Dear Member Mayor,
Here in Hiroshima, the heat of August and the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing is relenting, and with cool hints of autumn generating new energy for the tasks ahead, I write to bring you up to date on the 6th General Conference and the 2020 Vision Campaign.
I am happy to report that cities around the world are rallying to our cause as never before. The 2020 Vision has moved hundreds of our member cities to fly great distances to take part in our Mayoral Delegation to the NPT Review Conference in New York and to our conference in Hiroshima. Our membership figures are soaring as well. We surpassed the 1000 mark in May during the Review Conference. The figure was 1,080 at the time of the 60th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9), and membership stands now at 1,155 (as of Sep.14). Our mayors are involved in so many city events that we are instituting a new system to keep track of them all!
With a successful General Conference now behind us, we now enter a new campaign year (August 2005 to August 2006). In my Peace Declaration, I declared it a Year of Inheritance, Awakening, and Commitment, and it will certainly put Mayors for Peace to new tests. Can we continue to inspire peace activists and other key constituencies to work harder than ever? Can we maintain and expand the confidence of governments to cooperate ever more closely with us? Can we actually bring the nuclear threat to the attention of the global public? Can our finances keep pace with our phenomenal growth and our determination to succeed?
There are two areas to which I would like to draw your immediate attention. The first is our effort to support the national governments that are making a strong effort to promote disarmament in the UN First Committee. This project primarily involves lobbying at the UN level, but we need your active support to make it work. Please click here for a description of ourJumpstart Disarmament Project and how you can be involved.
The second is our call to action for UN Day/ Disarmament Week. This is a globally coordinated, locally implemented effort to educate the public and direct grassroots attention toward the UN and our Jumpstart Disarmament Project. We have been told in no uncertain terms by the government leaders involved that the success of this project will depend on giving national governments a sense that the people support action on nuclear weapons. To convey that concern, we are asking all our mayors to sponsor or at least facilitate events in their cities that bring the UN and the issue of disarmament to the attention of their citizens. For more information and suggestions of activities, please look at UN Day/ Disarmament Week.
In this connection, please look at this joint statement by mayors and members of Parliament.This statement was created by Mayors for Peace and the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament. It will be submitted to the proper UN officials with a cover letter emphasizing the importance of action in the First Committee. This collaboration with PNND is one of our most important current projects, and I do hope you will sign this statement if you possibly can.If you are willing to sign, please send an email giving authorization along with your name, title, and the name of your city to Alyn Ware of PNND. Please send to: email@example.com
In my view, the 6th General Conference held in Hiroshima August 4 to 6 was a tremendous success. At this conference, our organization formally approved our transition into an active NGO managing a full-scale campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020. The participants expressed their wholehearted support for the campaign and even offered to contribute to its implementation. Click here for a brief report on the 6th General Conference.
Now I must turn to an issue of vital importance. The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have shouldered practically all the expenses of Mayors for Peace for the last twenty-four years. The spectacular growth of membership in recent years and the heightened activity associated with the 2020 Vision Campaign are outstripping the ‘carrying capacity’ of our two cities. The Mayoral Delegation to New York and the 6th General Conference have left our coffers empty, i.e., we have already exhausted the budget available from Hiroshima and Nagasaki through next April. We need immediate help or the campaign will not have the impact it has been designed to have. Eventually, we will develop a campaign that sustains itself through grants, fundraising events and public donations. However, at this point we are depending on you. If we are to take this campaign to a higher level and compete seriously for public attention, we must have access to funds.
If you can write a check to Mayors for Peace tomorrow for $1000 or even $100, we beseech you to do so. If you cannot respond immediately, please find a way to make a donation to the international campaign as soon as possible. If you need a letter of request from me or a specific grant proposal, don’t hesitate to let me know. I will do whatever I can to help you help us. For example, you may already know the anti-nuclear-weapons activists in your city, but if not, we would be happy to introduce you to allies in your area who would be willing and able to help you organize a fundraising event. In this way, you could help to raise funds for the campaign simply by supporting the activists in your community.
have discovered that performing and visual artists are eager to contribute their time and work for our campaign. Concerts, festivals, and exhibitions are events that the public are willing to pay for, especially when profits go to a good cause. Of course a portion of such funds should be retained by the city to carry out local campaign activities, but hopefully much of it can be forwarded to the international campaign. Your assistance will make it possible for us to provide the global profile and cohesion essential to successful campaigning at all levels. Please click here for some ideas regardingCooperative Fundraising and here toMake a Donation.
Before closing this letter, let me mention three other projects and events. First, please read about the Ask the People Project and the Mega-Port/Mega-Impact Project. If you have any good contacts with any foundation or government agency that might be willing to contribute to the financing of these projects, please let us know. In the case of the Ask the People Project, perhaps your political work already puts you in contact with polling organizations. The newspaper in your town, for example, may commission national polls, and we may be able to interest it in playing a leading role in this project. Any suggestions, advice or introductions will be gratefully received.
Third, please see the special note on the World Urban Forum and World Peace Forum to be held in Vancouver in June 2006. Mayors for Peace needs a strong presence at these important events, and I suspect your city could benefit from your participation. These will be the most important international events of our campaign year. Please mark your calendars now and attend these events if you possibly can.
