U.S. Mayors Resolve Unanimously to Ask Congress to Slash Nuclear Weapons Spending in Favor of Cities

July 2, 2010

On June 14, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously adopted a resolution in support of U.S. participation in the global elimination of nuclear weapons and the redirecting of nuclear spending to the needs of cities. www.usmayors.org/resolutions/78th_Conference/adoptedresolutionsfull.pdf p. 137

In the Resolution, the Mayors cite the "severe cuts in critical public services such as police officers, fire fighters, teachers, medical and emergency workers and bus drivers" as indicative of the damage wrought by the recent recession and the cities' declining revenues.

The Resolution asks the President and the Senate "to ratify the new START treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty without conditions and without delay." It asks President Obama "to work with the leaders of the other nuclear weapon states to implement the U.N. Secretary-General [Ban Ki-Moon]'s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament forthwith, so that a Nuclear Weapons Convention, or a related set of [] legal instruments, can be agreed upon and implemented by 2020, as urged by Mayors for Peace."

Jackie Cabasso, the North American Coordinator for Mayors for Peace, said that this resolution was significant because of its timing. She continued, "It also restates, in no uncertain terms, the commitment of American's mayors to the global elimination of nuclear weapons at an early date, and for the first time calls on Congress to make deep cuts in nuclear weapons spending as a concrete measure of that commitment." www.mayorsforpeace.org

Whereas the Resolution cites President Obama's April 2009 acknowledgement in Prague that "as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act" for the achievement of the "peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," it also notes that "eight nations [] possess a total of nearly 23,000 nuclear warheads - 95% of them held by the U.S. and Russia."

The Resolution refers to a report prepared by the President for the Senate in connection with his submission of the START treaty that describes a plan "to maintain and modernize U.S. nuclear forces," at a projected cost of over $180 billion by the year 2020. It further notes that the funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration will increase by more than 40%, that is, from $6.4 billion to $9 billion, between Fiscal Years 2010 and 2018. The Resolution asks Congress "to terminate funding for modernization of the nuclear weapons complex and nuclear weapons systems, to reduce spending on nuclear weapons programs well below Cold War levels, and to redirect funds to meet the urgent needs of cities." There are 1,200 mayors in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the official nonpartisan organization of cities of at least 30,000 people.

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