6th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace
The Sixth Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace was held on October 17 and 18 in the city of Manchester, England. The main items on the agenda were an Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons and various issues related to the 6th General Conference to be held in 2005.
The vice president cities in attendance were Hiroshima (Japan), Nagasaki (Japan), Manchester (England), Hannover (Germany), and Malakoff (France). Present as observers were representatives from the city of Leeds (England), the British Association of Nuclear-Free Local Authorities, the International Association of Peace Messenger Cities, and the NGO Committee on Disarmament.
The meeting began with a report and confirmation of Mayors for Peace activities since the 5th General Conference (in 2001), followed by a discussion of actions to be taken in pursuit of our common goal - a peaceful world free from nuclear weapons.
Participants expressed general satisfaction that our conference has increased membership to 554 cities in 107 countries and territories, expressing also the hope that we are developing into an effective network of cities passionate about pursuing peace. The Executive Cities affirmed that, given growing worldwide demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons, it is essential to maintain or strengthen all our main activities.
The items the Executive Cities agreed are as follows:
- 1. Mayors for Peace will intensify efforts regarding the items already provided for in the Overall Action Plan, including the items to increase the number of member cities in Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and suspected NWS, and to construct a system for the rapid and effective exchange of information over the Internet.
- 2. In addition, the Mayors for Peace will actively promote an Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons. This campaign will involve: 1) mobilizing a delegation of mayors to attend the NPT prepcom in late April in New York to work with NGO representatives and lobby the national delegates, 2) encouraging mayors around the world to promote grassroots events in their cities to bring the nuclear threat to public awareness and focus attention on the NPT review conference that will take place in 2005, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings, and 3) mobilizing a much larger delegation of mayors and NGO representatives to attend the NPT Review Conference in late April 2005, supported by a massive public demonstration in New York with sympathetic demonstrations to take place in member cities around the world.
- 3. The General Conference, which has heretofore been held every four years in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will be held henceforth first in Hiroshima, then Nagasaki alternately.
- 4. The Sixth General Conference will be held in 2005. This is an extremely important year because it is the sixtieth anniversary of the atomic bombings and because of the NPT Review Conference. One possibility, of course, is to hold it in Hiroshima in August as usual. Another possibility is to hold it in New York timed to coincide with the Review Conference. We will explore these alternatives further.
- 5. The Secretariat will survey opinion among the member cities and use the findings to improve the operation of the General Conference.
- 6. The Resolution on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by the Executive Conference will be sent to the governments of NWS, states suspected of developing or possessing nuclear weapons, and the United Nations, along with a request to maintain and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
- 7. The Final Communique will be sent to all member cities.