During the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace that took place between the 5th and 8th of November, 2018, in the Spanish capital, Madrid, ICAN launched its new appeal “ICAN Save My City” calling on cities to take steps to support the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.

The appeal calls on municipalities to exert pressure on governments – most of whom, in NATO states, are reluctant to step out of line with US-dictated policy on nuclear weapons – to sign and ratify the Ban Treaty, given that cities are the inevitable targets of nuclear bombs.

Furthermore, the appeal urges municipalities to move their bank accounts and pension funds, etc., from financial institutions that support the nuclear weapons industry using resources such as the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report, produced yearly by PAX.

Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of ICAN, said, “This campaign is important in countries that haven’t signed the treaty, where the government has failed to protect their citizens… It’s really up to mayors and city councils to protect their citizens.”

Fihn cited examples of cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, Milan, Baltimore and Los Angeles that have already signed resolutions supporting the Ban Treaty and hopes that ICAN’s presence in Madrid will lead Mayor Manuela Carmena to take similar steps with the city council.

“Now we’re waiting for Madrid, Barcelona and all the other cities in Spain to really take action and push the government because change starts with people.”

Video by Álvaro Orus.

The text of the appeal says: “Our city/town is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have the right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and call on our governments join it.”