US-Mayors warn against increasing danger of war

US-Mayors warn against increasing danger of war

cc. The US-Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organisation for cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,407 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The conference constitutes a representation of the cities’ interests. Among others it helps develop and promote effective national urban/suburban policy; build stronger and more effective federal-city relationships and makes sure that Washington’s policy takes into account the cities’ needs. The Conference holds its Winter Meeting each January in Washington, D.C. and an annual meeting each June in a different U.S. city.
This year’s annual meeting took place from 24 to 27 June 2016 in Indianapolis. At the close of the conference – for the eleventh time in a row – a resolution was launched in support of “Mayors for Peace” (cf. box). They also demand to redirect the state funds away from nuclear armament and to address instead the urgent needs of cities and rebuild thenation’s crumbling infrastructure for the benefit of the citizens of their cities. 2016 adopted resolution …

Calling on the next U.S. President to pursue diplomacy with other nuclear-armed states; participate in negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons; cut nuclear weapons spending and redirection funds to meet the needs of cities

  • whereas the August 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki indiscriminately incinerated tens of thousands of ordinary people, and by the end of 1945 more than 210,000 people – mainly civilians, were dead, and the surviving hibakusha, their children and grandchildren continue to suffer from physical, psychological and sociological effects; and
  • whereas, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) commends President Obama for visiting Hiroshima on May 27, 2016 and meeting with hibakusha as we called upon him to do in 2015, and for declaring there: “Among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them. We’re not bound by genetic code to repeat the mistakes of the past”; and
  • whereas, the USCM commends President Obama for the successful conclusion of diplomatic negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive nuclear deal as we called upon him to do in 2015; and
  • whereas, at the same time, the Obama Administration has reduced the U.S. nuclear stockpile less than any post-Cold War presidency and has laid the groundwork for the United States to spend one trillion dollars over the next three decades to maintain and modernize its nuclear bombs and warheads, production facilities, delivery systems, and command and control, and the other nuclear-armed states are following suit; and
  • whereas, the nuclear-armed countries are edging ever closer to direct military confrontation in conflict zones around the world, and the largest NATO war games in decades, involving 14,000 U.S. troops, and activation of U.S. missile defenses in Eastern Europe are fueling growing tensions between nuclear-armed giants, and according to former Defense Secretary William Perry: “The probability of a nuclear calamity is higher today, I believe, that it was during the cold war.”; and
  • whereas, more than 15,000 nuclear weapons, most orders of magnitude more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, 94% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and humanity; and
  • whereas, the United States and the other nuclear-armed states are refusing to participate in the United Nations Open-Ended Working Group Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations, meeting this year in Geneva; and
  • whereas, deteriorating infrastructure is endangering public safety and quality of life, and the growing disparity in wealth is forcing people to leave America’s cities, and federal funds are desperately needed in our communities to build affordable housing, create jobs with livable wages, improve public transit, and develop sustainable energy sources; and
  • whereas, the USCM commends Mayor Denise Simmons and the Cambridge City Council for demonstrating bold leadership at the municipal level by unanimously deciding on April 2, 2016, to divest their one-billion-dollar city pension fund from all companies involved in production of nuclear weapons systems and in entities investing in such companies; and
  • whereas, “Mayors for Peace” continues to aim for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020, and its membership has grown to 7,063 cities in 161 countries, with 207 U.S. members; and
  • whereas, the USCM congratulates Des Moines and its Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie on Des Moines’ appointment as Lead City for the U.S. section “Mayors for Peace”,
  • now therefore be it resolved that the USCM calls on the next President of the United States, as an urgent matter, to pursue new diplomatic initiatives to lower tensions with Russia and China and to dramatically reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles; and
  • be it further resolved that the USCM calls on the next President of the United States, in good faith, to participate in or initiate, for example by convening a Nuclear Disarmament Summit, multilateral negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons as required by the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty; and
  • be it further resolved, that the USCM calls on the next President and Congress of the United States 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 address the urgent needs of cities and rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure; and
  • be it further resolved, that the USCM calls on member cities to take action at the municipal level to raise public awareness of the humanitarian impacts and financial costs of nuclear weapons, the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed states, and the urgent need for good faith U.S. participation in negotiating the global elimination of nuclear weapons by, for example, planting seedlings of A-bombed trees, hosting A-bomb poster exhibitions and film screenings, sharing hibakusha testimonies via Skype, promoting Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Courses; and having their mayors speak at local Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemorations; and
  • be it further resolved, that the USCM reaffirms its support for “Mayors for Peace” and urges additional U.S. cities to join in its campaign to reach 10,000 member cities by 2020.

© Copyright 2016. The United States Conference of Mayors. All rights reserved.
The United States Conference of Mayors. 1620 Eye St. NW, 4th Floor - Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 293-7330 Fax: (202) 293-2352 Email <link>

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 seventy 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 October 1, 2016, membership stood at 7,146 cities in 162 countries and regions. We were registered as a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council [ECOSOC] in May 1991.

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