On January 1, 2021, we welcomed 28 new member cities, leading us to surpass 8,000 member cities. We truly appreciate our Lead Cities and member cities for their long-term support.
The following are our recent initiatives for expanding membership and messages from related organizations and bodies that work with us.
Recent initiatives for expanding membership
Recruitment by the President
President Matsui (Mayor of Hiroshima) asks ambassadors and representatives attending the Peace Memorial Ceremony, held annually on August 6 in Hiroshima, to invite municipalities in their countries to join Mayors for Peace. This has resulted in many new member cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jordan, and other countries. He also takes opportunities presented by various occasions to talk to people about our initiatives and ask for support in membership expansion. These have included meetings with government officials and attending a meeting of the African Diplomatic Corps, a group of African ambassadors to Japan.
Recruitment by the Secretary General
In 2020, Secretary General Koizumi visited eight embassies in Tokyo, where he requested ambassadors’ support in expanding our network in person. All the ambassadors were enthusiastic about Mayors for Peace activities, and followed up with proactive information sharing with relevant bodies in their home countries. For example, the Mongolian embassy has encouraged all provinces in Mongolia to join Mayors for Peace.
Recruitment by Lead Cities
Hannover, the Lead City of Germany, has carried out variety of events, such as Flag Day, regional conferences, and providing up-to-date information on their website. As a result of these continued activities, the number of member cities in Germany passed 700 in November 2020.
In Ypres, the Lead City of Belgium, Mayor Talpe sent out an invitation letter to all cities in Belgium that are not yet members, and more than 20 cities joined our network. This means that as of today, 395 of the 581 (more than 2/3) Belgian cities are members of Mayors for Peace.
Manchester, the Lead City of the UK and Ireland, has held regional conferences and regularly issued newsletters to inform members about Mayors for Peace activities. In 2020, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and the Lord Mayor of Manchester sent an invitation letter to all councils in Ireland, leading to an increase in new members.
Messages of congratulations
Message from Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
I am pleased to send my heartfelt congratulations to Mayors for Peace for reaching 8,000 member cities. This impressive milestone provides a fitting start to 2021, the “International Year of Peace and Trust”.
I would also like to commend Mayors for Peace for its dedicated work under the leadership of Mr. Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima, paving the way to a world without nuclear weapons.
Most of the world’s population today lives in cities. So, if the mayors of the world are uniting, the world is uniting. With your continued dedication, I am confident the goal of 10,000 cities united for peace is within reach.
Message from Mr. Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
I warmly congratulate Mayors for Peace for reaching the important milestone of 8000 member cities. Your tireless efforts about four decades have united people from all over the world around a common goal: to ensure that no city ever experiences the unspeakable suffering caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nuclear weapons are a common threat to human security. They are inhumane, immoral and illegal under international law, as signaled by the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons soon to enter into force. Cities and their people have played a crucial role in this historic development.
Message from Ms. Beatrice Fihn, the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
On behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) I would like to express our congratulations and also our excitement that Mayors for Peace has achieved the very impressive milestone of 8,000 cities in 165 countries and regions. This achievement reflects the breadth of support at the grassroots level for the enduring message of peace that you have been promoting successfully for so many years.
Mayors for Peace has been a leading light in our shared endeavour of achieving nuclear disarmament and making the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) a success. The leadership of Mayor Matsui of Hiroshima and Mayor Taue of Nagasaki has been inspirational to governments and civil society alike and we deeply appreciate the support that you have shown for the ICAN Cities Appeal, which was itself inspired by the mission of Mayors for Peace.
We look forward to many more years of fruitful partnership and collaboration!
Mayors for Peace will continue to work on expanding its membership to achieve 10,000 member cities to foster international public support for the realization of ‘a world without nuclear weapons.’ Please help us achieve this goal.