Mayors for Peace general assembly closes after adopting Nagasaki Appeal to appeal for nuclear abolition and peace

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

The general assembly of Mayors for Peace, for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president, adopted the Nagasaki Appeal to call for nuclear abolition and a peaceful world on August 10, the final day of the assembly. The gathering took place in the city of Nagasaki. The organization has welcomed the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations, and will urge all nations to sign the treaty. The member cities of Mayors for Peace will call on their respective national governments to join the treaty.

Mr. Matsui read out the appeal, which was then adopted with applause. The appeal praised the adoption of the treaty last month by stating that this agreement demonstrates, on the part of the international community, that the phrase “Nagasaki must be the last atomic-bombed city” is a common desire that represents the will of all humankind. It also stresses that the organization’s member cities will make a strong call for the governments of the nuclear nations and the nations that rely on the nuclear umbrella to sign the treaty. In addition, the appeal urges nations to promote nuclear disarmament in accordance with the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Furthermore, in light of the fact that some nations will begin to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty on September 20, the assembly adopted a “Special resolution requesting the early bringing into effect of the treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons,” based on a proposal made by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Tanoue, who serves as the vice president of Mayors for Peace. Both the appeal and the special resolution statements will be sent to the United Nations and the governments of all countries via email and other methods, and the member cities will take advantage of these statements in making requests to their national governments.

Eddy Newman, the mayor of Manchester, a city in the United Kingdom, spoke at the closing ceremony as the representative of the participants from overseas. Mr. Newman, the vice chair of Mayors for Peace, said that they will ask that the nuclear nations, like the U.K., make efforts for nuclear disarmament so that the objections to the nuclear weapons ban treaty can be addressed. He said he would make an appeal to the British government. He also mentioned the terrorist attack that took place at a concert venue in his city this past May, and stressed the significance of engaging in the issues of terrorism and refugees in the new action plan crafted by Mayors for Peace.

At a press conference held after the general assembly concluded, Mr. Matsui said that one of the key challenges for the organization involved increasing the number of nations willing to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty. Summarizing the gathering, he said, “At this assembly, we were able to reaffirm our determination to strengthen our efforts in the future.”

The mayors from about 150 cities in and out of Japan attended the general assembly, which opened on August 8. At the meeting, a signature drive, which will urge all nations to sign the nuclear weapons ban treaty as swiftly as possible, was added to the organization’s action plan to be implemented by the year 2020. The next general assembly will take place in Hiroshima in August 2020, the year that Mayors for Peace has targeted to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

(Originally published on August 11, 2017)