Report by Ms. Evelyn Kamissek, The City of Hannover, Germany
The ongoing Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and the modernization of nuclear arsenals by the nuclear powers set the backdrop for the Mayors for Peace Flag Day, which took place on July 8. Through this action, more than 550 cities in Germany displayed a visible sign for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons and once again expressed their solidarity with Ukraine.
Mayor Belit Onay of Hannover, Vice President of Mayors for Peace, showed solidarity with the people in Ukraine and reaffirmed commitment to promotion of nuclear disarmament, stating, “On Flag Day, we once again show solidarity with Ukraine. Despite the poor security situation, we remain committed to the goal of promoting nuclear disarmament, even when current indications suggest otherwise.”
On Flag Day, Mayors for Peace German Chapter commemorates a legal opinion issued by the International Court of Justice in The Hague on July 8, 1996. The Court concluded, “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict.” In addition, the Court found that there is an obligation under international law “to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”
Flag Day on July 8, 2023 (Mayors for Peace German Chapter website; in German):