150 Belgian mayors want their government to sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty
On the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2018, Greenpeace Belgium, CNAPD, Fairfin and Vrede vzw are jointly launching a Belgian peace flag campaign to boost the debate on the necessary nuclear disarmament.
On the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2018, Greenpeace Belgium, CNAPD, Fairfin and Vrede vzw are jointly launching a Belgian peace flag campaign to boost the debate on the necessary nuclear disarmament. Today, the world still counts with 15,000 nuclear weapons. They threaten the survival of the planet and its people and they cost lots of money that can be better spent on real needs. Moreover, it is exactly one year ago that the new UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons was opened for signature. Up to now 60 countries have signed, and they are now starting their national ratification process. Belgium did not take part in the negotiations and does not sign the treaty.
General support for a UN ban on nuclear weapons is high, though. 122 countries approved the final text of the UN nuclear weapons ban in July 2017. ICAN, the international campaign that helped to bring about the new UN treaty, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. In Belgium a majority of the people is won for nuclear disarmament. According to a survey of June 2018, 66% of Belgians support this new UN convention. This support is at least as great in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. (http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/yougov-poll-europeans-reject-us-nuclear-weapons-support-tpnw-nuclearba/)
Three weeks before the municipal elections, many Belgian cities and municipalities are now giving a clear signal to our government. 150 mayors sign an 'Open Letter' addressed to the Prime Minister and call for the UN Nuclear Reinforcement Act to be supported.
According toRudy Van Cronenburg, mayor of Wachtebeke, the use of nuclear weapons is "a terrible and unacceptable act that should never be considered. That is why nuclear weapons must be phased out and banned quickly. "
Ghent also wants the nuclear weapons out of the world. "Today, 10 million euros per hour are spent on nuclear arms worldwide," says Daniel Termont, mayor of Ghent. "With that money we can tackle challenges such as poverty and climate change. I therefore call upon the federal government: what are you really waiting for to sign the UN nuclear weapons treaty?"
"The UN nuclear weapons ban deserves our Bornem support because weapons never bring peace," according to Luc De Boeck, mayor of Bornem.
- More than 180 cities and towns hang the peace flag on September 21, 2018 (almost 1/3th of all Belgian municipalities)
- 150 mayors sign the 'Open Letter' to the Prime Minister.
- Cities and municipalities organize numerous activities on 21/9. Just a selective overview:
*Mechelen: national press moment with the unfolding of a large peace flag on the city hall and the performing of the peace hymn on the carillon of Sint-Rombouts cathedral at 6 pm
*Ghent: Ghelamco Arena soccer station will be illuminated with the peace flag colors until 11 pm.
*Houthalen-Helchteren: children will unveil the artwork '1000 poppies for Peace' .
Why is Belgian support for a UN nuclear weapon ban necessary?
As nuclear weapons are being modernized, we'll have to live for another 3 decades under the nuclear threat. The cost of maintenance and modernization is extremely high: more than 250 million euros per day worldwide! Belgium is about to buy new fighter planes and does not rule out that these should be capable to transport and deliver nuclear weapons.