Please study our newly-adopted Campaign Plan. I believe it outlines activities that will obtain impressive results in all these areas. This belief is founded in my trust in the commitment of our members- you. With your support the campaign will move from strength to strength toward a nuclear-weapon-free future. This letter is about how you can contribute most effectively to the 2020 Vision Campaign. I hope you find these materials useful. For more information about the campaign, please look at out 2020 vision brochure. And, there is more on our website.
Thank you for your time in considering and following up on these suggestions. We enter the new campaign year with great anticipation, as the report on the General Conference conveys. We have a long journey ahead on a road we must build ourselves. Please help us build a road broad enough for the entire human family to walk comfortably toward a genuinely peaceful world free from nuclear weapons.
Mayor of Hiroshima
Jumpstart Disarmament Project
As you will recall, the 2020 Vision Campaign began with a focus on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We were well aware of the shaky state of the NPT, but we felt we needed to make a good faith effort to put the Treaty on track toward fulfillment of its fundamental objectives. We did our best. We went to the final preparatory meeting in April 2004 with a delegation of 19 mayors and deputy mayors, then to the Review Conference in May 2005 with a delegation of 90 mayors and city representatives. But the Review failed to produce any substantive results. Thus, we are compelled to find another venue for action in the international arena.
Fortunately we are not alone in this search. The vast majority of nations are eager to press for real progress, and it appears likely that a resolution will be put before the First Committee of United Nations General Assembly that will mandate a subcommittee to begin addressing nuclear disarmament early next year. Such a committee would be free to set its agenda and work program by majority vote, not the consensus rule. Thus, it could actually begin the process of negotiating and planning for a nuclear-free world. Such a committee would “jumpstart the stalled disarmament process” and represent a tremendous first step toward our 2020 Vision. Therefore, we want to do everything possible to ensure that the resolution creating the committee is strong – and strongly supported. You can help with this.
We soon need you to contact your head of government and request cooperation with our goals for the First Committee. In due course, I will send you the name of the resolution and other information that will help you communicate our message. Please be thinking about how you can have maximum effect. If you have a good contact at the national level, that person might be the best avenue. Another possibility is to write a joint letter with a group of mayors or perhaps with parliamentarians or other government officials. You could also call for the citizens in your city to join you in writing letters.
I have set things in motion by writing directly to your Head of Government about the need to prepare for the First Committee session at the United Nations in October. Our representatives in Geneva and New York are in direct contact with the key diplomats. Your government officials and the United Nations should hear from you and your citizens that the time has come to jumpstart disarmament talks. Click here for a sample letter called Letter to Heads of Government.
Advance Notice: World Urban Forum, Vancouver, 19-23 June 2006
The World Urban Forum is a governmental meeting hosted by the Canadian Government and UN Habitat. If you need financial assistance to participate, you should be in touch with the proper national agency as soon as possible. There is no provision for assistance with expenses associated with participation in the Peace Forum, but your national government will be forming a delegation of mayors that you could join.
The third World Urban Forum in Barcelona drew 4,400 participants, mostly government officials. If your government attended and included city leaders, you should move quickly to have your city considered for the 2006 delegation. If your government did not, then you will have to first convince your Foreign Ministry that this is a good idea. That could require some effort, but if you succeed you will be at the front of the line!
Mayors for Peace will organize a workshop at the Urban Forum on the importance of preventive action in averting nuclear catastrophe. We will make a presentation of the Mega-Port/Mage-Impact Project (including the conclusions of the international study if they are available at that time). And will make the case that, since terrorists cannot be completely eliminated , the only sure, long-term means of preventing the use of a nuclear explosion by terrorists is to totally eliminate nuclear weapons and weapons-grade fissile materials as soon as possible, i.e. the 2020 Vision.
For more information seeWorld Urban Forum
Pre-registration through this website begins in Octorber.
Advance Notice: World Peace Forum, Vancouver, 24-28 June 2006
These will be the most important international events of our campaign year. The World Urban Forum will gather hundreds of mayors from around the world and will be an excellent opportunity to recruit new members and communicate our message to mayors who are still unaware of the nuclear threat.
The World Peace Forum will be the year’s largest gathering of peace activists, and it is essential that the issue of nuclear weapons play a high-visibility role. Please mark your calendars now and attend these events if you possibly can.
The first plenary session of the forum will be devoted to abolishing nuclear weapons. Mayors for Peace will participate in many other aspects of the program to draw the links between nuclear disarmament and peace generally, including preserving the environment.
Mayors for Peace will hold a reception for city representatives on the final day of the Urban Forum. We will put on a major workshop or plenary session, and we will have a display at both the Forums.
For more information:
World Peace Forum – http://www.worldpeaceforum.ca/
General notice: Mayors for Peace wants to take advantage of other national, regional, and international meetings of mayors to spread word of the 2020 Vision Campaign. If you are planning to attend any such meets, please let the Secretariat know in advance. They can provide you with materials for distribution to any city officials who may be interested in our campaign and organization. For particularly important gatherings, we may be able to arrange for Executive Committee members or Secretariat staff to join you.