Mayors for Peace sends out open letter seeking participation in U.N. working group

On January 22 Mayors for Peace sent an open letter to the 193 member countries of the United Nations urging them to “participate actively” in an open-ended United Nations working group that will debate a legal framework and other measures for global nuclear disarmament. Nuclear powers and their allies are wary of a legal ban on nuclear weapons and have opposed the establishment of one. The letter sent by the organization, for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president, urges U.N. members to “start engaging in constructive deliberations regardless of their political sensibilities.”

The letter stresses the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and states that “a legal prohibition of nuclear weapons will mark a significant turning point toward a world without nuclear weapons.” It also expresses the view that the working group provides a good opportunity to discuss the “timing, scope, and modalities for achieving nuclear disarmament” and notes that Mayors for Peace will be participating as a non-governmental organization. The letter was sent via e-mail to the delegations of member nations at U.N. headquarters and to Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General.

The U.N.’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will hold a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 28 at which the working group’s agenda will be decided. Discussions are expected to begin next month.

(Originally published on January 23, 2016)