ACTION ALERT: US Mayors Call for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament
May 27, 2008
Mayors for Peace
The US Conference of Mayors will be holding its annual meeting in Miami June 20-24. Mayors for Peace is asking cities across the US to support resolutions "Opposing Military Intervention in Iran" and "Supporting Elimination of Nuclear Weapons."
(May 23, 2008) — The US Conference of Mayors will be holding its annual meeting in Miami June 20-24. Two great resolutions have been submitted to the International Affairs Committee by bold, progressive mayors. We'd like to help them get as many co-sponsors as possible going into the meeting. Here's where you come in. Contact your mayor and ask him/her to co-sponsor these two resolutions:
1) A RESOLUTION OPPOSING MILITARY
INTERVENTION IN IRAN
Submitted by: Mayor Bob Kiss, Burlington, VT; Mayor Joy Cooper, Hallandale Beach, FL; Mayor Marty Blum, Santa Barbara, CA; Mayor Dan Coody, Fayetteville, AR; Mayor Kevin Foy, Chapel Hill, NC; Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond, CA; Mayor Kitty Piercy, Eugene, OR; and Mayor Elaine Walker, Bowling Green, KY
2) A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF
THE ELIMINATION OF ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS
BY THE YEAR 2020
Submitted by: Mayor Donald M. Plusquellic, Akron, OH; Mayor Thomas O'Grady, North Olmsted, OH; Mayor Marty Blum, Santa Barbara, CA; Mayor Heather Fargo, Sacramento, CA; Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, Pleasanton, CA; and Mayor Kitty Piercy, Eugene, OR
The texts of the resolutions are attached below.
At the same time, you can also invite your mayor to join Mayors for Peace, an international organization headed by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with more than 2,200 members in 129 countries. Our U.S. membership currently stands at 124.
• You can find out if your mayor is a member and if not, how he or she can join, at
• More information about Mayors for Peace is available at
You or your mayor can contact Jackie Carbasso if they would like to have their names added as co-sponsors to either or both of the resolutions. Thanks for your help with this exciting initiative, and please spread the word!
• Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation and North American Coordinator, Mayors for Peace, firstname.lastname@example.org; (510) 839-5766)
• Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange, email@example.com; 415-558-5700.
Council Delays Vote on Iran Resolution
Rex W. Huppke / Chicago Tribune
(May 14, 2008) — The Chicago City Council, leaping broadly outside its normal purview, tried to stop the United States from invading Iraq 5 years ago. The nation's third-largest city aimed a strongly worded anti-war resolution right at President Bush, and yet he went ahead and toppled Saddam Hussein anyway.
Undeterred, local politicians have decided to take another shot at repressing international conflict: They're considering whether to oppose a U.S. invasion of Iran.
"We're just out there!" South Side Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) exclaimed Tuesday in the City Council chambers, shortly after dubbing the current administration "war-mongering imperialists."
"We're out there. We're leading the charge."
An array of academics and activists suggested Tuesday that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent.
The experts urged Chicago to lead a grass-roots charge against such a decision, laying out to the council's Human Relations Committee a literate and nuanced argument about the internal political dynamics challenging the current regime in Tehran and the knotty complexities of the Middle East.
The result was exchanges like this:
"I don't think we should preclude an attack on Iran if it's necessary," Ald. Bernie Stone (50th) grumbled to John Mearsheimer, a University of Chicago political science professor.
"When would it be necessary?" asked Mearsheimer, an expert on international security policy.
"That I don't know," said Stone, an expert on zoning policy.
Few would be naive enough to think the heads of Chicago's 50 wards could actually hold sway over the course of world events, but there was an earnest belief among the anti-war crowd in attendance that resolutions on the local level are important. Their argument basically boils down to this: The federal government doesn't seem to be listening, so we'd better talk to the local lawmakers who will listen.
