Today, Saturday January 22, marks the first anniversary of the historic moment of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
Over the last year, CNANW has requested that the government of Canada attend the First Meeting of the States Parties (FMSP) as observer.
On this anniversary, CNANW acknowledges the efforts of organizations and individuals in working together to create a new platform for global dialogue towards the ultimate goal of the abolition of nuclear weapons. May it be successful!
Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention welcomes Canada’s participation in the 16-nation Stockholm Initiative (SI). The initiative’s recommendations, in the form of a series of “stepping stones,” have the important virtue of being well-established, practical, and doable – and all the measures advanced are still urgently needed actions to pull our planet back from the precipice of nuclear catastrophe. To be sure, much more is required, but the SI affords Canada an important opportunity, as part of its multilateral engagement with like-minded states, to elevate attention to nuclear arms control and disarmament internationally, and to pursue it as a clear national priority.
On behalf of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, I would like to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence of October 28, 2021, regarding the first Meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Thank you for taking the time to write. Please be assured that your comments, offered on behalf of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, have been carefully reviewed.
I note that you have also addressed your correspondence to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence. While the Prime Minister appreciates being made aware of your letter, he will leave the matter you raise to be considered by the Ministers.
Once again, thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.
H. Clancy Executive Correspondence Officer/ Agente de correspondance Executive Correspondence Services/ Services de la correspondance de la haute direction
Jordan, who passed away in late October, was the Veterans Against Nuclear Arms representative to CNANW, while VANA was active. He was a long time peace advocate, well-known and a friend of many, particularly in the Ottawa area. “He was a lifelong advocate for peace, actively opposing military intervention from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, and working to end nuclear arms – in the peace and anti-nuclear movements in Cape Breton, and in Project Ploughshares and Veterans Against Nuclear Arms.”
As Ernie Regehr writes: “It was always a pleasure to have extended conversations with him – he obviously read very widely, had great knowledge of history, and was an innovative thinker. One always ended a chat with him better informed, and feeling the better for having spent time with him.”
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Anjali Helferty, Executive Director Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick, Susan O’Donnell Concerned Citizens of Manitoba, Dave Taylor Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain – CSN, Dominique Daigneault, Président Council of Canadians (PEI Chapter), Nouhad Mourad The Island Peace Committee, (PEI) Tony Reddin National Council of Women of Canada, Patricia Leson, President Nova Scotia Voice of Women for Peace, Nancy Covington Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Angela Bischoff Parkdale United Church, Calgary People for Peace, (London, Ontario), David Heap Ploughshares Calgary Society Pontiac Environment Protection, (Quebec) Deborah Powell, President Religions pour la Paix – Québec, Pascale Frémond The Saskatoon Peace Coalition, Michael Murphy, Chairperson Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Ole Hendrickson
Individual Signatories/Signataires Individuels
Nadia Alexan, retired high school teacher, (Citizens in Action) Jacques Boucher, (Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire) Ann Clow, Montague PEI Chandler Davis, (Science for Peace) Brydon Gombay Patrick Groulx, retired Paul Hanley, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Jo Hayward-Haines John O’Brian, Professor Emeritus, UBC Nessa Spurel
[Aussi, en français: https://www.cnanw.ca/category/documents-en-francais/]
Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly Minister of Defence Anita Anand
October 28, 2021
Canada can join Norway and attend first TPNW meeting
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Madame Foreign Minister and Madame Defence Minister,
This month the Government of Norway announced that it will attend the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (1MSP-TPNW) in Vienna (22-24 March 2022) as an Observer. This is welcome news and an indication that, within NATO, States in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons can work together towards that goal whether or not they are signatories to the TPNW. This commitment to dialogue is a particularly important signal to Canada’s new government in the lead up to the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in January 2022.
A recent Nanos poll indicates that 80% of Canadians support nuclear weapons elimination; 74% believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear.
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) encourages Canada to also commit, as Norway has done, to attending the TPNW States parties meeting as an Observer. Our government can make an early and clear statement to this effect and encourage other NATO members to also attend. CNANW supports Canada acceding to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or to a new comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same stated goal: the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Canada is able to sign and ratify the TPNW while a member of NATO as long as our government disassociates Canada from NATO’s existing nuclear deterrence doctrine. As recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence in its 2018 report, Canada can take “a leadership role within NATO in beginning the work necessary for achieving the NATO goal of “creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons.”
As members of the Stockholm Initiative, Canada and Norway are also well placed to work together within NATO to develop a cohort of alliance members engaged in challenging nuclear deterrence policy, during the alliance’s current review of its “Strategic Concept” slated to be adopted at the next NATO Summit in June 2022.
