• Kyodo

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Thousands of cities worldwide united in the pursuit of a nuclear-free world renewed their commitment to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons during a gathering Wednesday at the United Nations, where a nuclear disarmament conference is underway.

At the outset of the gathering of Mayors for Peace, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, who serves as president of the organization, expressed hope that the assembly will act “as a driving force for the worldwide momentum toward nuclear weapons abolition.”

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, vice president of the organization, expressed “great dismay” at not seeing any progress on banning nuclear weapons and urged country leaders to take action now that global attention has grown recently over the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons.

Municipalities of other countries also joined the calls to rid the world of nuclear weapons, with a representative from Fongo-Tongo in Cameroon issuing a reminder that there is “only one living planet” and people have nowhere to go if the Earth is destroyed by nuclear weapons.

In a document adopted during the gathering in New York, the Mayors for Peace said: “We issue today . . . this appeal for a renewed global commitment to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

“We make this appeal on the basis of our shared mission to protect the lives and property of our fellow citizens against any future use of nuclear weapons, the most inhumane and indiscriminate of all weapons of mass destruction.”

The assembly was held as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference started Monday.

Mayors for Peace counts 6,649 cities in 160 countries among its membership. The Hiroshima-based nongovernmental organization was formed in 1982, when the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — the two cities devastated by the U.S. atomic bombings in 1945 — appealing for other cities worldwide to join the cause.

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