"This is not the ideal way to be doing this," said Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq who testified in favor of the resolution. "But nobody in Washington, D.C., wants to take this on. Do I sit back and say nothing, or do I take the indirect approach?"
More than 300 cities and municipalities have passed resolutions opposing the ongoing war in Iraq. The word "ongoing" is all that needs to be said about their effectiveness.
But such resolutions can appeal to local politicians, who can use them as a higher-profile way to show that they're promoting the opinions of their constituents. For citizens, it's simply a chance to let their voices be heard.
Karen Dolan, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington think tank that promotes anti-war resolutions across the country, said the documents stand as a historical record of what the American people were actually thinking before or during a war.
"We have a long and rich tradition in our country of citizens expressing their opinion on national and international issues at the local level," Dolan said. "It certainly gives voice to the citizens, far more than they feel they have at the federal level. It educates the public. It educates the media. It educates the lawmakers."
Indeed, much of Tuesday's testimony sounded like a political science lecture. Rather than mundane talk of potholes and blue-bag recycling programs, council members learned about Israel's 1981 attack on Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor, the relationship between Iran and the newly formed Iraqi government, and the chances that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would sell a nuclear weapon to terrorists.
These erudite talking points were met with occasionally rambling questions that hinted at why Chicago aldermen don't generally deal with issues of nuclear weaponry.
"Iran, from what we read, and I would think that these people that write these things are experts, and I would hope these people are talking to reliable sources, and that's how we learn about these things today . . ." said one alderman.
He never did make a point, and that raised the question: Is the consideration of a resolution opposing a war, that may or may not be pending, an act of democracy in its purest form, or an hourslong waste of time and taxpayer money?
Kenneth Janda, an emeritus professor of political science at Northwestern University, gave this rousing endorsement of an anti-war resolution:
"It's not a complete waste of time," he said. "But there's no historical evidence that says a president has ever said, 'Well, the people in Chicago are opposed to this, I better put a stop to it.' "
The resolution opposing an invasion was passed by the committee and was scheduled to be presented to the full City Council Wednesday, but then was deferred until the next council meeting.
MILITARY INTERVENTION IN IRAN
1. WHEREAS, the President and members of his Administration have alleged that Iran poses an imminent threat to the United States, U.S. troops in the Middle East and U.S. allies; and
2. WHEREAS, these allegations are similar to the lead-up to the Iraq War and U.S. occupation, with the selective use of information and unsubstantiated accusations about Iran's nuclear program and its supply of weapons to Iraqi forces as centerpieces of a case to the American people for aggression against Iran; and
3. WHEREAS, Iran has not threatened to attack the United States, and no compelling evidence has been presented to document that Iran poses a real and imminent threat to the security and safety of the United States that would justify an unprovoked unilateral pre-emptive military attack; and
4. WHEREAS, we support the people of Iran who are struggling for freedom and democracy, and nothing herein should be misconstrued as support for the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but it should be understood that a unilateral, pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iran could well prove counterproductive to the cause of promoting freedom and democracy there; and
5. WHEREAS, a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), representing the consensus view all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, concluded that Iran froze its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and an earlier NIE concluded that Iran’s involvement in Iraq “is not likely to be a major driver of violence” there; and
6. WHEREAS, an attack on Iran is likely to cause untold thousands of American and Iranian casualties, lead to major economic dislocations, and threaten even greater destabilization in the Middle East; and
7. WHEREAS, a pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iran would violate international law and our commitments under the U.N. Charter and further isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world; and
8. WHEREAS, an attack on Iran is likely to inflame hatred for the U.S. in the Middle East and elsewhere, inspire terrorism, and lessen the security of Americans; and
9. WHEREAS, the Iraq war and occupation has already cost the lives of over 4,000 American soldiers, the maiming and wounding of over 38,000 American soldiers, the death and maiming of over one million Iraqi civilians; and
10. WHEREAS, the Iraq War and occupation has cost U.S. taxpayers more than $500 billion, depriving our cities of much-need funds for services and infrastructure; and
11. WHEREAS, except at our peril, we cannot ignore the history of U.S. government misinformation used to inspire U.S. aggression in Vietnam and again in Iraq, as embodied in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and more recently in the what we know now as false claims of weapons of mass destruction; and
12. WHEREAS, any conflict with Iran is likely to incur far greater costs and divert more precious national resources away from critical human needs,
13. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors hereby urges the Bush Administration to pursue diplomatic engagement with Iran on nuclear issues and ending the violence in Iraq; and
14. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges Congress to prohibit the use of funds to carry out any military action against Iran without explicit Congressional authorization; and
15. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that suitable copies of the resolution be forwarded to President George W. Bush and all members of Congress.
Projected Cost: Unknown
[ANNEX I]: The HIROSHIMA-NAGASAKI PROTOCOL
A protocol complementary to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons for achieving a nuclear-weapon-free world by the year 2020
Desiring to establish an over-arching means of addressing nuclear disarmament in all its aspects so as to facilitate the fulfillment by States Parties of their obligations under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and with a view to all states fulfilling the nuclear disarmament obligation found by the International Court of Justice in their 1996 advisory opinion on the legality of the use or threat of nuclear weapons;
Considering that continued exploitation of the discriminatory nature of the Treaty, wherein nuclear-weapon States Parties are exempted from the prohibition on the acquisition of nuclear weapons, is incompatible with the pursuit in good faith of nuclear disarmament in all its aspects;
Considering further that full equality under international law must be re-established by the elimination of all nuclear arsenals as agreed in the 1995 Extension Conference decision on “Principles and Objectives”;
1. The nuclear-weapon States Parties to this Protocol shall cease forthwith:
(a) all activities related to the acquisition of nuclear weapon which non-nuclear-weapon States Parties are prohibited from pursuing under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons;
(b) all activities which incorporate nuclear weapons into their military doctrines and practices;
and shall place all nuclear weapons and weapon-usable fissile materials in safe and secure storage at the earliest possible date.
2. All other States Parties to this Protocol possessing weapons-usable fissile material shall take those steps required of the nuclear-weapon States in paragraph 1 which apply to their circumstances.
1. The States Parties to this Protocol shall pursue in good faith negotiations on achieving nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under the following two main sections:
Section One negotiations will standardize and legally codify the measures taken under Article I, paragraph 1, (a) and (b).
Section Two negotiations will address:
(c) the elimination of all nuclear weapons and related deployment systems, including delivery vehicles, launch platforms, and command and control systems.
(d) the elimination of all infrastructure associated with the acquisition of nuclear-weapon system, including production and testing facilities, and of all weapon-usable fissile material stocks.
2. The negotiations called for in paragraph 1 shall have as their objective a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a comparable Framework Agreement.
Negotiations shall begin forthwith and be pursued without interruption by all States Parties until this objective is achieved.
A Secretariat for the negotiations shall be established that remains in operation until negotiations are concluded.
3. Every good faith effort shall be made to ensure that all measures related to Section One are agreed and implemented before or by 2015 and that all measures related to Section Two are agreed and implemented before or by 2020.
4. All measures contained or foreseen in the Nuclear Weapons Convention or Framework Agreement shall be subject to strict and effective international control and shall provide for international institutions capable of ensuring that the nuclear-weapon free world which is achieved can be maintained indefinitely.
Nothing in this Protocol shall be interpreted as diminishing in any way the nonproliferation obligations of any State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; including each State’s obligation to cooperate in the establishment and operation of the international institutions of Article II, paragraph 4.
A RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF
THE ELIMINATION OF ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS
BY THE YEAR 2020
WHEREAS, U.S. Conference of Mayors President, Akron Mayor Donald M. Plusquellic, led a delegation of U.S. mayors to the Conference of Mayors organized by Mayors for Peace, held at the United Nations in New York during the 2005 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference; and
WHEREAS, despite the recommendation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Administration did not seek a decision by the 2005 NPT Review Conference to launch negotiations on the elimination of nuclear weapons, and the conference ended in failure; and
WHEREAS, since that time there have been no new agreed-upon measures in the field of nuclear disarmament; and
WHEREAS, contrary to its NPT obligation, in force since 1970, to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament,” the United States is modernizing its nuclear weapons research and manufacturing complex to expand production capability and is developing new delivery systems; and
WHEREAS, the 2007 World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments endorsed “the Mayors for Peace campaign, which lobbies the international community to renounce weapons of mass destruction;” and
WHEREAS, chemical and biological weapons have been outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention; and
WHEREAS, there is no technical or economic obstacle to the elimination of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020, and cities and the entire world should not be held at risk of nuclear attack any longer than absolutely unavoidable; and
WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace has organized European delegations to and activities at the first two Preparatory Committee meetings for the 2010 NPT Review Conference, unveiling the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol for a nuclear-weapons-free world by the year 2020 (annex 1) at the most recent meeting in Geneva,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages its members to participate in the delegation and activities being organized by Mayors for Peace at the third NPT Review Conference Preparatory Committee Meeting in New York in May 2009; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages its members to sign the Cities Appeal (annex 2) being circulated in support of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol and to encourage other elected officials in their cities to do likewise; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors recommends that the United States Government urgently consider the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol as a direct means of fulfilling the promise of the NPT by the year 2020, thereby meeting the obligation found by the International Court of Justice in 1996 “to conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors agrees to take up this matter at the 2009 June Conference of Mayors in Providence, Rhode Island.
Projected Cost: Unknown
[ANNEX 2]: Cities Appeal to the 2010 NPT Review Process
Also known as ‘Cities Appeal for a Decisive Decade for Nuclear Disarmament’
Mindful that according to the United Nations Fund for Population, “In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities;” and that United Cities and Local Governments is recognized by UN agencies as the voice of cities and worldwide;
Taking, in this regard, special note of the support expressed in the 2007 Jeju Declaration of the Second World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments for “the Mayors for Peace campaign, which lobbies the international community to renounce weapons of mass destruction;”
Noting that while the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibit the acquisition of such weapons of mass destruction without exemption, the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) exempts five “nuclear-weapons States” from the prohibition on the acquisition of nuclear weapons;
Underscoring that the aforementioned exemption was never meant to be permanent as all States were obligated to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to ... nuclear disarmament;”
Recalling that, in 2005, a Mayors for Peace statement based on a resolution of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and signed by 575 mayors worldwide called upon State Parties to the NPT to take a decision to commence negotiation on the elimination of nuclear weapons and weapon-usable fissile material, and that this resolution was presented in the Great Hall of the General Assembly to the NPT Review Conference President;
Alarmed that not only did the 2005 NPT Review Conference fail to reach agreement on any decisions whatsoever and but also that no negotiations whatsoever have occurred in the years since to advance the objective of nuclear disarmament;
Mindful that the elimination of all nuclear weapons by the year 2020 has become more difficult because of this lack of progress and other adverse developments, but convinced that with a rededication to good faith efforts the objective is still achievable;
Welcoming wholeheartedly the 62nd UN General Assembly decision to begin preparations for a UN Decade for Disarmament, 2010-2020;
We the undersigned [mayors][elected representatives of cities]:
Call upon all people to contribute to the preparations for the UN Decade for Disarmament;
Pledge to do our utmost to ensure that it will be a decisive decade for nuclear disarmament;
Call upon the State Parties to the NPT to ensure that the current NPT review process lays the foundation for actual nuclear disarmament during the UN Disarmament Decade and, to that end, urge each Head of Government to lead the government delegation to the 2010 Review Conference and to include in the delegation at least one representative of the nation’s cities;
Recommend for the immediate consideration of all States, not least each of our own, the Hiroshima Nagasaki Protocol (appended) as a direct means of fulfilling the promise of the NPT by the year 2020, thereby meeting the obligation found by the International Court of Justice “to conclude measures leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspect under strict and effective international control;”
Challenge all States to adopt the Hiroshima Nagasaki Protocol without delay and to undertake in good faith to present to the 65th General Assembly in September 2010 the envisioned Nuclear Weapons Convention or Framework Agreement.
