Mayors for Peace – 2011-09-23 00:03:01
Mayors for Peace Reaches 5000 Members
In 151 Countries and Regions; with 188 US Cities,
The World’s Largest Network of Local Governments
HIROSHIMA and OAKLAND (September 22, 20110 — Mayors for Peace is proud to announce that its membership has surpassed the 5,000 mark, making Mayors for Peace not only the fastest-growing association of local governments in the world, but also, by far the largest international, direct-membership association of local governments.
Cities are increasingly becoming a force for peace in the world, no more so than on the issue of abolishing nuclear weapons, as evidenced by the extraordinary growth of Mayors for Peace. Hiroshima and Nagasaki founded the organization in 1982. Their experiences in 1945 of the destructive power of nuclear weapons lent great force to their opposition to nuclear arms.
From 1982 to 2003, 550 cities expressed their solidarity by joining Mayors for Peace. Since 2003, thousands of cities have been inspired to join Mayors for Peace in support of its ‘2020 Vision’ of a world free of nuclear weapon by the year 2020. The total number of citizens represented worldwide by Mayors for Peace is approaching one billion.
Mayors for Peace membership includes well over half of the capital cities and largest cities of the world. US membership has reached 188 cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Boulder, Denver, Des Moines, Akron, Chicago, Wilmington, Orlando, Atlanta, Honolulu, Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, Albany, Buffalo, Houston, Seattle, Spokane, Madison and Milwaukee.
At its annual meeting in June 2011, the US Conference of Mayors, the nonpartisan national association of mayors of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, unanimously adopted a resolution “cal[ling] on President Obama to work with the leaders of the other nuclear weapon states to implement the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention, or a related set of mutually reinforcing legal instruments, can be agreed upon and implemented by the year 2020, as urged by Mayors for Peace.
“The resolution also “calls on the US Congress to terminate funding for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and nuclear weapons systems, to reduce spending on nuclear weapons programs well below Cold War levels, and to redirect funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.”
In the coming months and years, Mayors for Peace will be tackling the challenge of conveying to its citizens and national leaders the extreme urgency of eliminating the nuclear threat. Thousands of nuclear warheads are ready to be used literally within minutes. No matter how professionally these forces are commanded, exposing humanity to such profound danger is inherently irresponsible, indeed reckless endangerment. Mayors for Peace believes that we must work urgently and unrelentingly to commence, pursue, and conclude negotiations to establish a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020.
What is the Mayors for Peace?
In August 1945, atomic bombs instantaneously reduced the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to rubble, taking hundreds of thousands of precious lives. Today, more than sixty years after the war, thousands of citizens still suffer the devastating aftereffects of radiation and unfathomable emotional pain. To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.
On June 24, 1982, at the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament held at UN Headquarters in New York, then Mayor Takeshi Araki of Hiroshima proposed a new Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. This proposal offered cities a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. Subsequently, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called on mayors around the world to support this program.
The Mayors for Peace is composed of cities around the world that have formally expressed support for the program Mayor Araki announced in 1982. As of September 16, 2011, membership stood at 5,003 cities in 151 countries and regions. In March 1990, the Mayors Conference was officially registered as a UN NGO related to the Department of Public Information. In May 1991, it became a Category II NGO(currently called a NGO in “Special Consultative Status”) registered with the Economic and Social Council.
ACTION: How to Join
Send a letter from the mayor or the head of the City Council to the Conference Secretariat stating that your city supports the Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and would like to join the Mayors for Peace. Shortly thereafter, the Secretariat will send by return mail a certificate confirming membership in the Mayors for Peace.
Contact: Jackie Cabasso, Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator (510) 306-0119