The new government in Canada has a fresh opportunity to work with like-minded States and middle powers, such as Norway and others, and to revitalize our traditional disarmament credentials. The nuclear weapons threat demands measurable progress on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, and towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. CNANW expects to see early concrete action in this direction from our government, in keeping with the wishes of most Canadians, and we stand ready to assist in achieving this common objective.
Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-Chairpersons Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires
and the following member organizations: Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility – Gordon Edwards, President Canadian Disarmament Information Service – Metta Spencer, Chairperson Canadian Peace Research Association – Erika Simpson, President Canadian Pugwash Group – Cesar Jaramillo, Chair Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – Nancy Covington and Lyn Adamson Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention – Richard Denton The Group of 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, Mary-Ellen Francoeur International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada – Jonathan Down, President Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director Religions for Peace Canada – Pascale Frémond, President Rideau Institute – Peggy Mason, President Science for Peace – Arnd Jurgensen World Federalist Movement–Canada – Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director
28 octobre 2021 TIAN – Le Canada peut se joindre à la Norvège et assister à la première réunion
Cher Monsieur le Premier Ministre Trudeau, Madame la Ministre des Affaires étrangères et Madame la Ministre de la Défense,
Ce mois-ci, le gouvernement norvégien a annoncé qu’il participerait à la première réunion des États parties au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires (1REP- TIAN) à Vienne (22-24 mars 2022) en tant qu’observateur. C’est une bonne nouvelle et une indication qu’au sein de l’OTAN, les États en faveur de l’abolition des armes nucléaires peuvent travailler ensemble vers cet objectif, qu’ils soient ou non signataires du TPNW. Cet engagement au dialogue est un signal particulièrement important pour le nouveau gouvernement du Canada dans la perspective de la dixième Conférence d’examen du Traité sur la non-prolifération des armes nucléaires (TNP) en janvier 2022.
Un récent sondage Nanos indique que 80 % des Canadiens appuient l’élimination des armes nucléaires; 74 % croient que le Canada devrait adhérer au nouveau Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires, même s’il y a des pressions de la part des États-Unis pour rester à l’écart.
Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires (RCAAN) encourage le Canada à s’engager également, comme la Norvège l’a fait, à assister à la réunion des États parties au TIAN en tant qu’observateur. Notre gouvernement peut faire une déclaration rapide et claire à cet effet et encourager d’autres membres de l’OTAN à y participer également. Le RCAAN appuie l’adhésion du Canada au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires ou à une nouvelle convention globale sur les armes nucléaires qui atteindra le même objectif déclaré : l’élimination totale des armes nucléaires.
Le Canada est en mesure de signer et de ratifier le TIAN alors qu’il est membre de l’OTAN, à condition que notre gouvernement dissocie le Canada de la doctrine de dissuasion nucléaire existante de l’OTAN. Comme l’a recommandé à l’unanimité le Comité permanent de la défense nationale de la Chambre des communes dans son rapport de 2018, le Canada peut assumer « un rôle de chef de file au sein de l’OTAN en commençant le travail nécessaire pour atteindre l’objectif de l’OTAN de « créer les conditions d’un monde exempt d’armes nucléaires ». »
En tant que membres de l’Initiative de Stockholm, le Canada et la Norvège sont également bien placés pour travailler ensemble au sein de l’OTAN afin de former une cohorte de membres de l’Alliance engagés dans la remise en cause de la politique de dissuasion nucléaire, lors de l’examen actuel par l’Alliance de son « concept stratégique » qui doit être adopté au prochain sommet de l’OTAN en juin 2022.
Le nouveau gouvernement du Canada a une nouvelle occasion de travailler avec des États et des puissances moyennes animés des mêmes idées, comme la Norvège et d’autres, et de revitaliser nos références traditionnelles en matière de désarmement. La menace des armes nucléaires exige des progrès mesurables en matière de non-prolifération et de contrôle des armements nucléaires vers l’élimination des armes nucléaires. Le RCAAN s’attend à ce que notre gouvernement prenne rapidement des mesures concrètes dans cette direction, conformément aux souhaits de la plupart des Canadien.ne.s, et nous sommes prêts à aider à atteindre cet objectif commun.
