Mayors for Peace to not include target year for nuclear abolition in its next vision statement

“Impossible to achieve nuclear abolition by 2020”

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

The next vision statement of Mayors for Peace will not include a specific target year for the abolition of nuclear weapons, although the group’s current action plan “2020 Vision” seeks to achieve nuclear abolition by 2020. The next vision statement will be formulated next summer. As international circumstance is becoming more difficult over nuclear disarmament, the group will focus on obtaining more member cities from nuclear-weapon states, and educating younger generations who will work for peace building. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president of this group.

Mayors for Peace held an executive conference in Hannover, Germany, on November 11 and 12. Mayor Matsui said later in a press conference held on November 21 that he and other participants had evaluated the group’s achievement in terms of its vision statement and discussed ideas for the main points of the next vision statement.

Mayor Matsui said, such goals as physical destruction of all nuclear weapons by 2020 “would be impossible to achieve.” As to efforts to stir up public opinion for the elimination of nuclear weapons, he expressed a pessimistic view that the public opinion has not been made strong enough to fill the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states. The group will be committed to seeking more member cities from nuclear-weapon states, according to the mayor.

The main pillar of the group’s next vision statement will be to promote a culture of peace. He said the group would increase its efforts to create an environment for nuclear abolition through such measures as peace education for younger generations. The next vision statement will be adopted in the group’s general meeting to be held in Hiroshima next August. “The vision statement is to set forth what the world should be like, which is a world without nuclear weapons. The action plan will show what should be done by what year. We will continue to make efforts while checking the progress.”

Mayors for Peace has 7,847 member cities in 163 countries and regions as of November 1.

(Originally published on November 22, 2019)