This month, 6 new members from Italy joined Mayors for Peace, bringing the number of Italian member cities to 504. Italy is now home to the fourth largest number of Mayors for Peace member cities in the world after Japan, Iran and Germany. This record was achieved thanks to the continued efforts of supporters in Italy, including Ms. Lisa Clark, the Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB).
Ms. Clark also serves as the coordinator of the working group on nuclear disarmament within the Italian Disarmament Network, which brings together the major Italian organizations engaged in disarmament and arms control. The network has recently announced a new stage of the campaign called “Italia Ripensaci,” which was originally launched in 2016. Literally, it means “Italy, re-think your decision” but is an idiomatic expression that asks the government to change their mind and find a way to join the process leading to the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The campaign is requesting that the Italian Government search for ways to gradually join this process as Italy cannot simply sign – much less ratify – the Ban Treaty, because there are US nuclear weapons on its territory. The campaign is asking mayors and local government institutions to adopt supportive council resolutions, like the drafts provided.
In early February, a tour to several Italian cities was organized to prepare the ground for the next stage of the campaign. Over 3 days, this tour hit four cities: Rome, Turin, Brescia and Pordenone. On February 2, the City of Brescia hosted a meeting specially devoted to Mayors for Peace with 30 mayors or their representatives from the towns in the Province of Brescia to talk about ICAN, the Treaty, and the role that cities can play. Brescia is the capital city of the province where the Italian Air Force base Ghedi is located which hosts US nuclear weapons in a nuclear sharing arrangement. Brescia itself, and another three cities joined those that were already members of Mayors for Peace and committed to working to adopt resolutions in favor of the Ban Treaty to send to the national government.>Report on ICAN website