Nous vous prions d’accepter, l’expression de nos sentiments distingués,
Robin Collins et Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, coprésidents RCAAN
Ainsi que les organisations membres suivantes, Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire – Gordon Edwards, Président Canadian Disarmament Information Service – Metta Spencer, Président Association Canadienne de Recherche Pour la Paix– Erika Simpson, Président Les Conférences Pugwash Canada – Cesar Jaramillo, Président Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – Nancy Covington and Lyn Adamson Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention – Richard Denton Le Groupe des 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair The Group of 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, Mary-Ellen Francoeur International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada – Jonathan Down, Président Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director Religions for Peace Canada – Pascale Frémond, Président Institut Rideau – Peggy Mason, Président Science for Peace – Arnd Jurgensen Le Mouvement fédéraliste mondial – Canada – Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director
Paul Meyer and Cesar Jaramillo The Hill Times, Sept 16, 2021
Excerpt: We see three near-term steps that Canada could take to demonstrate leadership on this challenging issue.
First, Canada should help heal the rift between TPNW supporters and opponents by attending, as an observer, the first meeting of TPNW states parties (currently 55) slated to be held in Vienna March 22-24, 2022. Such participation would be a welcome sign of engagement with fellow NPT states which have adopted a different route to fulfill the nuclear disarmament obligation.
Second, Canada should advocate for the inclusion in the Stockholm Initiative package, support for a “No First Use” declaration on the part of nuclear weapon states. Such a step would help counter a destabilizing (and proliferation-friendly) expansion of rationales for the use of nuclear weapons on the part of some nuclear states. It would also be timely given the favourable attitude towards such an adjustment of policy expressed earlier by President Joe Biden and the resumption of strategic stability talks between the U.S. and Russia.
Third, Canada should elevate its involvement in the Stockholm Initiative, including participating in the meetings at the ministerial level. Such engagement on the part of Foreign Minister Marc Garneau could be coupled with an invitation by Canada to host a meeting of the group this fall to prepare for the NPT Review Conference.
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The 2021 federal election is an opportunity to reinforce our Network’s call on leaders of political parties.
Canadians care deeply about nuclear disarmament and want Canada to step up this country’s engagement on this critically important issue.
To this end, we invite organizations and individuals across Canada, to undertake the following:
1. In debates, or while meeting candidates at your front door, point out that: 80% of Canadians support nuclear weapon elimination. 74% believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear.
And ask them: Do you support Canada playing a stronger international leadership role on nuclear disarmament? What will you and your party do to support this effort?
2. In correspondence, please remind candidates of these calls that CNANW has issued:
The Canadian government should act upon the motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate in 2010 which requested that the Government of Canada engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention and deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of “preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.”
The Government of Canada should:
1. Welcome the Entry Into Force of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), accede to this Treaty at the earliest possible date and actively promote its universalization;
2. Participate as an observer at the inaugural meeting of the new TPNW, expected to be in early 2022.
3. Canada should participate at the ministerial level in the meeting of the Stockholm Initiative of 16 states, and in its emphasis on strengthening the Treaty on Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons.
4. Allow a full Parliamentary debate on Canada’s role in advancing nuclear disarmament;
5. Conduct formal hearings in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to enable Canadian citizens with extensive knowledge and expertise to advise on ways that Canada can more effectively facilitate nuclear disarmament;
6. Make clear that nuclear disarmament shall be among the highest priorities for Canada. Then, work closely with the UN Secretary General and his officials, like-minded nations and civil society to achieve the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons;
7. Disassociate Canada from NATO’s nuclear security doctrine and take a leadership role within NATO to begin the work necessary for achieving NATO’s own goal of “creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons”, as recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense in 2018;
8. Press all nuclear-armed states to 1) commit to a ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy and remove all nuclear weapons from ‘high-alert’ status, 2) cease the modernization and expansion of nuclear arsenals and decommission and destroy nuclear weapons within their possession or control as soon as possible; and 3) engage in dialogue for effective treaties and the creation of additional Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones; 4) promote a new security framework based upon the principle of sustainable common security.
We invite all Canadians across the country to raise their concerns about the urgency of nuclear disarmament at every opportunity, and to engage all candidates throughout the election campaign in pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons.
Dr. Sylvie Lemieux and Robin Collins Co-Chairs, CNANW
This year we commemorate the 76th anniversary of the use of atomic weapons over Japan. A 14-kiloton uranium bomb exploded at Hiroshima on August 6, and a 20-kiloton plutonium bomb on August 9 was dropped over Nagasaki. As many as 225,000 people, most of whom were civilians, died.
Debates continue to this day over the impact of these bombings on the Japanese surrender that ended World War II. Not in doubt is that tens of thousands of Japanese civilians were intentionally targeted, and slaughtered or maimed by two small nuclear detonations.
