Redirect nuclear weapons spending to cities

Mayors for Peace

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — At the close of its 83rd Annual Meeting June 22, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), for the tenth consecutive year, adopted a strong resolution in support of Mayors for Peace, noting that Aug. 6 and 9 will mark the 70th anniversaries of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

USCM reaffirmed its call on the U.S. government ‘to support commencement of a process to negotiate the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.’

USCM reaffirmed its call on the U.S. government “to support commencement of a process to negotiate the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.”

The resolution comes at a time of heightened nuclear tensions between the United States and Russia, and as the June 30 deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran approaches.

The USCM resolution recalls that at the conclusion of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the United States and the other nuclear-weapon states reaffirmed their “unequivocal undertaking … to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” pursuant to Article VI of the treaty. They also agreed to “convene a conference in 2012 … on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction,” the USCM resolution points out.

No agreement

May 22, the NPT Review Conference ended without agreement on a final outcome document due to objections by the United States, backed by the United Kingdom and Canada, to rescheduling the Middle East Conference. The agreement would have provided that even if states in the region could not agree on an agenda, the conference would be convened by May 1, 2016, with or without Israel’s consent or participation. Israel, the only nuclear-armed state in the region, is not a member of the NPT.

USCM also ‘expresses its support for the successful conclusion of negotiations with Iran.’

USCM urges the U.S. government to support convening of a conference on establishing a Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction at the earliest possible date.

The resolution is titled “Calling for Effective Implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Disarmament Obligation & Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Needs of Cities.”

In it, the USCM also “expresses its support for the successful conclusion of negotiations with Iran on a comprehensive nuclear deal.

Adopt new priorities

USCM cites the fact that over the next decade the United States plans to spend $348 billion to maintain and modernize its nuclear forces. USCM declares, however, that the needs of U.S. cities can only be met by adopting new priorities to create a just and sustainable economy, infrastructure and environment.

USCM’s resolution calls on the president and Congress “to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to address the pressing needs of cities.”

USCM reaffirms its support for Mayors for Peace and its “2020 Vision.” USCM joins Mayors for Peace in urging the policymakers of the world, especially from nuclear-armed states, to visit the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as soon as possible “to see the reality of the atomic bombings for themselves and listen to the survivors’ appeal for peace and disarmament.”

Editor's note: Mayors for Peace, an international organization founded in 1982 and led by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, aims through its 2020 Vision Campaign to achieve the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. Mayors for Peace membership has grown by more than tenfold since 2003, as of June 1 counting 6,706 cities in 160 countries and regions including 204 U.S. members, representing some one billion people, one-seventh of the world’s population.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is a nonpartisan association of U.S. cities with populations over 30,000. As explained by its outgoing president, Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who chaired the final plenary, resolutions adopted “will become the official policy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.”

In 2004, USCM adopted a resolution declaring that “weapons of mass destruction have no place in a civilized world.” It called on the U.S. president to support a decision of the 2005 NPT Review Conference to “commence negotiations on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.” Since 2006 USCM has adopted annual resolutions in support of Mayors for Peace, its Cities Are Not Targets project and its 2020 Vision Campaign. USCM urges for U.S. leadership in global elimination of nuclear weapons and redirection of nuclear weapons spending to meet the urgent needs of cities.

  • Full text of the resolution
  • Resolution sponsors:
    • Mayor Luigi Boria, Doral, Fla.
    • Mayor Michael Brennan, Portsmouth, Me.
    • Mayor Roy Buol, Dubuque, Iowa
    • Mayor Joy Cooper, Hallandale Beach, Fla.
    • Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie, Des Moines, Iowa Mayor John Dickert, Racine, Wis.
    • Mayor Denny Doyle, Beaverton, Ore.
    • Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    • Mayor Chris Koos, Normal, Ill.
    • Mayor Geraldine Muoio, West Palm Beach, Fla.
    • Mayor Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
    • Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison, Wis.
    • Mayor Mark Stodola, Little Rock, Ark.

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