The 8th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace in Granollers,
Spain and the Opening of an Exhibition about the Atomic Bombings and
Disarmament in the United Nations Office at Geneva
Participants of the 8th Executive Conference
The 8th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace was held in Granollers, Spain. During the two-day conference on November 9 and 10, participants discussed various issues, such as the future activities of Mayors for Peace and the 2013 General Conference in Hiroshima. They also had a candid discussion about future management policies.
The General and Board of Directors Meeting of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association was held in conjunction with the 8th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace in Granollers, Spain and discussed the future plans of the 2020 Vision Campaign.
On November 11, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki attended the opening ceremony for an exhibition about the atomic bombings and disarmament titled “Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” in the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland and each mayor gave a speech at a public discussion.
The Mayors for Peace delegation also had meetings with the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and so on, and asked them for cooperation in the activities of Mayors for Peace.
2. Date for Visit
From Monday, November 7 to Sunday, November 13, 2011 (7 days)
|Nov. 7 (Mon.)||Leave Hiroshima
Arrive at Granollers
|Nov. 8 (Tue.)||
|Nov. 9 (Wed.)||
|Nov. 10 (Thur.)||
|Nov. 11 (Fri.)||
|Nov. 12 (Sat.)||Leave Geneva||–||–|
|Nov. 13 (Sun.)||Arrive at Hiroshima||–||–|
Nov. 8 (Tue)
City tour of war-damaged sites in Granollers
The City of Granollers experienced air raids during the Spanish Civil War. Guided by Mayor Josep Mayoral of Granollers, Mayor Matsui of Hiroshima, Mayor Taue of Nagasaki and other participants for the Executive Conference visited battle sites in Granollers. The peace symbol During the tour, the plates engraved the peace symbol of Granollers city and the date of the air raid were found everywhere that demonstrating the city’s enthusiasm trying to pass on the war experience to the future.
The General and Board of Directors Meeting of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association
he 2020 Vision Campaign Association Secretariat reported activities in 2010 with regard to strengthening the organization, establishing cooperative relationships with municipal organizations such as the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), fund raising and cooperating with international NGOs. Discussion on future development of the campaign such as attempts to establish cooperative relationships with the United Nations, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were also made and these plans were approved.
Meeting with Prof. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director-General of UNESCO / current President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace
The meeting was held with the wishes of Professor Mayor who believes that cooperation of the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is essential to achieve a peaceful world and would like to convey their desires for peace. During the meeting, Mayor Matsui stated “The realization of the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons will not be achieved by one. It is crucial to share those spirits with many other people,” and asked Professor Mayor further corporation in the activities of Mayors for Peace.
Exchange event with Granollers citizens “Dialogues for Peace”
An exchange event with attendance of fifty Granollers citizens entitled “Dialogues for Peace” was held at Can Jonch, Cultural Center for Peace. In his speech, Mayor Matsui stated that the citizens of Hiroshima suffered from the pain, had lived from day to day with remembering the voices and thoughts of the A-bomb victims, and eventually revived the city of Hiroshima. He also mentioned that Granollers had suffered with war damages as well, and called for continued support and act together upon the initiative of Mayors for Peace, aiming at the realization of the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020 and lasting world peace. Thereafter, NGOs such as Amnesty International introduced the efforts of each organization. Some comments were stated from the audience such as “it is important to have broad-mindedness toward different races” and “justice is necessary for the realization of world peace.”
Courtesy Call on the Mayor of Granollers
Mayor Matsui visited the Granollers City Hall and registered the visitor’s book stating that “After stepping on the land of Granollers, I realized that there is no difference in the thought of the citizen who desire peace. We would like to attain the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace by practicing ‘learning a lesson from the past’”. Then, he expressed gratitude to the Mayor of Granollers for hosting this Executive Conference and a heart-warming reception.
Official welcome reception by the mayor of Granollers
In his speech, Mayor Matsui said, “After I came to Granollers, I once more realized that by having a vision, dialogue and working on it, we could accomplish total abolition of nuclear weapons,” then, interacted with other participants. Additionally, 3,000 Euro (about 320,000 yen), earnings of a charity concert were donated by the city of Villaseca, Spain to the 2020 Vision Campaign Association at this reception.
Nov. 9 (Wed)
The 8th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace (Day1)
At the Executive Conference, the following items were discussed and decided:
- 1. Develop a global grassroots petition drive conducted by all member cities calling for negotiations toward a nuclear weapons convention,
- 2. ssue letters of request and/or statements calling for a world free from nuclear weapons in effective ways, Commemorate the 5,000-city milestone with new A-bomb Photo Posters Exhibitions at the 2012 NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting in Vienna and in member cities.
- 3. Invite disarmament ambassadors to join mayors, UN officials, parliamentarians and NGO representatives at the Mayors for Peace General Conference in Hiroshima in August 2013,
- 4. Promote efforts to select and appoint “2020 Vision Campaign Ambassadors” from public figures who assent to the effort of Mayors for Peace.
- Also, the participants exchanged opinions about
- 1. Holding Executive Conferences in Hiroshima or Nagasaki,
- 2. Managing the cost of Mayors for Peace,
- 3. Establishing national and regional chapters: roles and responsibilities.
Hereafter, especially toward strengthening the financial base, an international committee of representatives will be set up and the first meeting will be held in Hannover.
