Mayors for Peace issues joint appeal imploring NPT signatories to engage in constructive dialogue until next review conference

by Tsuyoshi Kubota, Staff Writer

On April 27, Mayors for Peace (for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president) issued a joint appeal regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). April 27 was originally scheduled to be the opening day of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, but the gathering was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. The Mayors for Peace organization implored the signatory nations to engage in constructive dialogue during the time now available due to the postponement toward adoption of an agreement at the next review conference.

The appeal, signed jointly by Mayor Matsui and Tomihisa Taue, Nagasaki mayor and vice president of Mayors for Peace, insisted that “collective action against the COVID-19 threat can inspire new cooperation to address many other global challenges.” Amid the widening divide between the nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states, the two mayors called on all signatory nations to engage in sincere and constructive dialogue by considering the postponement as “additional time for preparations.”

The NPT Review Conference is held every five years in New York City to explore a path toward nuclear disarmament. Although it was originally scheduled to be held from April 27 to May 22 this year, the United Nations decided to postpone the meeting at the end of March. As for the new date, Gustavo Zlauvinen, an Argentine ambassador who is president-designate of the 2020 NPT Review Conference, expressed his view that the only option was to hold the conference during January 4–29 next year.

(Originally published on April 28, 2020)