Santa Barbara, California – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), a non-partisan association of America’s big cities, on June 23, 2014 unanimously adopted a sweeping new resolution Calling for Constructive Good Faith U.S. Participation in International Nuclear Disarmament Forums at its 82nd annual meeting in Dallas, Texas. According to USCM President Kevin Johnson, Mayor of Sacramento, California, “These resolutions, once adopted, become official USCM policy.”
The resolution notes that on April 24, 2014, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) filed landmark cases in the International Court of Justice against all nine nuclear-armed nations, claiming that they failed to comply with their obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law to pursue negotiations for the global elimination of nuclear weapons. They also filed a companion case in U.S. Federal District Court.
In its resolution, the USCM “commends the Marshall Islands for calling to the world’s attention the failure of the nine nuclear-armed states to comply with their international obligations and calls on the U.S. to respond constructively and in good faith to the lawsuits brought by the RMI.”
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The resolution states that “the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands continue to suffer from the health and environmental impacts of 67 above-ground nuclear weapons test explosions conducted by the U.S. in their islands between 1946 and 1958, the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima-sized bombs detonated daily for 12 years.”
The U.S. based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a consultant to the Marshall Islands on the lawsuits. David Krieger, President of the Foundation, stated, “It is extremely reaffirming that the U.S. Conference of Mayors is supporting the Marshall Islands in its legal cases against the nine nuclear-armed nations. Their resolution reflects an understanding that every city in the world is a potential target for the devastation that would be wrought by the use of nuclear weapons.”
Krieger continued, “We hope the U.S. government will take to heart this resolution and use this as an opportunity to move forward in fulfilling its legal and moral obligations to achieve nuclear disarmament.”
Over the past three years there has been a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives by governments not possessing nuclear weapons, both within and outside the United Nations. Yet the U.S. has been notably absent from this process. The USCM resolution calls on the U.S. administration to participate constructively in negotiations to achieve a nuclear weapons free world, noting that “forty-four years after the NPT entered into force, an estimated 16,400 nuclear weapons, most held by the U.S. and Russia, pose an intolerable threat to humanity, and there are no disarmament negotiations on the horizon.”
Further, the resolution states that “The U.S. and the eight other nuclear-armed states are investing an estimated $100 billion annually to maintain and modernize their nuclear arsenals while actively planning to deploy nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future.” The resolution “calls on the President and Congress to reduce nuclear weapons spending to the minimum necessary to assure the safety and security of the existing weapons as they await disablement and dismantlement, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.”
The complete Mayor’s Resolution can be found at: https://www.wagingpeace.org/mayors-resolution/