Participation in the 2009 NPT PrepCom: Third Preparatory Committee meeting for the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference
Mayors for Peace formed a mayoral delegation and attended the third preparatory committee meeting to the NPT Review Conference (NPT PrepCom) in New York. The delegation promoted Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, 2020 Vision Campaign, and nuclear weapons abolition.
Mayors for Peace appealed for support through speeches delivered by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the NGO session, a side event entitled "Toward a Decade for Nuclear Disarmament, 2010-2020", and meetings with government representatives. Delegation members also attended other meetings organized by NGOs to gather information and strengthen partnerships.
Taking advantage of the presence of Board members, an important meeting of the Board of Directors of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association was held to discuss future campaign activities.
After the PrepCom, part of the delegation visited Washington D.C. to meet members of Congress and the Obama administration to stress the importance of a time-bound commitment to the abolition of nuclear weapons. They requested support the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free-world by 2020.
Monday, May 4
Mayoral Delegation exchanging opinions with members of the World Council and Trustees of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, a UN accredited NGO working to solve global issues in 57 countries around the world. The organizations agreed to strengthen their partnership in pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free peaceful world.
At a meeting with H.E. Mr. Masahiko SHIBAYAMA, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, who served as the Japan's Representative to the 2009 NPT PrepCom, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki introduced the Mayors for Peace campaign and requested the Japanese Government's support for Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
Tuesday, May 5
Mayors for Peace hosted a conference entitled "Toward a decisive decade for nuclear disarmament, 2010-2020". About 100 participants including our Mayoral delegation, A-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, UN representatives and NGOs discussed ways to work together to realize a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020.
During a meeting with H.E. Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, who will chair the 2010 NPT Review Conference, the Ambassador reacted favorably to our request for his support for the activities of Mayors for Peace, including adoption of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima and Mayor Taue of Nagasaki delivered speeches at the NGO Session of the NPT PrepCom.
Mayor Taue called for world leaders to visit Nagasaki and expressed Nagasaki's willingness to host a Global Summit on Nuclear Security proposed by the U.S. Government.
Based on President Obama's speech in Prague, Mayor Akiba stressed the achievability of the Mayors for Peace goal, the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020. He referred to the majority of people around the world seeking a world without nuclear weapons as the "Obamajority." He also displayed a paper crane folded by Sadako Sasaki. The speeches of both mayors were greeted with enthusiastic voices of support.
The Board Meeting of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association was attended by representatives of executive cities including Akron; Malakoff; Florence; Ypres; and Manchester; all members of the mayoral delegation. After the Campaign Secretariat reviewed 2008 activities and presented the 2009 budget, discussion focused on such issues as strengthening the financial base, recruiting additional executive cities, and future planning for the campaign activities. Pending issues will be discussed in the next Board Meeting to be held in conjunction with the 7th General Conference in Nagasaki in August 2009.
Wednesday, May 6
The Mayoral Delegation met Mr. Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament, president of the 2005 NPT Review Conference. He has long been a tremendous supporter of Mayors for Peace and other efforts for peace conducted by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time, we asked him to support our CANT petition drive and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
The Mayoral Delegation met the Ambassadors of several countries and requested their support for Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol and the 2020 vision campaign.
The Mayoral Delegation attended the side event "Nuclear Abolition: Renewed Signs of Hope" organized by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, established in 1982 in Santa Barbara, California, USA. In his speech, Mayor Akiba pointed out that citizens seeking to abolish nuclear weapons are the overwhelming majority and called for united efforts toward a world without nuclear weapons. This is the wish of the "Obamajority" and a paradigm shift from the old mindset. Participants received his words with loud applause.
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met H. E. Mr. Yukio Takasu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, informing him regarding Mayors for Peace and the 2020 Vision Campaign. They specifically Japanese Government support for adoption of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol at the 2010 NPT Review Conference.
Ambassador Takasu pointed to the growing momentum for nuclear weapons abolition and said he would do his best to produce concrete results leading toward a world without nuclear weapons. He stressed the importance of interactive partnerships between governments and cities.
Thursday, May 7
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mayor Akiba met him previously last October during the UN General Assembly and submitted a portion of the 370,221 signatures collected through the CANT (Cities Are Not Targets) petition drive.
This time, we requested support for adoption of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol and for a visit by President Obama to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said he would cooperate as much as he can.
In Washington, D.C., the Mayoral Delegation met five members of the US House of Representatives, including Ms. Carolyn B. Maloney, Ms. Barbara Lee, Mr. Dennis J. Kucinich, Mr. Michael M. Honda and Ms. Lynn Woolsey. The delegates stressed the importance of a time-bound commitment to abolish nuclear weapons and requested support for the 2020 Vision Campaign and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol. They also sought assistance in urging President Obama to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The five Members of Congress unanimously showe their support for Mayors for Peace.
The Mayoral Delegation visited an exhibition entitled Hiroshima Children's Drawings: Gifts of Peace and Hope. These drawings were presented by children of Honkawa Municipal Elementary School in 1948, in return for a donation of school supplies from Rev. A. Powell Davies of All Souls Church in the U.S. in 1947. In the midst of severe shortages after the atomic bombing, paints, crayons, and other supplies were given to elementary schools in Hiroshima city.
The Delegation was warmly welcomed and all involved renewed their determination to realize a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.
Friday, May 8
The Mayoral Delegation met Mr. Eliot Kang, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation. During the meeting, the delegation praised President Obama's speech in Prague, declaring that the goal of Mayors for Peace is in line with his. They requested support for the 2020 Vision Campaign and Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol. Mr. Kang mentioned that global public opinion has been changing and expressed high expectations for the Mayors for Peace campaign.
The Mayoral Delegation also met Mr. Jon Wolfsthal, Special Advisor to the Vice President for Nonproliferation, and requested his support for Mayors for Peace. He expressed his high expectations for our efforts.
Mayor Akiba and Mayor Ivan Knez of Biograd na Moru, Croatia, visited the office of Senator Edward Kaufman, former member of the Advisory Board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project and co-chair of the Vice Presidential Transition Team, where they met Mr. Mr. Halie Soifer, Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Kaufman. They also visited the office of Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and met Mr. Howard Hall, Military Fellow to Congresswoman Tauscher. In each office,
the delegation described the activities of Mayors for Peace, requested that the Senator and the Congresswoman visit Hiroshima and that they support Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol and urge President Obama to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Mayor Taue of Nagasaki and Mr. Michel Cibot, City Administrator of Malakoff met Mr. Victor Reinoso, Deputy Mayor for Education, Washington D.C. The two representatives of Mayors for Peace Vice President Cities informed the Deputy Mayor that among the capital cities of the five nuclear states, China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., only the capital of the U.S. is not a member city of Mayors for Peace. They requested that Washington D.C. join Mayors for Peace. They also asked him to attend the 7th General Conference of Mayors for Peace as an observer, if it is difficult to join the organization immediately.