U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Strong New Mayors for Peace Resolution
an article by Mayors for Peace (abridged)
At the close of its 80th annual meeting in Orlando Florida, on June 16, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) unanimously adopted a strong, comprehensive, new Mayors for Peace resolution Calling for U.S. Leadership in Global Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and Redirection of Nuclear Weapons Spending to Meet the Urgent Needs of Cities.
At U.S. Conference of Mayors International Affairs Committee, left to right: Mayors for Peace Mayor Craig Lowe, Gainesville, Florida; Acting Committee Chair, Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez
Mayors for Peace North American Coordinator Jackie Cabasso was able to arrange for a display of the new Mayors for Peace “5000-Member Milestone” poster exhibition during the meeting of the USCM International Affairs Committee on June 13. Following her update on Nuclear Disarmament and the Goal of Eliminating Nuclear Weapons by 2020, described by the Acting Chair as a “passionate” presentation, the Committee, passed the resolution, sending it on to the closing plenary for final consideration.
Noting that “more than two decades after the end of the Cold War, nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons, over 95% of them in the arsenals of the United States and Russia, continue to pose an intolerable threat to cities and people everywhere,” the USCM “reaffirms its call on the President of the United States to work with the leaders of the other nuclear armed states to implement the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a comparable framework of mutually reinforcing legal instruments can be agreed upon and implemented by 2020, as urged by Mayors for Peace.”
Stressing that “the continuing economic crisis is forcing mayors and cities to make ever deeper cuts in critical public services,” the USCM resolution takes note that “in 2011, the United States spent $711 billion on its military, 41% of the world total and twice as much as the next 14 countries combined, including China, Russia, six NATO allies and three major non-NATO allies.”
Stating that “President Obama submitted a plan to Congress in 2010 projecting investments of well over $185 billion by 2020 to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear weapons systems, including construction of new nuclear warhead production facilities and an array of new delivery systems, and subsequent annual budgets have provided for funding at this level,” and noting that, “cuts to federal programs such as Community Block Development Grants (CDBGs) and the Home Investment Partnership program (HOME) have forced cities, local agencies and non-profits to lay off staff, reduce or eliminate services, delay infrastructure projects and reduce program benefits to low and moderate income families,” the USCM also “calls on Congress to terminate funding for modernization of nuclear warheads, delivery systems, and production facilities, to slash spending on nuclear weapons well below Cold War levels, and to redirect those funds to meet the urgent needs of cities.” . .
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the national association of cities with populations over 30,000. Resolutions adopted at its annual meetings become official USCM policy. . .
Click here for the official text of the resolution.
Question(s) related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?,
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'THE WORLD IS OVER-ARMED AND PEACE IS UNDER-FUNDED'
30 August 2012 — The following opinion piece by Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon has appeared in leading newspapers in Argentina, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and European weekly publications and has been translated into 10 languages.
Last month, competing interests prevented agreement on a much-needed treaty that would have reduced the appalling human cost of the poorly regulated international arms trade. Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled, despite strong and growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause.
The failure of these negotiations and this month's anniversaries of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide a good opportunity to explore what has gone wrong, why disarmament and arms control have proven so difficult to achieve, and how the world community can get back on track towards these vitally important goals.
Many defence establishments now recognize that security means far more than protecting borders. Grave security concerns can arise as a result of demographic trends, chronic poverty, economic inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases, organized crime, repressive governance and other developments no state can control alone. Arms can't address such concerns.
Yet there has been a troubling lag between recognizing these new security challenges, and launching new policies to address them. National budget priorities still tend to reflect the old paradigms. Massive military spending and new investments in modernizing nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed -- and peace under-funded.
Last year, global military spending reportedly exceeded $1.7 trillion – more than $4.6 billion a day, which alone is almost twice the UN's budget for an entire year. This largesse includes billions more for modernizing nuclear arsenals decades into the future.
This level of military spending is hard to explain in a post-Cold War world and amidst a global financial crisis. Economists would call this an "opportunity cost". . ...more.