NEW YORK, NY -- April 21 -- Over 100 Mayors and city officials from around the world including representatives of over 20 U.S. cities - will gather in New York during the upcoming conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to promote their agenda for a nuclear-weapon free world. Every 5 years nations that signed the NPT meet to discuss the prevention of proliferation and promotion of disarmament; but now, with the nuclear issue in disarray, mayors are determined to be part of the dialogue.|
The One-Hundred-Strong Delegation has been brought together by the global Non-Governmental Organization, Mayors for Peace, which counts over 900 Mayors from 110 countries among its members. Led by Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima, Mayors for Peace believes that an organized global network of municipal officials can become a powerful force to move the world away from nuclear proliferation by beginning talks now on a universal program for their complete elimination. The US Conference of Mayors has endorsed this position and will be represented by its President at the UN.
The brunt of any nuclear attack will be felt by cities, said Mayor Akiba, and it is incumbent upon us as the representatives of our citizens to advocate freeing the world from this threat. Mayors are clear: there is no excuse for prolonging this intolerable situation. Talks must begin this year.
The month long NPT review will begin on May 2nd. All of the worlds governments (except four) and over 1000 NGOs, many inspired by the leadership of the Mayors, will be represented there.
According to Mayors for Peace International Campaign Manager Aaron Tovish, if the nations that possess nuclear weapons cannot change the perception that they intend to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely, efforts to contain proliferation are doomed: Nations signed on to the NPT to help prevent the spread of these deadly weapons, but not in order to preserve the nuclear monopoly of a select few. Nuclear weapon states, including the United States, must state clearly that their goal is a nuclear-weapon-free world, that they will devote real resources to achieve and maintain it, and that they are prepared to begin talks now on a program to these ends.
While they are in New York the Mayors will lead the May 1st March and Rally for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Future, stage a day-long Mayors Conference at the UN which Secretary General Kofi Annan will address, participate in a General Assembly Hall session at which NPT review conference participants will hear from NGOs, and meet with legislators from around the world to develop joint strategies.
Mayor Akiba and his colleagues will be available for interview from April 30th through May 6th. For booking information, call Riptide Communications, Inc. (212) 260-5000.