A simple letter can go a long way in getting a local authority to take a stand for nuclear disarmament. Here's a template for a letter you could send to your city or town, but it's always best to adapt it to your local context as far as necessary.
[Full Name of Mayor / City Official]
I write to you on behalf of XXXXXXXX to request the support of the City of [XXXXXX] for the ICAN Cities Appeal, a commitment by a city or town indicating its support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and calling for the national government to sign and ratify it without delay.
The TPNW is a landmark global agreement adopted in 2017, which the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has acknowledged as providing the best pathway towards a world without nuclear weapons. The treaty entered into force in January 2021 and now represents a new global norm under international law: Nuclear Weapons are now illegal.
Due to the actions of a handful of irresponsible world leaders and their enablers, we are descending into a dangerous new nuclear arms race. The ongoing nuclear modernization programmes of nuclear-armed states and the inflammatory rhetoric of certain leaders increases the likelihood of the use of nuclear weapons, either by accident or intent. Nuclear weapons threaten every nation’s security and would cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences if used. The impact on civilians and the environment would be devastating. These weapons are designed to flatten cities and indiscriminately raze and slaughter everything and everyone in their path.
As cities are the main targets of nuclear weapons, municipalities have a special responsibility to their constituents to speak out against any role for nuclear weapons in national security doctrines. The pressure from the grassroots, catalyzed by city governments, can contribute directly significantly to the success of the TPNW.
National awareness is needed to advance the norm embodied by the TPNW, especially in nuclear weapon states and those countries that are in military alliances which involve the threat of use of nuclear weapons. It is these States that enable and are complicit in the dangerous new nuclear arms race.
It is vital that states committed to nuclear disarmament and a rules-based world order work to strengthen the nuclear taboo by joining the TPNW. Nuclear weapons serve no legitimate military or strategic purpose and the TPNW, through its stigmatising normative effect, offers the best hope of ending decades of deadlock in disarmament and moving the world towards the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Municipal governments form a close and active link with their constituents and local social movements. An international coalition of cities and civil society can therefore play a game-changing role in implementing the new norm under international law, taking a decisive step towards elimination.
Should your city wish to support this initiative, we invite you or other authorised administrator to send an email to [email protected].
We hope that you will positively consider this initiative and join the international movement to stigmatise, ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
You can count on ICAN and its partners to support you in this most urgent endeavour.