The Basel Peace Office, Mayors for Peace, the World Future Council and GSI program Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament have issued a joint appeal from American and European Mayors, parliamentarians, policy experts and civil society representatives from forty countries to preserve the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and prevent a new nuclear arms race in Europe.
The INF Treaty, signed in 1987 between the United States and the Soviet Union, eliminated all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, and utilized extensive on-site inspections for verification of the agreement.
Following President Trump’s 20 October, 2018 announcement of his intent to withdraw the United States from the INF Treaty, the State Department has signaled that the US will suspend implementation of the treaty beginning 2 February 2019 and commence the six-month withdrawal process. If the Treaty is dissolved it would further stimulate the current nuclear arms race. In particular, it would open the door for intermediate-range, ground-based nuclear-armed missiles returning to Europe and for US deployment of such missiles in Asia.
The appeal, entitled the Basel Appeal on Disarmament and Sustainable Security, called on U.S. and Russian leaders to resolve conflicts through the treaty, not by abandoning it, and to use diplomacy and common security mechanisms, including the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) rather than elevating nuclear threats and ratcheting up the arms race.
“Mayors and parliamentarians, especially those of us from Europe, will not sit idly on the side while the US and Russia erode our security,” said Thore Vestby (Norway), Vice-President of Mayors for Peace and a former member of the Norwegian parliament. “Cities and parliaments are therefore taking action to support nuclear arms control treaties such as the INF and START treaties, promote additional measures such as no-first-use and the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and to put an end to city and state investments in nuclear weapons corporations.”