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2020 Vision

Resolutions of Support

U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM)

June 11, 2018

Resolution unanimously adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, June 11, 2018
at its 86th Annual Meeting in Boston, MA
Calling on the Administration and Congress to Step Back From the Brink and Exercise Global Leadership in Preventing Nuclear War

WHEREAS, on January 25, 2018 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its “Doomsday Clock” to 2 minutes to midnight, as close as it’s ever been set since its inception in 1947, citing “the failure of world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change” and stating, “the world is not only more dangerous now that it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War II”; and

WHEREAS, nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons, most an order of magnitude more powerful than the U.S. atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 92% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity and the earth’s environment; and

WHEREAS, tensions between the United States and Russia have risen to levels not seen since the Cold War, with the two nuclear giants confronting each other in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and Syria and an accelerated tempo of military exercises and war games, both conventional and nuclear, on both sides; and risky close encounters between Russian and U.S./NATO forces have increased dramatically in the Baltic region and Syria; and

WHEREAS, this is only one of many nuclear flashpoints, from the Korean Peninsula, to the South China Sea to the Middle East and South Asia, where all of the nuclear-armed states are engaged in unpredictable conflicts that could catastrophically escalate out of control; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, released on January 19, 2018, portrays a shift from the “war on terrorism” to “great power competition,” with a focus on Russia and China as strategic competitors; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, released on February 2, 2018, manifests a commitment to an increasing and long-term reliance on nuclear arms, lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons, emphasizing the role of such weapons in responding to “non-nuclear strategic attacks”; proposes a new low-yield warhead deployed on submarine-launched missiles, and a new sea-based, nuclear-armed cruise missile, as well as replacement of the existing air-launched cruise missile with a stealthier, more capable version; and endorses current plans to sustain and upgrade existing nuclear forces and infrastructure projected to cost well over a trillion dollars over the next three decades; and

WHEREAS, on March 1, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a major address to Russia’s Federal Assembly, presented a detailed description of an array of new nuclear weapons delivery systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile and an underwater drone; and

WHEREAS, China, France, the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan are also engaged in nuclear weapons modernization programs; and

WHEREAS, in 2017 the United States spent $610 billion on its military, more than two and a half times as much as China and Russia combined, amounting to 35% of world military spending; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Congress has approved a budget deal providing for military spending of $700 billion in 2018 and $716 billion in 2019; and

WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace, which is working for a world without nuclear weapons and safe and resilient cities as essential measures for the realization of lasting world peace, has grown to 7,578 cities in 163 countries and regions, with 213 U.S. members, representing in total over one billion people; and

WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors has unanimously adopted Mayors for Peace resolutions for 13 consecutive years; and on June 26, 2017 called on the United States to support negotiations then underway on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons; and

WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace representatives including the Mayors of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Des Moines, observed and took part in the treaty negotiations at the United Nations; and

WHEREAS, without participation by the United States, Russia and the other nuclear-armed states, on July 7, 2017, by a vote of 122 – 1, the majority of the world’s countries adopted a historic treaty to prohibit the possession, development, testing, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons; and

WHEREAS, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature on September 20, 2017 and will enter into force once 50 nations have ratified it.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, , that the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) calls on United State Administration and the United States Congress to step back from the brink and exercise global leadership in preventing nuclear war; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM calls on the U.S. Government, as an urgent priority, to lower nuclear tensions with Russia through intense diplomatic efforts, including reaffirmation of U.S. support for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and extension of the new START treaty; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM welcomes the dramatic diplomatic opening between the U.S. and North Korea and urges President Trump to patiently and diligently work with North and South Korea for a formal resolution of the Korean War and normalized relations with a denuclearized Korean peninsula; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM reaffirms the importance and efficacy of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated by Iran, the U.S. and 5 other nations to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, and calls on U.S. Administration to pursue diplomacy and normalized relations with Iran with the goal of establishing a zone free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons in the Middle East; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM deeply regrets that the United States and the seven other nuclear-armed states boycotted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) negotiations, along with almost all countries under the U.S. nuclear umbrella; and that in a joint statement following the vote, the U.S., France and the United Kingdom declared: “We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to [the Treaty]”; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM urges the United States government to reverse its stance and to embrace the TPNW as a welcome step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear arms; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM calls on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first; ending the sole, unchecked authority of any president to launch a nuclear attack; taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; cancelling the plan to replace its entire arsenal with enhanced weapons; and actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM calls on the President and Congress to reverse federal spending priorities and to redirect funds currently allocated to nuclear weapons and unwarranted military spending to support safe and resilient cities; to fully fund Community Block Development Grants and the Environmental Protection Agency; to mitigate climate change; to create jobs by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and to ensure basic human services for all, including education, environmental protection, food security, housing and health care; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the USCM urges all U.S. mayors to join Mayors for Peace to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities by 2020, and encourages U.S. members to act at the municipal level to raise public awareness about the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed states, the humanitarian and financial costs of nuclear weapons, and the urgent need for good faith U.S. leadership in negotiating the global elimination of nuclear weapons.

Sponsored by:
The Honorable T.M. 'Frank' Franklin Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa

Co-sponsored by:
The Honorable Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina
The Honorable Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio
The Honorable Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa
The Honorable Ardell Brede, Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota
The Honorable Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke, Massachusettes
The Honorable Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin
The Honorable Geraldine Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach, Florida
The Honorable Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines, Florida
The Honorable Salvatore J. Panto, Jr., Mayor of Easton, Pennsylvania
The Honorable Patrick J. Furey, Mayor of Torrance, California
The Honorable Patrick Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, Maryland
The Honorable Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal, Illinois
The Honorable Christopher L. Cabaldon, Mayor of West Sacramento, California
The Honorable Lydia L. Mihalik, Mayor of Findlay, Ohio
The Honorable Kirk Caldwell, Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii
The Honorable Toni N. Harp, Mayor of New Haven, Connecticut
The Honorable Ted Winterer, Mayor of Santa Monica, California
The Honorable Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas
The Honorable James Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana
The Honorable Jon Mitchell, Mayor of New Bedford, Massachusettes
The Honorable J. Christian Bollwage. Mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey
The Honorable Tari Renner, Mayor of Bloomington, Illinois
The Honorable Sam Cunningham, Mayor of Waukegan, Illinois
The Honorable Dontario Hardy, Mayor of Kinston, North Carolina
The Honorable Denny Doyle, Mayor of Beaverton, Oregon

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