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The Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace Activity Report February 2020

February 2020
Report by Helena Aranda Mayor, staff of the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace

The Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace accompanies Setsuko Thurlow in her visit to Barcelona

In late February, Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and one of the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN, visited Barcelona, Madrid and Andorra to raise awareness for and continue adding support to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

On February 18, Mayor Ada Colau of Barcelona met with Ms. Thurlow, who was joined by: Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor for Agenda 2030, Digital Transition, Sports and Metropolitan and Regional Coordination; David Llistar, Director of Global Justice and International Cooperation of the Barcelona City Council; Carlos Umaña, Regional Vice-President of Latin America of the International Association of Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW); Josep Mayoral, Vice President of Mayors for Peace/Lead City Mayor of the Catalan Chapter/Chairman of the European Chapter; and Pedro Arrojo, a former deputy.

Meeting on February 18

The City of Barcelona and Barcelona Provincial Council approve resolutions to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The meeting coincides with the approval of an institutional statement by the Barcelona City Council Plenary Council's Committee on Social Rights, Culture and Sports, that urges the Spanish government to sign and ratify the TPNW. The resolution expounds upon the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities and demands joint efforts for their abolition in the interests of responsibility and safety. In this statement, Barcelona endorses ICAN’s global campaign to demand that governments, through cities, sign and ratify the Treaty and engage clearly and precisely with nuclear disarmament, as well as take concrete steps towards its achievement.

The Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace, together with Fundipau, has been encouraging city councils in the Catalan region to join this global campaign, and since 2018, Catalan councils such as Granollers, Vallromanes, Canovelles, and La Garriga have approved similar motions.

The Barcelona Provincial Council (Diputació de Barcelona), which is a second-level local government body made up of the 311 municipalities of the province of Barcelona, also adopted an institutional declaration in support of TPNW in its plenary session on February 27.

The Provincial Council expressed its support of "all the people and communities affected by the impact of atomic bombs and trials with nuclear weapons," and stated that "the states of the world must commit clearly and precisely to nuclear disarmament and take concrete steps towards its achievement," urging the Spanish Government to sign and ratify the TPNW.

Plenary session of the Barcelona Provincial Council

Official launch of the "Building peace within cities and across the world” Campaign

On Thursday, February 20, another meeting was held at the History Museum of Barcelona, where a new campaign "Building peace within cities and across the world" was officially presented by the Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace and a local NGO Fundipau. Speaking on behalf of the Mayors for Peace Catalan Chapter, Josep Mayoral stressed that nuclear weapons are aimed at cities, and that is why we have a responsibility, as municipalities, to contribute to banning them. Mayoral emphasized that "we will work to ban nuclear weapons. Not only is it necessary, it is a must. Eventually, the citizens will gain strength because it is the only possible way; the other is destruction."

Follow the campaign on social media with the hashtags #BANNUCLEARWEAPONS #CITIESOFPEACE. Through social media, citizens can also urge their municipalities to support the initiative and ask the government to sign and ratify TPNW.

>Related links (in Catalan):
https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/relacionsinternacionalsicooperacio/ca/noticia/ada-colau-es-reuneix-amb-setsuko-thurlow-premi-nobel-de-la-pau-i-referent-en-la-prohibicio-de-les-armes-nuclears_918766
https://wp.granollers.cat/alcaldesperlapau/2020/02/21/alcaldes-per-la-pau-acompanya-la-premi-nobel-de-la-pau-setsuko-thurlow-en-la-seva-visita-a-barcelona/
https://wp.granollers.cat/alcaldesperlapau/2020/03/02/la-diputacio-de-barcelona-dona-suport-al-tractat-sobre-la-prohibicio-de-les-armes-nuclears/

(Photos courtesy of Catalan Chapter of Mayors for Peace)

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