Importantly, it "urges President Obama to engage in intensive diplomatic efforts to reverse the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Russia."
Recalling that "August 6 and 9, 2015 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which killed more that 210,000 people by the end of 1945," the resolution notes that "the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) continue to suffer from the health and environmental impacts of 67 above-ground nuclear weapons test explosions conducted by the U.S. in their islands between 1946 and 1958, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs detonated daily for 12 years."
On April 24, 2014, the RMI filed "landmark" cases in the International Court of Justice against the U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed nations, claiming that they have failed to comply with their obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to pursue negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons, and filed a companion case in U.S. Federal District Court. In its resolution, the USCM "commends the Republic of the Marshall Islands for calling to the world's attention the failure of the nine nuclear-armed states to comply with their international obligations to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons, and calls on the U.S. to respond constructively and in good faith to the lawsuits brought by the RMI."
Upon hearing news of the USCM resolution, RMI foreign minister Tony de Brum stated,"We appreciate very much the US Conference of Mayors supporting our modest efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. This endorsement is acknowledged with deep gratitude on behalf of the Government and the People of the Marshall Islands, and most especially those who have lost loved ones in the mad race for nuclear superiority, and those who continue to suffer the scourge of nuclear weapons testing in our homeland."
As of August 1, 2014, Mayors for Peace U.S. membership has reached 200. Internationally, membership has grown to 6,206 cities in 160 countries and regions. Let's use Nuclear Free Future Month to publicize and broaden support for the Mayors for Peace USCM resolution, and to recruit more Mayors for Peace members!! Here are some ideas:
questions? Need help? Contact me! - Jackie Cabasso, Mayors for Peace
North American Coordinator; Executive Director, Western States Legal
firstname.lastname@example.org; (510) 839-5877
Mayors for Peace, an international organization, founded in 1982 and led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is working through its 2020 Vision Campaign for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. Mayors for Peace membership has grown by more than ten fold since 2003, as of August 1, 2014 counting 6,206 cities in 160 countries and regions, with 200 U.S. members – in all, representing some one billion people, one seventh of the world's population.