Mayors for Peace conference closes, adopting appeal for multilateral discussions on nuclear weapon ban

by Yumi Kanazaki and Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writers

Mayors for Peace, for which Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba serves as president, closed its 7th General Conference on August 10. The plenary session and the closing ceremony were held at Nagasaki Brick Hall. Adopted at the end of the four-day conference was the Mayors for Peace Nagasaki Appeal, in which the mayors pledge their utmost efforts to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020.

The appeal includes six clauses for actions the international community is urged to take and four for the efforts the mayors themselves intend to pursue.

The appeal urges the international community to adopt the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference as a path toward the elimination of nuclear weapons. It also urges that multilateral negotiations on achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world either commence at the Conference on Disarmament, to be held in Geneva, or be launched by the 2010 U.N. General Assembly.

The member cities also pledge to cooperate in encouraging world leaders--in particular, those leading nuclear-armed states--to visit the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2010.

After the closing ceremony, Mayor Akiba concluded at a press conference, “The foundation has been laid for the basic direction of the future campaign. We have affirmed that the power to change the world is within the hands of the cities and citizens.”

Mayors for Peace holds its General Conference every four years. This conference drew 237 participants, including representatives from 134 cities in 18 countries and regions, 10 nongovernmental organizations from home and abroad, and administration officials from national governments. The next general conference is scheduled for 2013 in Hiroshima.

(Originally published on August 11, 2009)

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