Report of the NGO Committee for Disarmament's demonstration, meetings with the Ambassadors of British and French missions, progress on Mayors of Peace Initiative                                       Geneva – 5 August 2004

by Vijay Mehta

The Hiroshima Commemoration was held at the Place des Nations (at the landmines chair).

The day started with the gathering of peace campaigners and activists from many countries. There was a mixture of demo, speeches, songs and display of banners for Nuclear Disarmament with special reference to the atrocities inflicted by the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of the banners said “civil society takes action against nuclear weapons” which I think should be used more often on peace marches.
There was a lot of media and press coverage including interviews with the main speakers. I gave one interview to Simon Pettite journalist of Le Courrier. I told him about the latest developments in the Mutual Defense Agreement (MDA) between UK and US, Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), Dangers of mini nukes and buster bunker bombs and security in South Asia specially India and Pakistan. I also gave him a copy of my book “Arms No More” for review in his paper.

We were delayed so much at the Hiroshima Commemoration that when we reached the Conference on Disarmament, the public session was over. We were told that the Japanese Ambassador had presented a paper which advocated the implementation of articles in the NPT and a strict verification regime controlling the (future) Fissile Material Cut off Treaty (FMCT).  

Japan and Morocco delivered statements to the Conference on Disarmament a gist of which is as follows:
 Japan's Ambassador Yoshiki Mine welcomed the statement made by the United States last week concerning its policy review of the Fissile Material Cut Off Treaty (FMCT), "a new window of opportunity for the CD" which Japan "hope(s)...will lead to the commencement of negotiations" on the long awaited treaty. While the US had stated that they do not believe that verification of an FMCT is achievable, Japan reiterated its belief that an FMCT "should be
effectively verifiable...thereby ensuring credibility of the treaty." Japan reminded the CD that both the 1995 and the 2000 NPT Review Conferences called for the commencement of these negotiations, and that verifiability of the treaty is part of the Shannon Mandate, the most
likely basis for future negotiations. Last week the US had also proposed banning the sale and export of persistent landmines, a proposal to which many, including Canada and France (see CD Advisory, August 3), reacted with caution.  Japan echoed these concerns, stating that while the US proposal "may have certain significance among non-States Parties to the Ottawa Convention...Japan is of the view that it is important to first work toward the reinforcement and universalization of existing frameworks." (emphasis added). Ambassador Omar Hilale of Morocco, President of the CD, announced that he would be distributing a questionnaire in advance of upcoming informal plenary meetings, Tuesday, 10 August and Thursday, 12 August, for consideration of the "methodology of the programme of work." There was also an informal plenary session immediately following Thursday's official session, wherein States would work to identify and establish an inventory of the "new and additional issues related to the agenda" of the CD and how they can be dealt with in a way which "would be positive for all." 


Meetings with the Ambassadors of British and French missions

After lunch Colin Archer and myself went to the British mission’s office of the UK permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament at rues de Vermont and was met by Ambassador David Broucher and his second Secretary Guy Pollard.
The Ambassador said that he was retiring and not going to another job. His replacement will be John Freeman who is coming from NATO Headquarters. Colin commended him on UK’s new verification initiative to which he replied that it was a step in the right direction. We asked him if there was any initiative among the P5 for genuinely carrying forward the agenda for Nuclear Disarmament. He pointed to the Moscow agreement which provides for a further reduction of armaments between US and Russia (though without verification). On the new developments at Aldermaston he said there is no programme of developing new nukes in UK. On the issue of MDA he remarked that it was a formality by which US and UK have to sign the agreement every ten years and also it predates any NPT obligations. On the subject of Trident he said the intention of UK government is to keep it as long as possible; no plans yet to replace it. On the 13 steps to implement NPT the Ambassador said that certain articles cannot be implemented, eg on ABM since US abrogated the treaty. On compliance with article 6 of the NPT by UK he came out with the favorite British line that UK will abolish all nuclear weapons as long as other countries do the same. Until that happens it is a deterrent and UK government had no intention to get rid of that option. The visit to the French embassy was more interesting since Amb. Rivasseaux was far more forthcoming and willing to discuss matters in depth. He said France was the 'best student in the disarmament class' and had no intentions of producing a new generation of weapons. He was surprisingly optimistic given the general pessimism regarding the CD and NPT. France clearly views the main problem as the US-UK axis under Bush and Blair.

