Helsinki signs the ICAN Cities Appeal associated with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

The City of Helsinki has signed the Cities Appeal within the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and thus shows its support for the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

The City Council approved in their meeting on 19 May 2021 the City Board’s proposal that supports the signing of the Cities Appeal within the ICAN campaign. The proposal served as an answer to the initiative by Kati Juva and 22 other council members. Mayor Jan Vapaavuori signed the appeal on 7 June 2021.

The ICAN campaign that was founded in 2007 in Australia aims to further nuclear disarmament and the implementation of the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. The alliance of civic organisations that is responsible for the campaign was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

The ICAN Cities Appeal has been signed by almost 400 cities from almost 17 different countries. These cities are for instance Amsterdam, Berlin, Gothenburg, Los Angeles, Oslo, Paris, Sydney, Toronto and Washington D.C. Helsinki is the first city in Finland to sign the appeal.

Background information

The UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons took effect on 21 January 2021. By 18 March 2021 it had been ratified by 54 countries. The treaty prohibits production, possession and use of nuclear weapons. Finland has not signed the treaty.

The international operations of cities are remarkably broad these days, and cities have increased their international lobbying in the direction of countries. Helsinki has also, in accordance to the city strategy, broadened and diversified its international operations. Helsinki is for instance a member of the network Mayors for Peace.