Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cities are Not Targets: A Petition for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Cities Are Not Targets (CANT) project Petition Drive

Please tell the nuclear powers that Cities Are Not Targets!

Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation

Mayors for Peace calls cities together to build a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Since our experience of the atomic bombing 62 years ago, Hiroshima has continually called for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of lasting world peace. Despite our efforts, many areas around the world remain trapped in chains of hatred, violence and retaliation, our planet still bristles with vast arsenals of nuclear weapons, and the probability that such weapons will be used is increasing.

In response to this crisis, Mayors for Peace, an NGO over which we preside that now has 1,578 member cities in 120 countries and regions, is conducting an emergency campaign to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020 globally. This is our 2020 Vision Campaign.
The year 2006 was the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion that, “The threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.” Mayors for Peace marked this landmark finding by launching Phase II of our 2020 Vision Campaign.

The centerpiece of this phase is the Good Faith Challenge, a program for demanding that all governments abide by the other ICJ finding that, “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.” As a further contribution by cities, we have also initiated a Cities Are Not Targets (CANT) project to demand assurances from nuclear weapon states that no cities are targeted for nuclear attack.

Nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral devices designed to obliterate entire cities. Despite the end of the Cold War, the danger of nuclear weapons remains virtually unchanged. We still have thousands of nuclear warheads deployed and ready to fire on warning. At the push of a button, nuclear-tipped missiles can be on their way to a target city. If such an event were to take place, some city, home to children and hundreds of thousands of innocent noncombatants, would suffer utter devastation.

The Mayors for Peace project is designed to lift the voices of cities and citizens to say, “No! You may not target cities. You may not target children.” Through these activities, we intend to bring to the attention of mayors, citizens and national leaders the fact that cities are, in fact, still being targeted for annihilation and the International Court of Justice has found this threat itself to be a war crime. Furthermore, we hope this project will intensify our demand that the nuclear-weapon states fulfill their promise to “negotiate in good faith” to abolish all nuclear weapons.

The goal of this project is not a shifting of nuclear weapons away from cities but their total elimination. And, when we speak here of “cities,” we refer not to a municipal entity of a certain size but to any area in which children and non-combatants are living routine daily lives.
Please participate in the petition drive associated with this project. Mayors for Peace will deliver your message to the nuclear-weapon states and to the United Nations. Let all peoples around the world come together and bequeath to our children a genuinely peaceful world free from nuclear weapons! Link to petition here.

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