Boris Johnson has withdrawn London’s membership of the global ‘Mayors for Peace’ initiative, founded by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, CND has learned.
Mayors for Peace – a UN registered NGO – was founded by the Mayor of Hiroshima in 1982 , after the UN Special Session on Disarmament. Atom bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 by the US air force, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and the devastating consequences of radiation poisoning affecting subsequent generations. Since that time, Mayors of those cities have felt a responsibility to ensure that such tragedies do not happen again: ‘To prevent any repetition of the A-bomb tragedy, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have continually sought to tell the world about the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons and have consistently urged that nuclear weapons be abolished.’
Mayors for Peace’s primary goal is ‘to work internationally to raise consciousness regarding nuclear weapons abolition.’ There are currently 2,277 member cities in 129 countries, including Paris, Berlin, Rome, Ottawa, Los Angeles and Sydney.2 Members are drawn from across the political spectrum. Mayor Akiba, the Mayor of Hiroshima, believes that the role of city mayors in raising awareness of nuclear weapons is key, given that cities are the targets of nuclear weapons.
Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said: ‘We were aware when Boris Johnson was elected that he supported Britain’s nuclear weapons system Trident, but we find it appalling that the Mayor should reject participation in an international body committed to the global abolition of nuclear weapons.
‘Every Conservative government has supported Britain’s participation in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the goal of which is global nuclear disarmament. This decision suggests that Boris Johnson is retreating from that common goal. This decision is insulting to the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the work of their Mayors for global peace, and goes against the views of the majority of the British people, who support global nuclear disarmament.’
Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member and former London Chair of Mayors for Peace, said: ‘Mayors for Peace is an organisation working for cities and their residents to be free from the fear of nuclear annihilation. For London to withdraw sends out a signal that peace isn’t an issue the Mayor wishes to engage in. Perhaps we can’t expect anything better from someone who voted for the war on Iraq.’
Notes to Editors:
Amongst the 2,277 members, major cities include Beijing, Bethlehem, Boston, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Chicago, Delhi, Detroit, Geneva, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Kampala, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Lahore, Manchester, Marrakech, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto
For further information and interviews please contact CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.