World's mayors urge U.S. president to eliminate nuclear arms

Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi and Nagasaki City Mayor Itoh Iccho are among the world's mayors joining together to launch an appeal calling for the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and Russia, to declare their "firm commitment to the task of eliminating nuclear weapons from the face of the earth."

The international statement was presented to U.S. President George W. Bush at the 69th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Detroit on June 25.

The mayors expressed their firm belief that it is their responsibility, "to speak out, for if nuclear weapons are ever again used, it is virtually certain that one or more of our cities will be the target and the people we represent will be the victims."

They also stressed: "Two of us, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, speak from experience. For the rest of us, the fate of those cities is an indelible reminder of the infinite dangers we all face."

They go on to say:

"It is intolerable that the family of man, delivered from the nightmare of the Cold War, still faces this menace. It is unacceptable that while so many human needs are neglected and while poverty afflicts so many, particularly in cities, vast resources that could be put to wiser use are spent on nuclear weapons that no responsible nation wants to use and that, if nonetheless used, could not only destroy cities and nations and their peoples, but could conceivably exterminate humanity." (end)