Mayors for Peace Open Letter – Reaching the G7 Hiroshima Summit (2023)
Mayors for Peace Open Letter – Reaching the G7 Hiroshima Summit
On 19-21 May, leaders from France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, and the EU will meet for the G7 Summit. This year is a special one, because it is being held in Hiroshima, the city that suffered the first atomic bombing in human history.
The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945 took the lives of 140,000 innocent people by the end of that year. The hibakusha, those who barely managed to survive, were left with deep psychological and physical wounds. Despite their unbearable sufferings, especially from the harmful aftereffects of radiation, and transcending rage and hatred for the atomic bombing, their fervent plea has persisted for decades that “no one else should suffer as we have.”
While the grave humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons are well acknowledged internationally, nuclear disarmament is now stagnant and the nuclear-weapon states are not fulfilling their obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to negotiate in good faith for the early cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament. That Hiroshima—such a symbolic place—has been chosen as the host city of the highest-level Summit of the G7 under such circumstances proves the necessity for humanity to urgently address the global challenges posed by nuclear weapons and break the status quo.
In nuclear weapon attacks, cities and their citizens are the targets. Profound consequences on a global scale are to be inflicted by their use, well beyond the direct and immediate casualties, including devastating environmental and economic effects and grave risk for much of humanity to face starvation by the resultant “nuclear winter.” Nuclear weapons are thus the greatest threat to the safety and security of citizens’ lives. For Mayors for Peace, a global network of mayors, who stand closest to their citizens, transcending national borders to work together for their elimination is our mission.
On behalf of over 8,200 Mayors for Peace member cities around the world, we hereby make the following appeals.
If a nuclear war is to begin today, it will disrupt virtually every activity that routinely appears on G7 Summit agendas, including economy, climate change, and the promotion of sustainable development. The G7 leaders must therefore address the issue of nuclear weapons as a significant and pressing issue on par with, if not surpassing, global warming and climate change in terms of the threat it poses to the survival of the planet and humanity.
We are confident that this G7 Summit will be a superb opportunity for G7 democracies to consider the full dimensions of the stakes involved in the perpetuation of nuclear weapons and the dangerous doctrine of nuclear deterrence.
We therefore call upon the G7 leaders to recognize at this year’s Summit that nuclear disarmament is not some idealistic dream, but a concrete, real-world necessity in the self-interest of all nations. To that end, we urge them to convey their unshakeable resolve toward the realization of a world without nuclear weapons from the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima, and engage in constructive discussions to find a solid path forward to realize their elimination.
We urge the leaders of all nuclear-armed states to change their positive views on the theory of nuclear deterrence as if they must rely on it as a way to fulfill their national responsibility to protect the lives and property of their people. In reality, the only way to protect these is by the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To that end, we call for immediate action in reducing nuclear arsenals and ending their modernization. We also urge the G7 leaders to make calls for international dialogue to bolster such efforts during the Summit.
We encourage the G7 Summit participants to deepen their understanding of the realities of the atomic bombings by visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and speaking with the hibakusha, who have long raised their voices about the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. We also call upon them to encourage their own citizens and other national leaders to visit Hiroshima and the second atomic-bombed city of Nagasaki.
As we promote peacebuilding by cities, Mayors for Peace will further commit to promoting the culture of peace to raise peace consciousness among citizens and to underpin all efforts by national governments toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. It is our sincerest hope that the G7 leaders will join us in our endeavor to realize a peaceful, nuclear-weapon-free world.
May 11, 2023
Mayors for Peace
President Mayor of Hiroshima, Japan
Vice president Mayor of Nagasaki, Japan
Vice president Mayor of Hannover, Germany
Vice president Mayor of Malakoff, France
Vice president Mayor of Muntinlupa, Philippines
Vice president Lord Mayor of Manchester, U.K.
Vice president Mayor of Ypres, Belgium
Vice president Mayor of Granollers, Spain
Vice president Mayor of Halabja, Iraq
Vice president Mayor of Biograd na Moru, Croatia
Vice president Mayor of Des Moines, U.S.
Vice president Mayor of Montreal, Canada
Executive Mayor of Santos, Brazil
Executive Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand
Executive Mayor of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Executive Governor of Bangkok, Thailand
Executive Mayor of Cartago, Costa Rica
Executive Mayor of Tehran, Iran
Executive Mayor of Grigny, France
Executive Mayor of Cervia, Italy
Executive Mayor of Evora, Portugal
Mayors for Peace Secretariat
c/o Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation
1-5 Nakajima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0811 Japan
Tel: +81-82-242-7821 Fax: +81-82-242-7452