Summary report of 2005 consultations
(Bev Delong, chair of CNANW): see below
Consultation presentations and discussion were offered on the basis of “non-attribution”. Below are linked those presentations and documents subsequently made available for circulation.
Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Issues, including NPT Review Conference
Chair: Sarah Estabrooks, Project Ploughshares
Discussant: Debbie Grisdale, Physicians for Global Survival – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/grisdale2005.doc
Nuclear Challenges and New Non-Proliferation Mechanisms
Chair: Paul Buteux, University of Manitoba
Discussant: Patricia Willis, Pacific Campaign for Disarmament & Security – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/willis2005.doc;
Noth East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Briefing (pdf); Model Treaty (doc)
Missile Proliferation, Controls and Defences
Chair: Jean-Francois Rioux, St. Paul University
Discussant: Ernie Regehr, Project Ploughshares – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/regehr2005.doc
Global Partnership Program
Chair: Ms. Angela Bogdan, FAC
Discussant: Donald Avery, University of Western Ontario – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/avery2005.doc; wpd
Discussant: Robin Collins, World Federalist Movement – Canada – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/collins2005.doc; pdf
Weapons of Mass Destruction: Verification and Compliance
Discussant: Bev Delong, Lawyers for Social Responsibility – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/delong2005.doc; wpd
Chair: Debbie Grisdale, Physicians for Global Survival
Discussant: Steve Staples, Polaris Institute – https://cnanw.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/staples2005.pdf
NACD Challenges and Opportunities over the next 6 months
Discussant: Erika Simpson, Pugwash Canada – click to contact author
REPORT ON GOVERNMENT CIVIL SOCIETY CONSULTATIONS ON INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND OTHER WMD AND THEIR DELIVERY SYSTEMS,
MARCH 8 & 9, 2005, OTTAWA
A number of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were invited to the Government Consultations held in Ottawa March 8 and 9th, 2005. Below please find a rough summary of some of the major learnings from that process. Some of the NGO papers will soon be available to you on the CNANW website: www.abolishnuclearweapons.org
1. GOVERNMENT COMMENTS ON THE 2000 NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE
The government is feeling quite anxious about the upcoming NPT Review Conference. The words “very grave challenges” and “unprecedented stresses” were used. They seek a balanced outcome that would reaffirm with tangible supporting actions the three core pillars of the treatys essential bargain (Non-proliferation, Disarmament, Peaceful Uses).
The Review Conference comes at a time when the United States is trying to deny the political authority, even the existence, of the “13 Practical Steps” which arose out of the year 2000 Review Conference Final Agreement. The Canadian Government’s tack is to encourage states not to undermine the Final Agreement, noting it is a slippery slope if you do so because the rest of the 2000 and 1995 agreements (including the extension of the Treaty in 1995) might be at risk. These are agreed standards and progress against an agreed framework is important. (An NGO later commented that a change in government does not justify a state in walking away from its commitments or cherry picking through the steps to choose which ones to adhere to.)
At this point in time there is no agenda for the meeting and there are concerns that it may conclude without any type of consensus statement. In anticipation of this, the Canadian delegation may try to make progress on specific key institutional changes that would strengthen the regime. The NPT now has no secretariat, holds a decision-making meeting only every 5 years, has no capacity to call an emergency gathering to deal with problems such as North Korea’s (DPRK) withdrawal from the NPT, nor to even read the reports filed by countries. They are proposing substantive reform to the NPT regime by responding to these problems possibly through a set of specific decisions calling for:
a. annual meetings
b. the creation of a bureau of Ambassadors empowered to work between sessions and in particular, able to call for emergency sessions
c. capacity for emergency sessions to deal with urgent threats to the treaty, such as a proposed withdrawal from the treaty, using peer pressure and concerted diplomatic action.
d. annual reporting process where states report on all activities taken in support of the Treaty
e. enhanced role for civil society, noting their capacity to educate the public on the NPT and provide expert advice to government delegations on NPT issues.
