Mayors for Peace UK and Ireland Chapter Statement, 7th December 2017
This Sunday, December 10th the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will formally receive the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. As the local chapter of Mayors for Peace, the UK and Ireland Mayors, Provosts and Leaders for Peace Chapter warmly congratulates ICAN on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ICAN has been highly effective in calling for a nuclear weapons free world and in assisting with the international agreement for a Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty at the United Nations.
ICAN is a unique coalition of 468 groups in 101 countries, with a Steering Committee and a Secretariat based in Geneva, Switzerland. (1) Mayors for Peace is a strategic partner with ICAN, led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who will lead a delegation attending this Sunday’s ceremony.
To celebrate this ceremony and show support for the work of ICAN the Chapter is encouraging its members to sign the ICAN pledge to work for the signature and ratification of the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty amongst members states like the United Kingdom Government (who have said they do not support the Treaty) and the Republic of Ireland Government (who have signed and are in the process of ratifying the Treaty). (2) The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Eddy Newman, in his role as Vice President of Mayors for Peace and Chair of the Chapter, along with other Manchester councillors, has today signed the ICAN pledge. The ICAN pledge has also been signed today by a number of other prominent members, such as the Lord Provost of Glasgow and the Leader of Glasgow City Council. (3)
There are over 14,000 nuclear weapons still in the world today. With real concerns over North Korea’s nuclear programme there is no more important time for having groups like ICAN and Mayors for Peace working with the large majority of countries to sign and ratify the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty, and actively encouraging those who have not supported it to reconsider.
The work of Hiroshima and Nagasaki educate us all on the terrible and devastating effects of nuclear weapons. Today’s nuclear weapons are even far more destructive than the bombs of 1945. If a nuclear weapon was ever used again, either deliberately or accidentally, the consequences could be harmful for millions, if not billions, of people.
The Chapter is proud to be a part of the international nuclear disarmament coalition with ICAN and Mayors for Peace. It hopes the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize can help in galvanising governments together to find peaceful solutions to the conflicts that bedevil so much of our troubled world.
Last Friday the 1st December, the Chapter held an informative seminar in Manchester considering the implications of ICAN’s Nobel Peace award, the impacts it could have on nuclear weapon states like the UK, the local moves towards promoting peace education that have come out of recent atrocities like the terrorist attacks on Manchester and London, and the ways Mayors for Peace looks to move forward between 2017 and 2020, the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (4)
Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Eddy Newman said:
“As a member of Mayors for Peace and a strong supporter of, and partner with, ICAN I am delighted that it has won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. I welcome the work of ICAN and Mayors for Peace to work for a world without nuclear weapons and be dedicated to find peaceful solutions to all conflicts. The UK and Ireland Mayors, Provosts and Leaders for Peace Chapter will work on these joint campaigns throughout 2018 as we seek to find ways to bring our communities together in a spirit of tolerance and respect.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, Chapter Secretary, on 0161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) ICAN website – http://www.icanw.org
(2) The ICAN pledge, adapted for a local government audience –
“We, the undersigned Mayors, Provosts and Councillors, warmly welcome the adoption of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on 7th July 2017 as a significant step towards the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free world. We share the deep concern expressed in the preamble about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from any use of nuclear weapons and we recognize the consequent need to eliminate these inhumane and abhorrent weapons. As Mayors, Provosts and Councillors, we pledge to work for the signature and ratification of this landmark treaty by our respective countries, as we consider the abolition of nuclear weapons to be a global public good of the highest order and an essential step to promote the security and well-being of all peoples.”
(3) A photograph of the Lord Provost of Glasgow Eva Bolander signing the pledge, along with the Leader of Glasgow City Council Susan Aitken and NFLA Steering Committee Vice Chair Scotland Bill Butler, is attached with this media release.
(4) A link to the presentations from the Mayors for Peace Chapter seminar held in Manchester will go on the Mayors for Peace website (http://www.mayorsforpeace.org) shortly.