Representing European local and regional governments committed to defend peace in our cities and towns but also across the continent and the whole world, and following up on the call by the Mayor of Hiroshima and President of the Mayors for Peace network urging for a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine, we issue the following statement:
- We urge the Russian government and perpetrators of the current escalation and territorial agression in Ukraine to put an end to hostilities, respect international law and commit to reinvigorated diplomatic efforts: Dialogue, cooperation and diplomacy are the only valid mechanisms to ensure a peaceful resolution to conflict.
- We express our solidarity with all Mayors, local governments and residents who have been suffering and will now suffer more from this war. This show of solidarity is especially addressed to our city-members and friends in both Ukraine and Russia, with whom we share a common desire and goal: to live in a peaceful world. As places where people live, cities and towns are often the territories suffering the most by armed conflict. Wars cause endless suffering and often turn our citizens into refugees and children into orphans.
- We invite parties involved in diplomatic negotiations to go beyond confrontation and listen to these same communities and local leaders. They are not only the parties suffering the most from the war, but can also be instrumental in delivering a truly sustainable and effective peace.
- We recall the risk of a nuclear escalation inherent in the conflict, which would result in catastrophic humanitarian consequences not only for our shared continent but the whole world. We call for respecting the suffering of previous nuclear victims and also the rights of future generations. We emphasize our organization’s stand on this agenda and call for the implementation of the hitherto not fulfulled commitments on nuclear disarmament: nuclear weapons are prohibited, a vision which has already been embraced by a majority of countries in the world.
- We reaffirm our willingness to continue working together with international organisations in the peace movement, civil society and committed states in finding a solution to this conflict. As mayors and local representatives, we are committed to continue showcasing our people’s firm choice in favor of peace and opposition to war.
Inspired by our own local memories and our firm commitment to shout out loud “Never Again War”, let’s work together to prevent and resolve conflicts, to continue building peace and to create safe environments where all our residents can live safely and with full respect to human rights. The Executive Board Mayors for Peace European Chapter.