Hannover (Germany), Malakoff (France), Manchester (UK), Ypres (Belgium), Biograd na Moru (Croatia), Granollers (Spain), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Grigny (France) and Cervia (Italy) are the Executive Cities which from the European Chapter

The first Board Meeting of the European Chapter took place virtually on 10 June 2021 and served to officially launch the Chapter as well as its regional work plan for the coming years. It was attended by a large number of Mayors and cities officials, representatives of local governments. The Secretariat of Mayors for Peace approved a proposal by the European Executive Cities to develop the Chapter in November 2019.

The Chair of the Chapter, Mayor Mayoral of Granollers, opened the meeting by welcoming all participants to this first full board meeting and thanking all European Lead Cities for fully taking part in this process. The Secretary General of Mayor for Peace, Mr. Koizumi, congratulated European members on getting to this point and hoped the new European Chapter could be an engine of activity for increasing Mayors for Peace membership. The first part of the meeting also served to introduce Thomas Hajnoczi, the new European-based Executive Advisor of Mayors for Peace. Mr. Hajnocki had previously worked for many years in the Austrian Government’s Disarmament Affairs Office in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Cities officials introduced a short activity report with the activities that have been carried out so far to promote the Chapter: legal statutes to outline a terms of reference for the Chapter, an operational plan, a communications plan and a protocol for the issuing of public statements. These are all tabled in this board meeting for approval. The activity report also outlined some early activities to promote the Chapter including among others: an audience between members of the Chapter and Pope Francis in September 2020, a joint webinar with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and the UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) in November 2020 and video statements from the Mayors of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Granollers, Barcelona and Manchester were issued with a joint media release with ICAN supporting the entry into force of the TPNW in January 2021.

The European Chapter will hold a new webinar on 21st October 2021 ‘Building a nuclear weapons free world: the TPNW and the important role of cities’. This webinar will encourage a wider campaign to encourage states who have not supported the TPNW to come to the first States Parties Conference of the TPNW as observers.

Mayors and officials finally discussed the future steps beyond 2022 for the development of the Chapter, considering how to recruit new board members and a larger general membership in Europe and how to develop and enhance existing and new coalitions of support.

The Executive Lead Cities will meet again on the 7th July during the upcoming global Mayors for Peace Executive Conference.

To find out more information about the European Chapter and its activities please visit www.mayorsforpeace.eu or its social media accounts on Twitter twitter.com/MfPEuropean and Facebook www.facebook/MfPEuropean.