Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament

On the historic occasions of,

The 75th Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 people,

The 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations whose stated purpose is to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and whose first Resolution sought the elimination of atomic weapons, 

And the 50th Anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that binds almost all of the world’s nations,

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons issues to the Government of Canada the following Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament:

Whereas,

Nuclear weapons present an existential threat to humanity and to our planet;

Use of even 1% of the global nuclear arsenal of approximately 13,400 nuclear weapons could result in a loss of millions of lives immediately and billions more from radiation and starvation as a result of ensuing nuclear winter;

Nuclear-armed states have embarked on a new nuclear arms race under the banner of ‘modernization’, including the development of new types of, and new roles for nuclear weapons;

North Korea has not renounced nuclear tests and the USA is considering a resumption of nuclear testing after a 28-year hiatus;

Recent technological developments including missiles that can travel up to 27 times the speed of sound, vulnerability to cyber-attack and the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, have increased the likelihood of their deliberate or accidental use;

At least two nuclear-armed states retain a first-strike option;

Several non-nuclear armed states including Iran, Saudi Arabia and South Korea have indicated that they too could pursue nuclear weapons capability;

Non-state actors including Daesch and Al Qaeda have pledged to acquire nuclear weapons; 

There has been dramatic deterioration of the nuclear arms treaty regime in recent years including:

  • US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with Iran;
  • US and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty;
  • announced US withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty; 
  • US refusal to date to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) set to expire in February 2021;
  • refusal of all nuclear armed states to participate in the negotiation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) that has been endorsed by 122 other states;
  • failure for 50 years to fulfill the legally binding obligation contained in

Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective intentional control”;

And Given,

The ever-present risk of human miscalculation or accident that have brought the world terrifyingly close to the brink of nuclear disaster many times over the past 75 years; and

The dangerously high level of tension between and among nuclear-armed states;

Resulting In,

The hands of the Doomsday Clock, being set, on January 23, 2020, at 100 seconds to Midnight, the closest to ‘Doomsday’ since it was created by atomic scientists in 1947;

We, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada, on an urgent basis, to: 

Act upon the motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate in 2010 that “encourages the Government of Canada to engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention as proposed by the United Nations Secretary General, and to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament”. 

In so doing, Canada should, inter alia:

  1. Announce during the 2020 High Level segment of the United Nations General Assembly 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 advance the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons;
  • Disassociate Canada from NATO’s nuclear security doctrine and “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 recommended unanimously by the House of Commons

Standing Committee on National Defense in 2018;

  • Sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and actively promote universalization of this historic Treaty;
  • Press all nuclear-armed states to undertake the following:
  • commit to a ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy and remove all nuclear weapons from ‘high-alert’ status;
  • cease all efforts and activities toward the modernization and expansion of nuclear arsenals and decommission and destroy nuclear weapons within their possession or control;
  • urge the US and Russia to reinstate the INF Treaty and extend the New START Treaty indefinitely;
  • universalize the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and act upon the obligations contained in Article VI to pursue good faith negotiations toward nuclear disarmament; 
  • become party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or commence negotiation at the earliest possible date on a new comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same stated goal: the total elimination of nuclear weapons;
  • cease the production of all weapons-grade fissile material, place it under effective international control and undertake a comprehensive program to deplete it;  
  • establish an effective system of verification to ensure compliance with key obligations, on an ongoing basis;

We further urge the Government of Canada to: 

  • Press nations that host the nuclear weapons of other states on their territory to cease doing so, as Canada itself did almost 4 decades ago;
  • Call upon non-nuclear armed states throughout the world to employ all available non-military means – political, diplomatic, economic, etc. – to dramatically increase pressure on nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals at the earliest possible date; 
  • Support the creation of additional Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones, in particular in the Middle East and in the Arctic; and
  • Adopt and promote throughout the world a new paradigm of national security based upon the principle of sustainable common security for all states and all peoples.  

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Another nuclear event could occur at any time. We must do everything within our collective power to rid the world of this existential threat and to preserve our planet for succeeding generations.

CNANW

August 6, 2020

For additional information or comment, contact Earl Turcotte, Chair, CNANW at: 

earl.turcotte@gmail.com or telephone at 613-839-2777

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires  

PO Box 1831, Ottawa H, Nepean On, K2H 7V1   

Tel: (613) 565-9449      cnanw@web,net      www.cnanw.ca

CNANW member groups


For Immediate Release

Aug 31, 2020

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) Issues a ‘Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament’ by the Government of Canada

On the 75th anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th respectively, and of the establishment of the United Nations, the CNANW has formally called upon the Government of Canada to act upon a motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate in 2010 that encourages a major world wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.

Modern thermo-nuclear weapons are literally thousands of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Experts around the world note alarming developments in recent years that have significantly increased the risk of deliberate or accidental use of nuclear weapons, even a small number of which could cause the deaths of millions of people immediately and billions in the years following.

Among other things, the CNANW urges the Government of Canada to:

  1. announce at the United Nations General Assembly in September that nuclear disarmament will become one of Canada’s highest priorities,
  2. challenge the nuclear security doctrine within NATO and
  3. press all nuclear armed states to either become party to the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons endorsed by 122 nations, or to negotiate a new Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same ultimate result – the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons invites all concerned Canadians to inform the Prime Minister and their Member of Parliament that they support this Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament and wish their Government to do everything possible to address this existential threat to humanity and preserve our planet for succeeding generations.

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For additional information or comment, contact CNANW Chair, Earl Turcotte at earl.turcotte@gmail.com or by telephone at 613-839-2777.

Produced by the CNANW Steering Committee:

Earl Turcotte – Chair

Bev Delong – Past Chair

Rob Acheson – Treasurer

Cesar Jaramillo

Dr. Adele Buckley

Dr. Nancy Covington

Dr. Jonathan Down

Photo credit: wikimedia images (A-bomb testing)