In its 1996 Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined: “There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”
That same year, in 1996, the first meeting of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was held. CNANW’s 17 member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace research and women’s organizations – all of which work in various ways toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Today, nearly 13,000 nuclear warheads still remain, more than 90% of them belong to Russia and the United States. Average explosive yields are many times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped over Japan in 1945.
Across the world, commemorative events are held to remind us of the terrible cost and ongoing dangers of nuclear arms races and the potential impact of even a limited nuclear missile exchange. Yet, the nine official and unofficial nuclear-armed states are intent on retaining, rebuilding and modernizing their warheads.
In Canada this week there are commemorative events in
Ottawa, Lantern Ceremony, Friday August 6, 7:30 PM (ET) 5th Avenue/Queen Elizabeth Driveway along the Rideau Canal.
Toronto, Hope for the Earth, August 6, 7:00 PM (ET)
Vancouver, Seaforth Peace Park Flame, August 6 from 6 to 7:30 PM. (Cornwall and Burrard in Vancouver Centre)
Edmonton: Project Ploughshares’ annual commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a webinar on Saturday, August 7th at 1 p.m (MT), with Cesar Jaramillo (Executive Director of Project Ploughshares), Hon. Douglas Roche, Kirsten Mosey and Paula Kirman, president of Project Ploughshares Edmonton.
Halifax: Nova Scotia Voice of Women have organized a bell ringing at City Hall from 11AM to Noon on August 6.
Canadian premiere of The Vow from Hiroshimascreening
We encourage all to participate and to contribute in ways that speed us towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
“A good starting point would be the launching of a Commission on Rethinking Security, to hear expert and other views (both within and without Canada), but also to undertake relevant studies and reports, to take account of, and contribute to, the burgeoning analyses in this area.” Ceasefire Blog post
by Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-chairpersons, CNANW
A recent Nanos poll found 80% across-the-board support for nuclear weapon elimination. A strong 74% majority believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (“the ban treaty” or TPNW), even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. Those results are no surprise. Similar enthusiasm is found in older polls, and in Canadian municipalities where Councils have supported “nuclear-weapons-free zones” for many years
And yet, almost half “believe nuclear weapons are an effective instrument of deterrence.”
How can this be?
There lingers a belief that possessing a nuclear arsenal may protect you from enemies. There is also a lack of political leadership countering this dangerous illusion.
For example, just recently the United Kingdom announced they would increase their Trident submarine nuclear warhead limit. There are also plans to “modernize” the arsenals of most nuclear-armed states, including Russia, the USA and China. Some militaries see these weapons as war-fighting options, or as an appropriate response to an overwhelming conventional weapon attack.
And the Canadian government has snubbed the new ban treaty. Rob Oliphant, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the ban is “inconsistent with Canada’s collective defence obligations” as a member of NATO. Within the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, however, we point to NATO’s own policy in support of “eventual” nuclear weapons abolition. And Canada has options: Either sign the treaty while pushing back against alliance nuclear deterrence policy; or work harder for a nuclear weapons convention, as Canada did before. Get back in the game.
Canadian disarmament practice hasn’t always been so hesitant – over decades, leadership was shown on antipersonnel landmines, but also nuclear weapons policy. A resolution was supported by all members of the House of Commons and Senate as recently as 2010. It called on the government to “engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention” and to “deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative” towards that end. Despite the all-party mandate, the last ten years saw little initiative by Canada.
There is, however, a new effort — that includes Canada — known as the Stockholm Initiative. Sixteen states are engaged, including ban supporters New Zealand, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, but also NATO members Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain, as well as two non-NATO nuclear umbrella states (South Korea and Japan). Will this be a fresh start?
“The initiative is positive in principle, but it is too soon to tell whether it will have any meaningful impact,” says Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director of CNANW member group Project Ploughshares. “Efforts to reframe, rename and relaunch a series of steps or stones or blocks are also not new.” Canada should participate, and at the ministerial level, if this is to be a serious contribution.
Canada can also at minimum sit in as observer to the inaugural meeting of States Parties (likely in January 2022) of the new TPNW to show solidarity with the goals of its 122+ supporting or signatory states. This is also being considered by Germany.
A new global campaign for No First Use (NFU) of nuclear weapons has been established and encouraged the US and Russian leaders Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting in Geneva to engage in talks to reduce nuclear risks. US President Biden is on record as questioning “first use” of nuclear weapons for the US. At the NATO summit of leaders this month, Canada had a chance to promote NFU for the alliance as a game-changing safer policy, but also as an early step towards nuclear weapon elimination.
This opens up the urgently needed discussion of alternatives to nuclear deterrence, a shift to sustainable common security for all peoples, and protection of the global environment. Canada needs to be there.
