Mayors for Peace asks next U.N. secretary general to lead negotiations for nuclear weapons ban

On October 14, Mayors for Peace (for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president) sent a message to António Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal who was selected as the next secretary general of the United Nations. The message asks that Mr. Guterres lead the world’s nations in negotiating a legal ban on nuclear weapons.

The message stresses that security for all human beings can only be ensured by outlawing nuclear arms. Hope was also expressed for a visit by Mr. Guterres to the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The message was sent to the Portuguese office of the U.N. by both email and post.

In 2008, one year after his appointment as U.N. secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, the current U.N. chief, announced a five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament, which included the possibility of pursuing negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention. In 2010, he took part in the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima on August 6, the first sitting U.N. secretary general to do so.

In January Mr. Guterres will be appointed the next secretary general. According to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, which serves as the secretariat of Mayors for Peace, it is hoped that Mr. Guterres will readily appreciate this input so that the link between Mayors for Peace, which was strengthened during Mr. Ban’s tenure, can continue to grow.

(Originally published on October 15, 2016)