The main political gathering of the European Chapter Mayors for Peace held last March 25 adopted a renewed version of its Action Plan in order to foster coordinated action in 2022.
This strategy will focus especially on the nuclear prohibition agenda, spearheaded by the TPNW follow-up process set to take place in Vienna’s MSP1 Meeting (21-23 June 2022).
The European Chapter will also promote joint action and support members’ initiatives regarding the War in Ukraine, scaling up municipal responses to the crisis.
Setting a common agenda for 2022
This was the main aim of the meeting, which was achieved through the adoption of a renewed action plan. This strategic roadmap for the Chapter will focus especially on supporting members’ initiatives around the nuclear prohibition process and the promotion of peace and refugee solidarity initiatives derived from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to the Chapter’s Chair Josep Mayoral (Granollers), “our work plan has been affected by the recent developments in Ukraine, which has also turned the nuclear prohibition agenda into a more relevant priority”. According to Mr. Mayoral cooperation between the members of the European Chapter on this matter contributed to “articulate a common narrative and set the basis for a stronger action plan on peace municipalism”.
The Mayors for Peace Secretary General Mr. Takashi Koizumi showed great appreciation for the initiatives promoted by European members on this matter and highlighted how the next General Conference of Mayors for Peace (Fall 2022) will give a crucial follow-up to the outcomes of the MSP1 June Meeting and the TNP August meeting.
The Vice-Chair of the Chapter Cllr. Eddy Newman (Manchester) introduced the contents of the Action Plan, highlighting how this document aims to help “put the European Chapter on the map as a positive force for good, working for peace across Europe and the world along our international partners”. The document is structured in a flexible way, and contains five working areas, including: advocacy, communications and knowledge sharing-related activities.
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Fostering joint action towards Vienna and peace promotion in Europe
Political and municipal leaders taking part in the meeting gave meaningful inputs that will nourish the implementation of the Chapter’s Action Plan in coming weeks.
Regarding the nuclear disarmament agenda, local government representatives such as Thomas Hermann (Hannover) and Philippe Rio (Grigny) emphasized how important it was to strengthen institutional relations with national delegations to the MSP1 and to invite more countries and local governments to join this conversation. Under the leadership of the Mayors for Peace Hiroshima Secretariat, European members convened to organize a meaningful local government delegation to Vienna’s MSP1 meeting (21-23 June).
Promoting peace in Europe and supporting those communities and cities affected by the war are the two main priorities for the Chapter’s members regarding the War in Ukraine. The Chapter is getting ready for the long term needs that will arise from this conflict. This “new phase in history” will require the solid commitment and leadership of municipal leaders to promote inclusion values, human rights and peace across the continent.
Sarajevo’s Deputy Mayor Haris Bašić addressed the needs of Ukrainian cities and residents from the point of view of his city’s own recent history, highlighting some potential ways forward on how to best assist those affected by the conflict. Other members from Hannover, Manchester, Biograd na Moru, Grigny and Granollers gave meaningful inputs in this sense as well, sharing their immediate priorities and follow-up proposals in relation to city-to-city diplomacy, multi-level partnerships for peace, diaspora engagement and refugee inclusion.