Signed: [Mayor or City Councilor]
Immediate accompanying actions:
• Post this Appeal and the Hiroshima Nagasaki Protocol in City Hall where the public can see it, as well as publicizing it in other ways.
• Send the Appeal and Protocol to your Foreign Ministry, attention to the person responsible for nonproliferation and disarmament policy.
• Write individually or jointly to other mayors urging them to sign on. Take up the Appeal/Protocol with mayoral organizations.
The 2020 Vision Campaign Secretariat stands ready to assist with each of these activities.
Description of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol: a ‘clampdown’ and Framework Agreement
In 1970, when the NPT entered into force, a two-tier global regime of nuclear have and have-nots was established. The Treaty’s inherently discriminatory nature, which allowed five nations to continue to acquire nuclear weapons but forbade all other nations from beginning to do so, was not meant to be permanent, as was underscored when the Treaty was extended in 1995.
The inequity of this arrangement, heightened by nuclear threats, appears to be leading some nations to question their continued participation in the NPT, yet there still is no agreed process for addressing the challenge to establish equal treatment under the law.
Taking the NPT as the starting point, the purpose of this Protocol is to set in motion a process that leads without delays to a one-tier global regime for the non-acquisition and non-possession of nuclear weapons.
The Hiroshima Nagasaki Protocol has two main operative parts (Articles I and II):
I. A “clampdown” on all weapon-usable fissile materials – be they in weapons, reactors, or stocks – accompanied by a cessation of nuclear weapons acquisition and of all planning for the use of nuclear weapons.
II. Establishment of a negotiating forum, open to all states, with the sole purpose of developing a Nuclear Weapons Convention or Framework Agreement on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects by the year 2020.
The first part of the Protocol allows the nuclear-armed states to evince their good faith toward a successful outcome of the nuclear disarmament negotiations (second part) simply by no longer exploiting the privileges accorded them under the NPT.
In particular, nuclear weapons acquisition and nuclear threat postures – activities that could undermine the objectives of the negotiations – are to cease forthwith, and there is to be a global clampdown on nuclear weapons and weapon-usable fissile materials, thereby alleviating the risk of nuclear accident or theft.
These are steps that can be taken quickly and at low cost; in some instances with savings. By renouncing these activities, the nuclear-weapon states will be unequivocally demonstrating that they are readying themselves to live in equality with the rest of the international community.
The Nuclear Weapon Convention or Framework Agreement negotiations are to begin immediately upon acceptance of the Protocol and continue uninterrupted until the agreement is reached.
The Protocol envisions two main sections to the agreement which would be advanced concurrently. The first specifies the mandate for negotiations on legally codifying the various steps taken in the clampdown (above) and provides for their international control (perhaps through the International Atomic Energy Agency).
The Protocol calls for all measures relating to this first section to be implemented by 2015. The second section addresses the vast nuclear arsenals accumulated prior to the NPT and — even more so – since the Treaty’s entry into force in 1970.
A Framework Agreement would specify the mandates for negotiations on the essential measures to eliminate nuclear weapons and associated infrastructure by 2020 and to usher in a sustainable nuclear-weapon-free world. A Nuclear Weapons Convention, if that proved to be the preferred line of work, would contain all the above in a single comprehensive agreement.
The few States that have not signed the NPT are welcomed and expected to participate fully in this process. The Protocol explicitly states that it must not be construed as diminishing in anyway the non-proliferation obligations of non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty; including their full cooperation in the institution building that will be necessary to achieve and maintain a nuclear-weapon-free world.