Plusquellic, Kofi AnNan Unite with Mayors for Peace at U.N.
By Rhonda Spears Bell
May 9, 2005
Conference President Akron Mayor Donald L. Plusquellic joined more than 100 mayors and city officials from around the world for the Mayors for Peace meeting held during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference at the United Nations in New York, May 2-3. The mayors were brought together by the Mayors for Peace organization, led by Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima, Japan. Mayors for Peace believes that an organized global network of municipal officials can be effective in moving the world away from nuclear proliferation by beginning talks for a universal program for complete elimination.
In addressing the luncheon session of the Mayors for Peace meeting May 3, Plusquellic informed the delegation from around the world that The United States Conference of Mayors has advocated for decades a decrease in, and ultimate elimination of, the threat of nuclear weapons. At the Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in 2004, the mayors of the United States passed a resolution that declared that "weapons of mass destruction have no place in a civilized world" and called for the commencement of negotiations on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. "We have pledged to remain engaged on this important issue until cities are no longer under the threat of nuclear devastation," Plusquellic said.
After giving his remarks, Plusquellic then introduced the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, who he described as an eloquent and powerful voice of the people of the world, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Plusquellic also participated in the Mayor for Peace press conference at the U.N. where he acknowledged that it is a stretch for mayors who are normally worried about housing and road repairs to be lobbying for global nuclear disarmament. However, he pointed out that most movements start from the grass roots. It starts with people. He cited the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States as an example of people working together. "I think we all know how connected we are and how easy it is for someone to do something devastating if we don't all work together," he said.