Calling for Urgent Action to Avoid Nuclear War, Resolve the Ukraine Conflict, Lower Tensions with China, and Redirect Military Spending to Meet Human Needs

Adopted at the 91st Annual Meeting in 2023

  • WHEREAS, we are living in a time of extraordinary nuclear dangers, with all the nuclear-armed states qualitatively, and in some cases quantitatively, modernizing their nuclear arsenals; and

    WHEREAS, with Russia's illegal war of aggression in Ukraine, which could eventually draw the militaries of the U.S., its NATO allies and Russia into direct conflict, intensified by Russia's repeated nuclear threats, the risk of nuclear war has risen to its highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis; and

    WHEREAS, other potential nuclear flashpoints include the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, South Asia, and the Middle East; the scale and tempo of war games by nuclear-armed states and their allies, including nuclear drills, are increasing; and ongoing missile tests, and frequent close encounters between military forces of nuclear-armed states exacerbate nuclear dangers; and

    WHEREAS, the Biden Administration's 2022 Nuclear Posture Review states: "The United States is committed to the modernization of its nuclear forces, nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) system, and production and support infrastructure," including the planned replacement of the entire "nuclear triad" of intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines, and long-range bombers with new systems; and

    WHEREAS, the President's FY 2024 Budget request fully funds implementation of the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, requesting $37.7 billion to sustain and modernize the Department of Defense nuclear enterprise, $3 billion more than the FY 2023 request; and

    WHEREAS, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, in 2022, world military expenditures climbed to a record high of $2240 billion, with the U.S. accounting for 39% of global military spending; and

    WHEREAS, the United States and China are the two leading economic powers in the world, in a time when humanity is facing unprecedented challenges due to the ecological impacts of human activity ranging from climate change to pandemics, and international cooperation is essential to protect the natural environment on which the global economy and society depends; and

    WHEREAS, intensified military competition among the world's most powerful states not only diverts resources from human needs but impedes cooperation on a wide range of other goals, including the elimination of poverty and the provision of health care, education, reliable renewable energy, and other essential services to all our communities; and

    WHEREAS, cities are playing an increasingly important role in subnational diplomacy, and Mayors for Peace, founded in 1982 and led by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is working for a world without nuclear weapons, safe and resilient cities, and a culture of peace, in which peace is a priority for every individual; and as of April 1, 2023, Mayors for Peace has grown to 8,247 cities in 166 countries and regions, with 223 U.S. members; and

    WHEREAS, The United States Conference of Mayors has adopted strong resolutions submitted by U.S. members for Mayors for Peace for 17 consecutive years, in 2018 "Calling on the Administration and Congress to Step Back From the Brink and Exercise Global Leadership in Preventing Nuclear War" and in 2021 "Calling on the United States to Welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Act Now to Prevent Nuclear War and Eliminate Nuclear Weapons".

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors welcomes the November 17, 2022, Declaration of the G20 Leaders meeting in Bali, including leaders or foreign ministers of China, France, India, Russia, UK, and U.S., that "The threat of use or use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible"; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference condemns Russia's illegal war of aggression on Ukraine and its repeated nuclear threats and calls on the Russian government to withdraw all forces and equipment from Ukraine immediately and unconditionally; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference calls on the U.S. government to work to re-establish high-level U.S.-Russian risk reduction and arms control talks to rebuild trust and work toward replacement of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the only remaining bi-lateral nuclear arms control treaty, set to expire in 2026; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference calls on the government of the United States to make renewed efforts to reduce tensions with the government of the People's Republic of China, seeking opportunities for cooperation on such global issues as the environment, public health, and equitable development, and take the initiative in new approaches for the control of armaments that might avoid a costly and dangerous new arms race; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference urges Congress to pass the "Embracing the Goals and Provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Resolution" (H. Res. 77), consistent with the USCM's previous support for the Treaty and the Back from the Brink campaign.

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