The government is looking forward to reports from states on their activities toward the elimination of nuclear weapons (Article VI). They are also looking at the recent proposals with respect to the nuclear fuel cycle coming from Dr. El Baradei, Director of the IAEA, the IAEA’s panel of experts on multinational control of the nuclear fuel cycle and President Bush. There will be discussion of the need to make the IAEA’s model Additional Protocol (the AP), the current standard for safeguards to ensure that the IAEA can verify adherence to the NPT. And there will discussion of the need to make the “right” to nuclear power under Article IV conditional on adherence to the other articles of the NPT.
2. NGO COMMENTS ON THE 2000 NPT REVIEW CONFERENCE
NGOs noted the risks posed by nuclear weapons and expressed concern about the US plans for bunker busters, more rapid ability to test weapons, and more relaxed policies on resort to use of nuclear weapons. One NGO wondered whether we should be seeking a ban on research on nuclear weapons for offensive use as occurs under the Chemical and Biological Conventions. Some of the NGO demands on the government for action during the NPT Review Conference included requests that they call for:
a) urgent steps to take nw off high alert and off launch on warning
b) the creation of a subsidiary body to the Conference on Disarmament that would at least discuss the elimination of nuclear weapons,
c) the establishment of a negotiating body for a treaty to deal with fissile materials;
d) strengthening the institutional underpinnings of the treaty to make it more responsive and sustainable
e) all states to avoid backsliding on the agreements reached at the 1995 and 2000 Review Conferences and
f) increased ngo access to the meetings (see below).
We asked if statements would be made calling for transparency and verification on the Moscow Treaty.
RE: NGO Access to Rev Con: There seemed to be some consensus between government and ngo that the access gained to the working groups last year might be lost if civil society pressed for this access to be formalized. Perhaps it is better simply to assume the practice will be maintained…
Debbie requested that Canada make available its public statement in advance of the NPT Review Conference. “Canada’s Approach to the 2005 NPT Review Conference” is now online for your review.
En francais: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/arms/nptoverview-fr.asp
The government was asked to make available briefing materials and regular updates for the public, parliamentarians and the media to increase support for the activities of the Canadian delegation.
RE: NGO efforts toward the Rev. Con. The government was advised that NGOs are trying to educate the public and show support for the Review Conference by seeking signatures on Declarations, and encouraging Canadian parliamentarians, Mayors and regular citizens to attend the meetings.
3. NE ASIA SECURITY
An update was given on NE Asia with a call to consider responding to the problems with DPRK through the creation of a NE Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone including Japan and the two Koreas. A model Treaty on the Northeast Asian NWFZ is being circulated among scholars and governments to seek their comments. For further information on this contact Patti Willis <email@example.com> <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
4. NATO AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Erika Simpson presented a paper entitled “NACD [Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament] Challenges and opportunities over the next six months”. For a copy, kindly contact Erika directly at email@example.com. Erika expressed concern about U.S. moves toward a pre-emptive first-strike strategy that promises to retaliate with nuclear weapons, even in the event of a limited chemical or biological attack. She called for the re-opening of NATO’s paragraph 32 review to determine what NATO’s current policy is toward the use of nuclear weapons.
To respond to the NATO problems, Canada might work to strengthen the moderate middle of non-nuclear weapon states in the UN and NATO. It will be especially important to do so over the next six months because there could be a significant weakening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Some European Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are calling for the removal of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons based in Europe. But Dr. Karel Koster, one of the foremost proponents of this proposal, has noted that a withdrawal would not necessarily result in a far-reaching change in nuclear doctrine of ‘extended deterrence, that is, the use of nuclear weapons by certain NATO members to defend other non-nuclear states against attack. In what circumstances would NATO use nuclear weapons? Are threats of nuclear use credible? How can NATO states call for other nations to remain nuclear-free if the US continues to insist on developing new warheads? Do as I say, not as I do is never a very compelling argument. What alternative strategies are there for building security? Some ideas might include better-verified treaties; well-funded inspection regimes; cutting-edge technologies; more-effective sanctions; and enhanced control over fissile materials. For this reason, the proposals put forward in the Atlanta II consultation report by the Middle Powers Initiative bear close study.