Regarding: Canada’s support for Nuclear Deterrence and the Right to Life Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Submission by the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
April 30, 2021 United Nations Human Rights Committee Dear Human Rights Committee Members,
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) offers as our submission to the Periodic Review of Canada our endorsement of the statement submitted by Canadian Pugwash Group on April 27, 2021. Our statement follows, attached.
On behalf of CNANW,
Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux (Co-Chairpersons of CNANW)
A new poll shows significant support by Canadians for nuclear disarmament and for the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. But, the Chair of Canadian Pugwash Group, Paul Meyer writes, Ottawa refuses to support the treaty. Why is there such a disconnect between government policy and public preference? Read on….
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) joins with other disarmament organizations critical of the nuclear weapons policy shift of the government of the United Kingdom. The British defence and foreign policy review, “Global Britain in a Competitive Age”, would increase the number of nuclear weapons in the U.K. arsenal. It would also extend the declared purposes of nuclear deterrence to a wider range of perceived threats. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has cautioned that “there are already too many nuclear warheads in the world, not too few.” He added: “The past has shown that if one side has more nuclear weapons, the other side will try to catch up. And that is the disastrous arms race we have been in for decades.”
We urge the government of British Prime Minister Johnson to reverse these regressive and provocative steps as they are in violation of treaty obligations. They carry the inherent risk of re-fueling both a nuclear and conventional arms race.
Instead of reducing to a maximum of 180 nuclear warheads from the current 195, as previously promised, the new plan moves in the opposite direction by increasing the Trident-purposed arsenal to a new cap of 260 warheads. In contrast to limiting the scope of nuclear deterrence and moving towards full elimination as required by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the UK’s declared policy is being extended to “emerging technologies” and to a wider range of weapons of mass destruction.
Three former Canadian U.N. Disarmament Ambassadors quickly reacted to the U.K. policy shift.
The Honourable Douglas Roche O.C. stated that:
On February 26, 2020, the United Kingdom joined a unanimous statement by the U.N. Security Council calling on all states parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to cooperate in nuclear disarmament measures. What happened to suddenly move the U.K. government to increase its nuclear arsenal by 40 percent? This appears to be the U.K. response to the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. So much for the humanitarian movement against nuclear weapons! Power politics rears its ugly head once more. This unconscionable act, which drives ahead the nuclear arms race, jeopardizes the success of the NPT Review Conference later this year. Canada must join Germany in criticizing the U.K.’s reckless act.
Peggy Mason, who heads the Rideau Institute, further said that:
The new UK defence policy reduces transparency in that country’s operational stockpile and deployed warheads. It also expands the circumstances in which it would use, or threaten to use, nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, beyond weapons of mass destruction, to include threats from unspecified “emerging technologies” of “comparable impact”. It is hard to see these extraordinarily destabilizing actions as anything other than a desperately diminished post-Brexit Britain struggling to maintain some semblance of global prestige.
And Paul Meyer, who is also the Chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group, notes that:
At the last NPT Review Conference in 2015, the UK delivered a statement committing to limit operationally deployed warheads on its ballistic missile submarines to no more than 120 and to reduce its overall nuclear warhead stockpile to no more than 180 by the mid-2020s. The announced change in UK nuclear policy represents a betrayal of that pledge and sends the worst of all possible signals to the NPT community in the lead up to its August Review Conference. In 2015 the UK promised “to strive to build conditions for a world without nuclear weapons”. Doesn’t Prime Minister Johnson’s Government realize that increasing nuclear arsenals is not one of the ways to get to that goal?
CNANW joins many others in challenging the rationale of the UK’s decision. Whatever the political reasons for the redirection of official United Kingdom defence policy, CNANW sees the proposal as an affront to the entry into force of the two-month-old Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), and as a challenge to this year’s planned Review Conference deliberations for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
We call on the Canadian government to clearly state its disappointment to its NATO ally, to urge caution and press Prime Minister Johnson to reverse the implementation of a policy that would lead to a more dangerous world with a greater likelihood of proliferation of nuclear weapons.
In these days of pandemics and other global stresses, the world requires sober and thoughtful vision, with leadership that pulls us together for shared mutual security and risk reduction goals. We need to avoid — not increase — global risks from dangerous, and regressive policy changes.
Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux CNANW Co-Chairpersons
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was established in 1996 by representatives of national organizations that share the conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and should be abolished.
Mr. Robin Collins, an active supporter of nuclear disarmament and global governance for more than 30 years, and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, a retired Lieutenant-Colonel army engineer and public service executive, will jointly Co-Chair the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, effective March 19, 2021.