Washington DC joins ICAN Cities Appeal


Washington D.C. joined a growing number of individuals, organizations, cities and state legislatures that are calling on the United States to take meaningful action to prevent nuclear war. In doing so, it has become one of the first capital cities worldwide to express support for the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, joined by Canberra, Australia and Oslo, Norway. 


On March 5, 2019, the DC Council voted unanimously to approve the Sense of the Council Urging the Federal Government to Prevent Nuclear War Resolution of 2019.

Citing the enormous proposed cost of enhancing our arsenal (over $1 trillion) and the increased risk of conflict due to climate change, the resolution specifically calls for: “renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first; ending any president’s sole, unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack; taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert; canceling plans to replace the entire weapon arsenal with enhanced weaponry; and actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.”

PR23-0081 was introduced by Councilmember David Grosso and co-sponsored by Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Charles Allen, Anita Bonds, Robert White Jr.,

“For decades the idea of nuclear war seemed a relic of the past, however there is growing concern that the conflict between India and Pakistan could result in nuclear war, and just last year it appeared that a nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea was imminent,” said Councilmember Grosso.  “Perhaps most unsettling though, is the reality that the current president has unchecked and complete authority to launch nuclear weapons based on his sole discretion. The use of even a small fraction of nuclear weapons would cause worldwide climate disruption and global famine.”

Soka Gakkai International-USA led efforts to bring the resolution to a vote, joined by United Church of Christ (UCC) and MaryKnoll Office for Global Concerns. The D.C. resolution is part of a national grassroots campaign called “Back from the Brink,” which has support from prominent public health, science, environmental, faith-based and justice organizations. Inspired by the initiative, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) launched a new “Cities Appeal” last year that is gaining support globally for the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.


Photo: Andy Feliciotti