Also at this Executive Conference, digest version of the “Hiroshima for Global Peace Plan” of Hiroshima Prefecture was circulated and explained, and gained approval for receiving an explanation about situation of efforts from Hiroshima Prefecture at the 2013 General Conference.
Awards Ceremony of the XXXII Prize for Peace
About 100 people including Mayor of Granollers, participants of the Executive Conference and mayors of neighboring member cities attended the Awards Ceremony of the “XXXII Prize for Peace” at Diputacio de Barcelona (Barcelona Prefectural Hall) and received the award certificate and the list of extra prize money totaling 18,000 Euro (About 1,900,000 yen). In his greetings, Mayor Matsui expressed, “I am overjoyed to receive this honor. The average age of A-bomb victims is over 77 years old and we want to make efforts toward nuclear weapons abolition to realize the ardent wish of the A-bomb survivors.”
Nov. 10 (Thu)
The 8th Executive Conference of Mayors for Peace (Day2)
At the start of the day, the film “Hiroshima” was screened about 15 minutes and was highly praised from many executive officials because it portrays very well the reality of the A-bombing.
After that, in the light of the debate on 9th, “Resolution towards the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” and “Final Communiqué” were adopted. And we decided to send “Resolution towards the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” to all member cities, the nuclear-weapon states, countries suspected of possessing nuclear weapons, and the UN, “Final Communiqué” to all member cities. Then after the executive conference, we held a press conference and reported these to the public.
Meeting with the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
n the past, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) adopted Final Declarations assented to Mayors for Peace movements at the World Congresses in Jeju, Korea in 2007 and in Mexico City in 2010. In light of these circumstances, Mayor Matsui visited Secretary General Josep Roig in order to maintain and develop further cooperation. In the meeting, Mayor Matsui likened UCLG to the UN Headquarters and likened Mayors for Peace to a specialized agency of the United Nations in describing how we can deepen our relationship with each other down the road.
Meeting with the President of the Government of Catalonia
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met with Mr. Artur Mas, President of the Government of Catalonia. They asked President Mas to understand and cooperate with efforts of Mayors for Peace, also to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and experience the reality of the A-bombings.
President Mas said, he often goes to Japan to attract Japanese firms to Catalonia, so he wants to stop over in Hiroshima, too.
Nov. 11 (Fri.)
Meeting with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
In the light of President Jakob Kellenberger’s statement in April 2010 saying it is “difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law,” Mayor Matsui said that the direction which Mayors for Peace and the Red Cross were taking was the same and he would like to promote cooperation.
President Kellenberger commented that many people should visit Hirosima and Nagasaki.
Meeting with the Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met with Ambassador Fred Tanner, the Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Mayor Matsui stated that it was very meaningful that many diplomats and politicians, who are involved in security policy making, attend the Public Discussion to commemorate the opening of the exhibition at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). He further mentioned that it was important that the desires of the citizens reached such people, and he showed his will to promote cooperation with the GCSP in the future. Moreover, he said that he would like the officials of the GCSP and concerned people to visit Hiroshima and experience the reality of the atomic bombing. Director Tanner stated that his organization hoped to cooperate with Hiroshima to build peace.
Speech at the Public Discussion to commemorate the opening of the exhibition at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
In the afternoon, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki attended the Public Discussion held at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. Mayor Matsui made a speech titled “Thoughts Regarding the United Nations Office at Geneva Permanent Exhibition: Conveying the A-bomb experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”. In his speech, Mayor Matsui stated that Hiroshima has now recovered immensely even though it was said that nothing would grow for 75 years, and this recovery was achieved through the desire of the A-bomb survivors for the abolition of nuclear weapons and efforts by people who support the desire. He also appealed to visit Hiroshima and to touch the reality of the atomic bombing after seeing the exhibition. Mayor Taue of Nagasaki also made a speech titled “The Past, Present, and Future of Nagasaki: Recovery from Devastation and Way Forward to a Shining Future”.
Meeting with Ambassador Amano, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met with Ambassador Amano, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, and stated their appreciation to him for his considerable contribution for the realization of the exhibition at the UNOG. Mayor Matsui also asked for his support to make sure the exhibition can be seen by as many people as possible. In addition, it was requested that the status of Hiroshima and Nagasaki be used to call for the abolition of the nuclear weapons in a politically neutral position effectively for diplomacy of the Japanese government. Ambassador Amano told the mayors that visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki and seeing the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum were very valuable before assuming the Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament because the experiences enabled him to form a concrete image. He also added that the new exhibition at UNOG has great significance because Geneva has many international organizations.
Meeting with the Director General of the UNOG
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met with UNOG Director-General Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and stated their appreciation to him for his considerable contribution for the realization of the exhibition at the UNOG. They added that this exhibition is very important as it can embody the wish for peace at the UN.
Attending the opening ceremony and reception for the exhibition at the UNOG
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition “Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons,” which was attended by about 100 people from the UN and the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki made a speech after the greetings from the Director-General of the UNOG and Ambassador Amano, and they cut the ribbon. In his speech, Mayor Matsui expressed his hope that the exhibition at the UNOG becomes the base of efforts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and the lasting world peace, makes people realize that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil that threaten the existence of humanity, and everyone should make the utmost effort towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, he stated that the exhibition encourage people to visit Hiroshima, and make them to touch on thoughts of atomic bomb survivors. Participants were keenly seeing panels and A-bomb artifacts.