Worldwide body of cities agrees to press U.N., global governments on nuclear ban treaty

Kyodo

Mayors for Peace, an organization of cities around the world seeking nuclear abolition, agreed Thursday to launch an appeal to the United Nations and all national governments to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.

The “Nagasaki Appeal” calls for governments to sign and ratify the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty, adopted last month by 122 U.N. members but without the participation of the nuclear weapon states and countries such as Japan that rely on the U.S. nuclear deterrent.

“Mayors for Peace will make efforts to make this treaty more effective … and all member cities will strongly urge their national governments to adopt it,” said the document that was agreed to at the end of the ninth general meeting in Nagasaki.

“In particular, we will strongly urge the governments of nuclear-armed states and those under the nuclear umbrella to do so.”

Mayors for Peace, founded in 1982 by the then mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, now counts 7,417 cities in 162 countries and regions among its members.

At the outset of the general meeting on Tuesday, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, vice president of the organization, said that “networks between cities that have experienced conflict and civil war can help bring peace to the world.”

During the three-day conference, participants exchanged views on the group’s goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons by 2020.

The organization holds a general meeting every four years. Representatives of about 170 cities attended the gathering, which coincided with the 72nd anniversary on Wednesday of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

The next general meeting is expected to be held one year ahead of schedule, in Hiroshima in August 2020, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of the two cities that resulted in deaths of an estimated 214,000 people by the end of that year.