80th Annual Meeting


WHEREAS, 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; and

WHEREAS, recent studies show that a nuclear war involving no more than 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs used on populated areas—less than 0.5% of the global nuclear arsenal—could have catastrophic effects on the global climate leading to a precipitous drop in average surface temperatures, reduction of the ozone layer, and a shortened agricultural growing season resulting in global famine leading to the starvation of up to one billion people; and

WHEREAS, in an historic November 2011 resolution, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement emphasized “the incalculable human suffering that can be expected to result from any use of nuclear weapons, the lack of any adequate humanitarian response capacity and the absolute imperative to prevent such use;” found it “difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law;” and appealed to all States “to pursue in good faith and conclude with urgency and determination negotiations to prohibit the use of and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement;” and

WHEREAS, President Obama rightly said in Prague, “One nuclear weapon exploded in one city ... no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be—for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival,” and the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) affirmed, “It is in the U.S. interest and that of all other nations that the nearly 65-year record of nuclear non-use be extended forever,” the NPR nonetheless retained the option to initiate nuclear warfare when under conventional attack, explicitly rejected reducing the high-alert status of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles, and retained the capability to deploy U.S. nuclear weapons on tactical fighter-bombers and heavy bombers, including at NATO bases in Europe, while proceeding with a modernization of the bombs carried on those planes; and

WHEREAS, 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

WHEREAS, 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; and

WHEREAS, the continuing economic crisis is forcing mayors and cities to make ever deeper cuts in critical public services; and

WHEREAS, 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; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted resolutions in 2004, 2006 and each year since, expressing strong support for Mayors for Peace, its 2020 Vision Campaign and its Cities Are Not Targets project, and the 2010 and 2011 resolutions called for deep cuts in nuclear weapons spending and redirection of those funds to meet the needs of cities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a second resolution at its 2011 annual meeting, “Calling on Congress to Redirect Military Spending to Domestic Needs;” and

WHEREAS, Mayors for Peace announced on September 21, 2011, the United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace, that its membership had surpassed 5000 and now has over 5250 cities in 153 countries and regions, including more than half of the world’s capital cities and over 190 U.S. members; and

WHEREAS, in his address to the 2011 U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recognized the importance of Mayors for Peace and the support of the USCM, declaring, “I welcome the resolution you will adopt at this conference, in particular its reiteration of support for my five-point [nuclear disarmament] plan,” and concluding, “The road to peace and progress runs through the world’s cities and towns;”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors 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; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors 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; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for the withdrawal of all tactical U.S. nuclear weapons from foreign soil and the immediate standing down of all nuclear forces on high-alert as steps to ensure that non-use of nuclear weapons is extended until global non-possession is achieved; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on its members to raise public awareness about the ongoing dangers and costs of nuclear weapons by organizing public displays of the “5000 Member Milestone” Hiroshima – Nagasaki poster exhibitions in their City Halls, and encourages its members to join Mayors for Peace Executive City Montreal’s “Minute of Silence – Moment of Peace” global initiative by observing a minute of silence at 12 noon on September 21, 2012, the UN International Day of Peace, and posting photos and videos of events in their cities to a dedicated internet platform; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors expresses its continuing support for Mayors for Peace; pledges to continue assisting in the recruitment of new members; and supports USCM representation at General Conferences of Mayors for Peace in Hiroshima and Nagasaki every four years and annual Mayors for Peace 2020 Vision Campaign General Meetings; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors agrees to take up this matter at its 81st Annual Meeting in June 2013, and that mayors shall remain engaged in this matter until cities and citizens throughout the world are no longer under the threat of nuclear annihilation, whether by accident, design or by global famine resulting from catastrophic climate change caused by a limited nuclear exchange wherever it may occur in the world.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2012