 The rest of the day was given over to general strategy discussion, where the main issue was the Mayors for  Peace initiative. The following contribution was made by Aaron Tovish who is working for the City of Hiroshima

Campaign Report: November 2003 - July 2004

Campaign Launch, Nagasaki, DATE November 2003:
In a speech by Nagasaki Mayor Iccho Itoh before over two thousand participants in the Second Citizen's Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Campaign was given a rousing launch. Messages came from many international supporters, most notably London Mayor Ken Livingstone, as well as from Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba.

Euro-Parliament Endorsement, Brussels, 26 February 2004:
A resolution by the European Parliament on the European Union's role in the NPT review process expressed "its support for the international Mayors' campaign - initiated by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - on nuclear disarmament." A roll call on this operative paragraph revealed large majorities supporting the Campaign in all the political groupings except the very smallest one. The vote totals: 406 for; 55 against.

Mayoral Delegation to the NPT, New York City, 27-28 April 2004:
In the first major milestone of the Emergency Campaign, Mayors for Peace formed a Mayoral Delegation to bring the 2020 Vision Campaign to the awareness of the government officials engaged in the NPT review process. Nine mayors and seven deputy mayors from eleven countries, as well as representatives from five additional U.S. and British cities, took part in two days of intense political activity. Seven members of the Delegation delivered speeches to a plenary session of the NPT Preparatory Committee calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020. The Delegation met with top UN officials; with multinational representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Union, and the New Agenda Coalition; and with Government representatives of the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, and India.By consistent advocacy of the 2020 Vision, NPT member states were challenged to reconsider the pace and coherence of their faltering step-by-step approach. The dynamism of the Delegation made it clear that Mayors will be major presence in 2005. To that end, the Delegation met with New York City Councilors and with many NGO activists. The work of the Mayoral Delegation is recorded in a comprehensive report and was captured on video.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Resolution, Boston, 27 June 2004:
Three U.S. members of Mayors for Peace submitted a resolution to the U.S. Conference of Mayors' annual meeting. The resolution, citing the 2020 Vision, "calls upon the U.S. President to support a decision by the 2005 NPT Review Conference to commence negations on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons." It was adopted by acclamation.

"2020Vision Campaign; Mayors for Peace" video completed, New York, 9 July 2004
The work of the Mayoral Delegation has documented by Haloco Ideas in a broadcast-quality 45-minute video program. A two-minute preview is on the Mayors for Peace website, and there is a five-minute "coming attraction" for busy mayors to view. The video follows the Mayoral Delegation through its two days of work at the United Nations, New York City Hall, and the 9/11 ground zero. Three 'tangents' are devoted to Hibakusha, Youth, and the World Peace Fair. The hopeful 2020 Vision is contrasted with the melted lens of glasses from a elderly victim of the Hiroshima atomic bombing. Mayor Akiba envisions "a world where something like this can never happen again." 2020 Vision is available to members of Mayors for Peace without charge.

Campaign Plans: August 2004 - May 2005

See the attached one-page sheets for more detailed descriptions of each major activity.

Year of Remembrance and Action for a Nuclear Weapon Free World; Aug'04- Aug'05
In anticipation of the 60th Anniversary, people everywhere are being asked to engage in activity that remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki and upholds the vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world. During "The Year," Mayors can reach out effectively to other public figures - actors, artists, athletes, scholars, scientists, etc. - and involve them in the nuclear-weapon-free-world movement. Television can be encouraged to contribute by showing the 2020 Vision video, and young people by helping to build the Protective Wall of International Law.

Mayoral Statement Signature Drive, Aug'04 - Jan 'OS
Mayors for Peace believe Heads of Government should assume direct responsibility for the all-important NPT Review Conference. A statement to that end, based on the U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution, is being circulated for signature by mayors in countries around the world. Mayors can sign it and promote it with their counterparts in other cities. The signature drive will be wound up in early January so that the international results will available for use by the National Mayoral Delegations.

