The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), a network of over 1000 US cities with populations over 30,ooo people, adopted a powerful nuclear disarmament resolution on 23 June, including support for the recent case lodged in the International Court of Justice by the Marshall Islands against the nine nuclear armed countries.
The resolution, adopted at the 82nd USCM assembly in Dallas, Texas, 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.”
The resolution ‘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.”
The resolution also was sponsored by Mayor Donald Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio, past President of the USCM and a Vice-President of Mayors for Peace, and 26 co-sponsoring mayors from cities in Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Florida, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maine, California, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
The resolution also calls on the US government to:
- participate in the international conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons,
- commence negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention (global treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons),
- engage in intensive diplomatic efforts to reverse the deteriorating U.S. relationship with Russia, and
- 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.
Finally the resolution calls on the member cities of USCM to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (September 26) which was recently established by the UN General Assembly.
On 7 May, Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign, along with several other international disarmament organisations, launched UNFOLD ZERO – a UN focused nuclear initiative which will provide as platform for promoting and reporting on actions around the world for the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.