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Mayors for Peace petition Ban Ki-moon

April 30, 2014

Mayors of A-bombed cities issue appeal to U.N. to ban nuclear arms





NEW YORK--The mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima delivered speeches at the United Nations nuclear nonproliferation meeting on April 29 that called on the representatives there to join hands to outlaw nuclear weapons.

During the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, attended by more than 60 countries, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said non-nuclear countries that rely on the nuclear umbrella are the key to reaching the goal of outlawing nuclear arms. He called on those countries, which include Japan, to play a leading role in that effort.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui emphasized that the world needs to develop a sense of community that replaces nuclear weapons as a deterrence, a system he said is based on fear and threats.

On April 28, the two mayors submitted a petition to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with 210,000 signatures requesting the start of negotiations on a treaty that would outlaw nuclear weapons.

“I felt Ban’s willingness to deal jointly over the issue,” said Taue after the closed-door meeting at the U.N. headquarters. “Ahead of (the review conference) next year, we hope to start productive discussions on the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the necessity for a nuclear ban treaty.”

The signatures for the petition were collected in a drive organized by Mayors for Peace, a group of mayors from about 6,000 cities worldwide.

Their petition denounces nuclear weapons as “extremely inhumane.” It also calls for Ban to take leadership in starting the nuclear ban negotiations.

The mayors said that Ban, during the meeting, also touched on nuclear development in North Korea and Iran, saying he hoped matters will take a turn for the better.

In 2008, Ban said he could envision negotiations on formulating a treaty to outlaw nuclear arms.

(This article was written by Kyosuke Yamamoto and Taro Nakazaki.)


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