Mayors for Peace to establish new committee to handle financial matters

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer (from Granollers, Spain)

Executive conference closes after adopting final statement

On November 10, the executive conference of Mayors for Peace, held in Granollers, Spain, closed after adopting a statement which includes the aim of establishing a review committee to discuss strengthening the organization’s financial footing through the sharing of operating expenses among its member cities.

With membership now exceeding 5,000 cities, the focal point of the conference, which opened on November 9, was the question of asking members cities apart from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to contribute to the body’s expenses. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, who serves as president, made the appeal that “It’s time that Mayors for Peace begins thinking about quality over quantity. We need to consider a way to share our costs without discouraging new membership.”

Reactions such as “We have become a large organization, but our financial strength is weak” and “Shoring up our finances is a matter that must be given high priority” were heard from the participants, and it was agreed that the new committee would be formed for this purpose.

Mr. Matsui’s proposal to establish regional chapters around the world was also met with approval. The new committee will discuss ways to strengthen the organization’s finances as well as the role that regional chapters will play, and compile a plan to be presented formally at the General Conference to be held in the city of Hiroshima in 2013.

Plans to invite disarmament ambassadors and UN representatives to the Hiroshima conference, and appoint well-known figures and opinion leaders as ambassadors for the group’s campaign to abolish nuclear weapons by 2020 were included in the final statement.

The executive conference also adopted a resolution for strengthening solidarity between the member cities in the quest for nuclear abolition. The recent accident at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, which underscored the dangers of nuclear technology, was touched upon as well, with agreement on “the need to create a society supported by safe sources of energy.”

Summary of the statement

• Establish a committee to strengthen the organization’s finances. Create a concrete plan to gather funds.
• Invite disarmament ambassadors from various countries and UN representatives to the Mayors for Peace General Conference to be held in Hiroshima in August 2013.
• Hold events such as A-bomb exhibitions in all member cities to commemorate the achievement of 5,000 member cities.
• Appoint well-known figures and opinion leaders to support the 2020 Vision Campaign as ambassadors.
• Deploy a group of mayors to the meetings of the Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in 2012 and 2013.
• Strengthen relationships with entities such as the United Nations.
• Strengthen appeals for the start of negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.
• Hold an A-bomb exhibition at the meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in 2012.

(Originally published on November 11, 2011)