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Adopted unanimously by the U.S. Conference of Mayors at its 85th Annual Meeting June 26, 2017, Miami Beach, Florida (www.usmayors.org)

Calling on President Trump to Lower Nuclear Tensions, Prioritize Diplomacy, and Redirect Nuclear Weapons Spending to meet Human Needs and Address Environmental Challenges

WHEREAS, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of its “Doomsday Clock” to 2.5 minutes to midnight – the closest it’s been since 1953, stating, “Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change,” and warning that, “Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink”; and

WHEREAS, Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero has stated, “This is an unprecedented moment in human history. The world has never faced so many nuclear flashpoints simultaneously. From NATO-Russia tensions, to the Korean Peninsula, to South Asia and the South China Sea and Taiwan — all of the nuclear-armed states are tangled up in conflicts and crises that could catastrophically escalate at any moment”; and

WHEREAS, on May 5, 2017, Global Zero launched the Nuclear Crisis Group, comprised of retired diplomats, generals and national security experts from key countries including the United States, Russia, China, South Korea, India, Japan, Pakistan and Poland, to engage in high-level efforts to prevent these flashpoints from escalating to the use of nuclear weapons; and

WHEREAS, nearly 15,000 nuclear weapons, most an order of magnitude more powerful that the U.S. atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, over 90% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to humanity and the biosphere; and

WHEREAS, “Mindful that no national or international response capacity exists that would adequately respond to the human suffering and humanitarian harm that would result from a nuclear weapon explosion in a populated area, and that such capacity most likely will never exist,” 127 countries have endorsed the Humanitarian Pledge to “stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons”; and

WHEREAS, more than 15,000 nuclear weapons, most orders of magnitude more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, 94% held by the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and humanity; and

WHEREAS, the United States is engaged in programs to modernize its nuclear bombs, warheads and delivery systems, including in some cases, giving them vastly improved targeting capability, and Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, India, Israel and Pakistan are engaged in nuclear weapons modernization programs of their own; and

WHEREAS, It is not the intention of this resolution to suggest that the United State is the instigator of nuclear proliferation; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his prophetic speech, Beyond Vietnam; A Time to Break Silence, 50 years ago, warned: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors in 2016 called on the next President of the United States “in good faith, to participate in or initiate…. multilateral negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons as required by the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty”; and

WHEREAS, the USCM congratulates Des Moines and its Mayor T.M. Franklin Cownie on Des Moines’ appointment as Lead City for the U.S. section Mayors for Peace.

WHEREAS, over the objections of the United States, Russia and the other nuclear-armed states, the 2016 United Nations General Assembly adopted, by a large majority, a resolution deciding “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”; and

WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace, which calls for the global elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020, has grown to 7,295 cities in 162 countries and regions, with 210 U.S. members, representing in total over one billion people.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) calls on the United States Government, as an urgent priority, to do everything in his power to lower nuclear tensions though intense diplomatic efforts with Russia, China, North Korea and other nuclear-armed states and their allies, and to work with Russia to dramatically reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the historic negotiations currently underway in the United Nations, involving most of the world’s countries, on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors deeply regrets that the United States and the other nuclear-armed states are boycotting these negotiations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the United States to support the ban treaty negotiations as a major step towards negotiation of a comprehensive agreement on the achievement and permanent maintenance of a world free of nuclear arms, and to initiate, in good faith, multilateral negotiations to verifiably eliminate nuclear weapons within a timebound framework; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, introduced in both houses of Congress, that would prohibit the President from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls for the Administration’s new Nuclear Posture Review to reaffirm the stated U.S. goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons, to lessen U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons, and to recommend measures to reduce nuclear risks, such as de-alerting, improving lines of communication with other nuclear-armed states, and ending nuclear sharing, in which Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey host U.S. nuclear bombs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors 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

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes resolutions adopted by cities including New Haven, CT, Charlottesville, VA, Evanston, IL, New London, NH, and West Hollywood, CA urging Congress to cut military spending and redirect funding to meet human and environmental needs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors 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 restore full funding for Community Block Development Grants and the Environmental Protection Agency, to create jobs by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and to ensure basic human services for all, including education, environmental protection, food assistance, housing and health care,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges all U.S. mayors to join Mayors for Peace in order to help reach the goal of 10,000 member cities by 2020, and encourages U.S. member cities to get actively involved by establishing sister city relationships with cities in other nuclear-armed nations, and by taking action at the municipal level to raise public awareness of the humanitarian and financial costs of nuclear weapons, the growing dangers of wars among nuclear-armed states, and the urgent need for good faith U.S. participation in negotiating the global elimination of nuclear weapons.

The 2017 Mayors for Peace USCM resolution was sponsored by:

The Honorable T. M. Franklin Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, IA
The Honorable Alex Morse, Mayor of Holyoke, MA
The Honorable Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque, IA
The Honorable Nan Whaley, Mayor of Dayton, OH
The Honorable Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI
The Honorable Geraldine Muoio, Mayor of West Palm Beach, FL
The Honorable Lucy Vinis, Mayor of Eugene, OR
The Honorable Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal, IL
The Honorable John Heilman, Mayor of West Hollywood, CA
The Honorable Pauline Russo Cutter, Mayor of San Leandro, CA
The Honorable Salvatore J. Panto, Jr., Mayor of Easton, PA
The Honorable John Dickert, Mayor of Racine, WI
The Honorable Ardell F. Brede, Mayor of Rochester, MN
The Honorable Helene Schneider, Mayor of Santa Barbara, CA
The Honorable Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines, FL
The Honorable Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA
The Honorable Mark Stodola, Mayor of Little Rock, AR
The Honorable Patrick L. Wojahn, Mayor of College Park, MD
The Honorable Denny Doyle, Mayor of Beaverton, OR
The Honorable Patrick J. Furey, Mayor of Torrance, CA

>Press Release by the Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator

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