We were advised that the figure of 480 bombs in Europe as recently reported by the Natural Resources Defense Council in the US was vastly overstated and that the true figure is much lower – but the figure is classified and not available to us.
Concern was strongly expressed about Canadian engagement in NATO Nuclear Planning and we received a surprising response that the NATO Nuclear Planning Group does not plan nuclear use…..We will pursue this information.
5. CANADA AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Proposals were made for the Government of Canada to:
a) increase public education at home and abroad on nuclear weapons risks,
b) organize an opnw.org website (in anticipation of the eventual creation of the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, c) pass domestic legislation protecting whistleblowers and
d) create model national legislation that would end Canadian involvement in nuclear weapons use.
e) call for NATO nuclear policies to be compliant with international law; failing that, to cease participation in the NATO Nuclear Planning Group.
6. CANADA AND THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMME
We received an update on progress from the government on their contribution of funding and staff to the Global Partnership Programme (GPP). Their website has a wealth of information on their activities:
The funding allocated to this work is quite trivial. Note that the US spent $5.5 Trillion on nuclear weapons between 1948 and 1996. Last year, close to $40 billion was spent on nuclear weapons. By comparison, from 1992 to 2004 (13 years) the US spent only $9.2 billion on the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. One must question whether the Nuclear Weapons States are serious in their commitment to secure and disarm nuclear arsenals. These programs face constant threats from the US administration of cuts to their funding despite knowledge that terrorist access to these arsenals is a significant threat to global security. It is therefore critical for Canada and likeminded states to be vigilant and to expand this real disarmament effort. Robin Collins believes that Canada’s work on the Global Partnership Program is an excellent initiative which reduces the threat of terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction. He suggests that Canada could expand its capacity by finding or leveraging significant increases in immediate funding, broadening outreach to win over new partners, and supporting civil society feed-in. However, without achievement on the disarmament front, the GPP effort may be tossed to the side by competing nuclear re-armament agendas.
7. BMD DECISION
Many of the NGOs have commended the government on the BMD decision, stating it has earned us “diplomatic capital”. Ernie Regehr has done an excellent paper outlining the upcoming arms control needs that flow from US deployment of the BMD system:
a) agreed international limits on ballistic missile interceptors consistent with stated “limited defence” objectives
b) a ban on anti-satellite weapons testing and deployment; and
c) a ban on testing and deployment of weapons in space.
8. SPACE SECURITY
The cooperants in the Space Security Index project updated us on their 2003 survey now available at http://spacesecurity.org/ for further information on this project, please contact Bob Lawson at DFAIT or Sarah Estabrooks at Ploughshares.
9. VERIFICATION of WMD
There is significant concern with US moves to dismantle UNMOVIC for it has achieved considerable success in organizing experts and a reliable procedure to verifying the absence of nuclear weapons in Iraq. Some are now studying the possibility of retaining their learnings and their list of experts so that the UN would have a permanent independent verification unit.
The International Security Research Outreach Program (ISROP) has organized two major papers on verification as the Canadian contribution to the Blix Commission. One was written by Trevor Findlay and associates at VERTIC in London. The second involved a survey, conference calls and a seminar among verification experts to consider the current challenges and responses thereto where considering verification of chemical, biological and nuclear treaties. These papers can be found at: www.wmdcommission.org <http://www.wmdcommission.org>
Compliance management has emerged as a much-needed discipline and happily they were able to report that Dr. Trevor Findlay has been hired to begin a Compliance Management Project based in the Norman Patterson School for International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University. They will review past responses to failures to comply and try to develop a “tool kit” for use in future instances of noncompliance.
Reported by Bev Delong, Chairperson, CNANW with help from Robin Collins, Erika Simpson and Patti Willis.