San Francisco, CA – At the close of its 83rd Annual Meeting on 22 June 2015, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), for the 10th consecutive year, adopted a strong resolution in support of Mayors for Peace, noting that August 6 and 9, 2015 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In its resolution titled “Calling for Effective Implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Disarmament Obligation and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Needs of Cities,” the USCM “reaffirms its call on the U.S. government to support commencement of a process to negotiate the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”
The USCM is a high level conference which focuses on a range of key issues for cities, such as climate change, water resources, poverty & homelessness, gun control & violence, criminal & social justice, energy, employment and city economies. The 83rd USCM meeting included the participation of 277 mayors of major US cities, along with presentations by US President Obama, Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, music legend Carlos Santana (‘A dialogue on music and politics’) and others.
President Obama used the pulpit at the US Conference of Mayors to focus on climate change, job creation, building national and community infrastructure and addressing gun violence.
“It is not good enough simply to show sympathy. You don’t see murder on this kind of scale with this kind of frequency in any other advanced nation on Earth. Every country has violent, hateful, or mentally unstable people. What’s different is not every country is awash with easily accessible guns. And so I refuse to act as if this is the new normal.” President Obama, US Conference of Mayors
The USCM resolution picks up on the key themes of city economies, environmental issues and job creation by citing the fact that over the next decade the U.S. plans to spend $348 billion to maintain and modernize its nuclear forces, the USCM declares that “the needs of America’s cities can only be met by adopting new priorities to create a just and sustainable economy, infrastructure and environment,” and “calls on the President and Congress 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 pressing needs of cities.”
The resolution also “expresses its support for the successful conclusion of negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive nuclear deal and urges the U.S. government to support the convening of a conference on establishing a Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction at the earliest possible date.”
In conclusion, the USCM “reaffirms its support for Mayors for Peace and its “2020 Vision” and joins Mayors for Peace in urging the policymakers of the world, especially from nuclear-armed states, to visit the atomic bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as soon as possible to see the reality of the atomic bombings for themselves and listen to the survivors’ appeal for peace and disarmament.”
Mayors for Peace, an international organization, founded in 1982 and led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, aims through its 2020 Vision Campaign to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. Mayors for Peace membership has grown by more than ten fold since 2003, as of June 1, 2015 counting 6,706 cities in 160 countries and regions including 204 U.S. members, representing some one billion people, one-seventh of the world’s population.
The USCM is the nonpartisan association of American cities with populations over 30,000. As explained by its outgoing President, Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who chaired the final plenary, resolutions adopted “will become the official policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.”
In 2004, the USCM adopted a resolution declaring that “weapons of mass destruction have no place in a civilized world,” and called on the U.S. President to support a decision of the 2005 NPT Review Conference to “commence negotiations on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons,” and since 2006 has adopted annual resolutions in support of Mayors for Peace, its Cities Are Not Targets project and its 2020 Vision Campaign, and calling for U.S. leadership in global elimination of nuclear weapons and redirection of nuclear weapons spending to meet the urgent needs of cities.
The 2015 resolution comes at a time of heightened nuclear tensions between the U.S. and Russia, and as the deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran approaches. On May 22, the month-long five year NPT Review Conference ended without agreement on a final outcome document due to objections by the United States, backed by the United Kingdom and Canada, to rescheduling the Middle East Conference. The agreement would have provided that even if states in the region could not agree on an agenda, the conference would be convened by March 1, 2016, with or without Israel’s consent or participation. Israel,the only nuclear-armed state in the region, is not a member of the NPT.
The 2015 Mayors for Peace USCM resolution was sponsored by:
Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie, Des Moines, Iowa
Mayor Joy Cooper, Hallandale Beach, Florida
Mayor John Dickert, Racine, Wisconsin
Mayor Denny Doyle, Beaverton, Oregon
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Mayor Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Mayor Geraldine Muoio, West Palm Beach, Florida
Mayor Stodola, Little Rock, Arkansas
Mayor Roy Buol, Dubuque, Iowa
Mayor Chris Koos, Normal, Illinois
Mayor Luigi Boria, Doral, Florida
Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison, Wisconsin
Mayor Michael Brennan, Portsmouth, Maine