National Mayoral Delegations Consult with Governments, January-February'05
It must be brought to the attention of Heads of Government that mayors are calling on them to act at the NPT Review Conference. In many countries, a National Mayoral Delegation will be formed to present the Mayoral Statement signed by their fellow mayors. The Delegation will be able to refer to the international results of the drive as well. Since the Government will still be preparing for the Review Conference, these consultations can help to shape its policy there. To that end, the Delegation will also visit the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Defense and Parliament.

Cities of the World Peace Fair, Central Park, New York, 1 May 2005
The Great Lawn of Central Park will be turned in a huge map of the world upon which hundreds of cities, large and small, will display their culture of music, dance, art, cuisine, and Peace. Mayors for Peace will link up participating cities with neighborhoods throughout Greater New York to make it both a truly international and a truly New York event. There will be "regional" stages and a "global" stage that features major performing artists. With the International Law Wall winding through the Peace Fair, the unifying theme will be a nuclear-weapon-free future.

Major Presence of Mayors at the NPT Review Conference, UN Headquarters, 2-4 May'05
Having called upon Heads of Government to attend the Review Conference, Mayors will be out in force to hear them speak at the open session. The Mayors will hold a conference of their own the following day; during the lunch, diplomats will be invited to join them. On the third day, Mayors of some of the world's largest cities will address a plenary session of the Review Conference. Mayors should plan on arriving in New York before the Peace Fair and staying for at least the first two days of the Review Conference.
Along side Mayors of peace there are other initiatives which deserve mentioning
A)   Hiroshima-Nagasaki process for Nuclear Disarmament on the model of Ottawa process to ban landmines which will run for the whole year of 2005 alongside the review conference.
B)    German students initiative of ‘Protective wall of international law’. The idea is to make small walls of bricks with logos and take them to New York for the review conference. Their website is

 This letter is being sent to mayors for encouraging them to participate in the Review Conference 2005 (Available on request)
The Honorable Jeremy Harris Mayor of Honolulu, Hawaii
The Honorable Michael Sullivan Mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts

1. WHEREAS, as long as nuclear weapons exist, cities around the world will be vulnerable to instantaneous devastation on a scale exceeding even that experienced by Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945; and
2. WHEREAS, a nuclear war would devastate many cities, an accidental missile launch would devastate several cities, and use of a nuclear weapon by terrorists would devastate a city; and
3. WHEREAS, any nuclear attack would obliterate City Hall and all emergency response mechanisms rendering any city "planning" for such a disaster utterly futile; and
4. WHEREAS, the world's foremost line of defense against nuclear-dangers is the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is currently in its seventh review cycle, with all parties to the treaty scheduled to meet next May to ensure that the treaty is being fully implemented; and
5. WHEREAS, all other weapons of mass destruction have beenprohibited by international agreement and are being eliminated under international control, and the nuclear-weapon states party to the NPT have undertaken to pursue negotiations in good faith on nuclear disarmament; and
6. WHEREAS, the international Court of Justice unanimously found in 1996 that all states were obliged to "bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control;" and
7. WHEREAS, the World Conference of Mayors for Peace has launched an international campaign calling on the 2005 NPT Review Conference to launch negotiations on the elimination of nuclear weapons, to be concluded by 2010 and fully implemented by 2020, also known as the 2020 Vision; and
8. WHEREAS, weapons of mass destruction have no place in a civilized world,
9. Now, therefore, be it resolved that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the U.S. President to support a decision by the 2005 npt Review Conference to commence negotiations on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear-weapon-related materials, and
10. BE IT further resolved the U.S. Conference of Mayors shall remain engaged in this matter until our cities are no longer under the threat of nuclear devastation.


All statements of Conference on Disarmament are available at:
All CD Advisories, including this one, are available at:
Press releases from UNOG can also be found at:
A summary of statements by topic can be found at:
Reaching Critical Will's Guide to the CD can be found at:
Other background information on the Conference can be found at: