Canadian Nuclear Weapon Abolitionists Call on U.K. to Reconsider Warhead Increase

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.



CNANW Statement March 25, 2021

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

cnanw@web.net  www.cnanw.ca

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.

Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux Succeed Earl Turcotte as Co-Chairs of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW).

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.

Continue reading “Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux Succeed Earl Turcotte as Co-Chairs of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW).”

Statement by Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C. Press Conference on Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Ottawa, January 21, 2021

We are celebrating the entry into force tomorrow of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Why is this treaty necessary?

          Let us cast our eyes back fifty years to another treaty entry into force, this time the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The NPT was essentially a bargain: non–nuclear weapons states would forsake any attempt to acquire nuclear weapons in return for the nuclear weapons possessors to negotiate in good faith their elimination. 

Continue reading “Statement by Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C. Press Conference on Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Ottawa, January 21, 2021”

Turcotte: US trying to sabotage ban treaty

(text version below image version)

Earl Turcotte – Letter to The Hill TimeAs. Published in modified form on Nov. 2, 2020.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), negotiated in 2017 has been endorsed by 122 nations.  Since that time, 50 nations have signed and ratified the Treaty, triggering its entry into force in 90 days.

While most of the world will celebrate this historic event, almost 75 years to the day after the UN’s first-ever resolution that called for the elimination of atomic weapons, the United States of America is doing its level best to sabotage the Treaty.

In a now widely circulated ‘non-paper’ sent to countries that have joined the TPNW, the US registers its outrage and requests that they withdraw from the Treaty. Why? Among the long list of reasons cited by the Americans, because “Russia and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) are engaged in a nuclear arms buildup with the goal of military dominance that if left unimpeded, will result in a new nuclear arms race. Should they succeed, the result will be profoundly negative for the future of the democratic way of life… And let’s be frank: The TPNW will not stand in Russia’s or the PRC’s way in remaking the global order in their own cynical, autocratic image.”

Leave aside that China has approximately 300 nuclear weapons, compared to the US and Russia that have 6,000 each and that the US spends more on defence each year than the next 10 countries combined.   It is precisely this kind of ham-fisted rhetoric, combined with the US’ own actions in recent years, that render nuclear disarmament a global imperative.   

The United States itself triggered the new nuclear arms race when it announced that it would budget $1.5 Trillion dollars over the next 30 years to ‘modernize’ its nuclear arsenal. Donald Trump, in addition to increasing tension with adversaries and allies alike, has threatened “fire and fury” on North Korea, withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran and  the Intermediate-range Nuclear forces Treaty with Russia, stated his intention to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty and has not to date agreed to renew the critically important New START Treaty with Russia that will expire in February 2021 – despite repeated offers by Russia to extend the Treaty without preconditions.

While there is indeed cause for concern about an ascendant China and Mr. Putin’s clear longing for the glory days of the former USSR, it is lunacy to engage in this kind of brinkmanship. All hell could break loose – deliberately or accidentally – plunging the world into an existential crisis that could make a global pandemic feel like a day at the beach.

What to do? Looking (and praying) for change south of our border after November 3rd, Joe Biden has indicated that, if elected, he would try to scale back Trump’s buildup in nuclear weapons spending and would make the US less reliant upon the world’s deadliest weapons.  There could be an opportunity here, to engage a more rational and mature administration in the United States. Either way, the rest of the world has to make it clear to all nuclear armed states that enough is enough! We’ve got to get rid of these damned weapons before they get rid of us!

Earl Turcotte
Chair, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Roche: Canada can’t hide behind NATO in refusal to sign treaty on nuclear weapons prohibition

Douglas Roche: “The Canadian government has said it cannot make such a commitment because of its membership in NATO. But the letter contests this stand, arguing that nothing in the new treaty precludes a NATO state joining, as long as it never assists the use of nuclear weapons.”

EDMONTON—Lloyd Axworthy, Jean-Jacques Blais, Jean Chrétien, Bill Graham, John McCallum, John Manley, and John Turner.

These seven names hardly need an introduction to readers of The Hill Times, and certainly not to the Government of Canada. Two of them are former prime ministers, three are former foreign ministers, and two are former defence ministers, who ran and served Liberal governments.

All of them signed an open letter [en français], released on Sept. 21, that features 53 former high officials of NATO countries expressing support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is an astonishing rebuke of NATO’s moribund policies on nuclear weapons, and the most serious challenge to NATO’s nuclear orthodoxy in the organization’s 71-year history. Even two former NATO secretaries-general, Javier Solana and Willy Claes, as well as former U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, joined in this protest.

Continue reading “Roche: Canada can’t hide behind NATO in refusal to sign treaty on nuclear weapons prohibition”

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:

Continue reading “Canadian Call to Action on Nuclear Disarmament”

Oped in Hill Times by Earl Turcotte: U.S. joint chiefs release alarming nuclear operations document

Opinion: Earl Turcotte,
Chair, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

On June 19th, The Guardian and a host of other media reported that on June 11th the U.S. Joint Chiefs released a document simply entitled “Nuclear Operations”… Continued

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Earl Turcotte Succeeds Bev Delong as Chair of Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Announcement Pdf

Earl Turcotte, a veteran Canadian diplomat and arms control specialist, has been appointed Chair of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW), succeeding Bev Delong, who held the post for more than twenty years.

The announcement was made by former Senator Douglas Roche, Chairman of the CNANW Search Committee. Turcotte was unanimously selected by the 18 member organizations of CNANW. The appointment is effective April 1.

Continue reading “Earl Turcotte Succeeds Bev Delong as Chair of Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons”

Lettre au premier ministre: “pour vous presser de faire de la désescalade de crise”

Monsieur le premier ministre, Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires et le Rassemblement canadien pour une convention sur les armes nucléaires s’adressent à vous et à votre gouvernement, en cette crise nucléaire mondiale qui s’intensifie chaque jour, pour vous presser de faire de la désescalade de crise et d’une diplomatie persistante et intensifiée en matière de désarmement, une priorité nationale.

Lettre ici

Lettre: dangers des armes nucléaires

“Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires et le Rassemblement canadien pour une convention sur les armes nucléaires s’adressent à vous et à votre gouvernement, en cette crise nucléaire mondiale qui s’intensifie chaque jour, pour vous presser de faire de la désescalade de crise et d’une diplomatie persistante et intensifiée en matière de désarmement, une priorité nationale.”

Final.Letter to Prime Minister.Eng.091118 (in English)

Final.Letter to Prime Minister.Fr.091118 (en français)

Who we are

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. We believe that Canada should lead in working for their early abolition. CNANW’s nineteen member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace and women’s organizations — all of whom work in various ways for nuclear abolition. We endorse the following statement:

“We believe that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons are abhorrent and morally wrong. We call on the Government of Canada to work urgently with other nations to conclude a Convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the world.”

CNANW and its members do work to educate the public, and conduct seminars, consultations and meetings with the public, officials and politicians in Canada and abroad. All this work is with the purpose of advancing the cause of nuclear disarmament and moving the world toward abolition of nuclear weapons.

Member Groups

Workshop ‘Canadian Leadership on Nuclear Disarmament’ October 2018

Workshop presented by Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) and Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention (CNWC)

Rapporteur’s Report

Jessica West, Project Ploughshares: October 2018

Overview

The workshop “Canadian Leadership for Nuclear Disarmament” jointly hosted by the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) and Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention (CNWC) brought together civil society and academic experts with Canadian government representatives to dissect the current nuclear weapons context and identify opportunities for civil society engagement and Canadian government leadership on disarmament and non-proliferation.

Key points from the discussion emphasize the coalescence of crisis and opportunity:

  • We face a global nuclear crisis that threatens to undo years of progress on non-proliferation and disarmament and risks nuclear escalation and confrontation;
  • NATO’s nuclear posture is an affront to disarmament and contributes to this crisis;
  • Current Government of Canada positions on NATO and the Treaty on the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) are complicit in this crisis;
  • Canada has previously played a positive role in advancing peace and disarmament internationally;
  • Canada’s emphasis on a feminist foreign policy and desire for greater international prominence including a seat at the UN Security Council provide an opportunity to encourage renewed leadership;
  • There is a desire from both civil society and Parliamentarians for Canada to resume a leadership position on nuclear disarmament, not least within NATO;
  • Better relations with Russia are critical for progress on both non-proliferation and disarmament;
  • Practical options are available to initiate change in NATO’s nuclear posture and reduce tensions with Russia;
  • Civil society is critical for both maintaining pressure on governments and as a source of guidance and knowledge;
  • To raise the public profile of nuclear abolition, current civil society efforts must reach more broadly to engage new movements and issues with which we share common interests in peace, survival, and an alternative future.

The current moment is urgent. The new nuclear arms race, involving “modernization” in all arsenals and new nuclear use doctrines, risk a nuclear confrontation as well as long-term damage to disarmament efforts. At the same time, shifting international power structures create new opportunities for leadership toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Part I: A Nuclear Inflection Point

The keynote address by Joe Cirincioni – President of the Ploughshares Fund in the United States – titled “Nuclear Insecurity in the Age of Trump and Putin” outlined the current crisis that defines the contemporary strategic context in which nuclear weapons are situated.

The parameters of this crisis are threefold:

  • Danger on the Korean peninsula
  • Growing confrontation between the United States and Iran
  • Renewed nuclear arms race among nuclear weapons states

While the security situation on the Korean peninsula has shifted toward unprecedented diplomacy and seems to be giving way to a new security dynamic, Cirincioni stressed that it is not clear if this progress will continue in the absence of robust political encouragement and support. In contrast, the relationship between Iran and the United States continues to deteriorate. The US Administration’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities and prevent its pursuit of nuclear weapons includes sanctions on firms and allies who engage in legal business practices with the regime. Moreover, the demands being made of Iran are described as an unconditional surrender. Not only are diplomatic paths to peace being closed, but there is a strong potential for direct confrontation through mutual presence and competing interests on the ground in Syria, which could unintentionally escalate.

The ability to contain these two non-proliferation crises is compromised by a crisis of disarmament among nuclear weapons states. Nuclear capabilities and delivery systems are being modernized and military doctrines revised in such a way that their use is slipping from an unthinkable, strategic deterrent to a useable, tactical weapon of limited warfare. This is dangerous. Not only does it risk catastrophic escalation, but the basic compromise that facilitated non-proliferation – the promise of disarmament – faces a death knell. The steady path of nuclear reductions over the past three decades has halted and been replaced with re-armament. Cirincioni describes this as an inflection point: once it gets going, it will be very difficult to turn back.

This sentiment is echoed by Ambassador Paul Meyer from The Simons Foundation, who equated the contemporary arms race between the world’s nuclear superpowers to the strategic standoff of the 1970s and ’80s. Emphasizing previous Canadian leadership under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Meyer described his “strategy of suffocation,” which proposed to cut off the oxygen feeding nuclear armament by banning warhead testing, ending test flights of warhead delivery vehicles, prohibiting further fissile materials production, and cutting spending on nuclear weapons. The earlier Prime Minister Trudeau was willing to expend political capital to challenge dominant security dynamics in pursuit of peace through reasoned policy alternatives.

Calling on Canada to move from “inertia to initiative,” Meyer offered the following recommendations:

  • Voice concern that a new nuclear arms race is emerging and that it brings unacceptable risks for the international community;
  • Reject the excuse that arms control and disarmament cannot progress because we have a difficult international environment with which to contend;
  • Call for a prompt return to a US-Russia strategic dialogue and preservation of existing arms control and disarmament agreements;
  • Acknowledge that the NPT is under threat, including from wide-spread weapons modernization programs, and recognize that the multilateral disarmament foreseen by this treaty requires concrete expression;
  • Pursue leadership on a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) by seeking to obtain UN General Assembly authorization for a multilateral negotiation of such a treaty;
  • Resist efforts to extend earthly conflict into outer space by once again advocating the nonweaponisation of this domain;
  • Embrace a recommitment to multilateral disarmament diplomacy and re-invest in the resources required to support this.

Discussion emphasized opportunities and constraints for non-US leadership on nuclear disarmament, particularly by allies within NATO. Noting current tensions within the Alliance and ebbing American leadership, there is a sensed opportunity for members to break with the Alliance on nuclear issues, particularly if encouraged to do so. Similarly, the current crisis in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) process presents an opportunity for other countries to step forward and lead on this issue. The success of the Nuclear Ban Treaty speaks to this opening. Canada’s bid for a UN Security Council seat is noted as a chance to exert influence.

Part II: NATO’S “supreme guarantee”

Focused on the role of NATO in the elimination of nuclear weapons, the second panel sought to elucidate the constraints that it imposes on disarmament and its role in the current nuclear crisis while identifying opportunities for Canada to advance disarmament from within the Alliance. All speakers emphasized the critical need for re-engagement with Russia.

Ernie Regehr, with The Simons Foundation and the Centre for Peace Advancement, pointed out that NATO does not itself have nuclear weapons and that NATO’s status as a nuclear weapons alliance is based on the willingness of individual Alliance members with nuclear weapons (or those with US nuclear weapons on their soil by virtue of nuclear sharing) to make their capabilities available for collective operations. In this context NATO’s Strategic Concept communicates the circumstances under which use of nuclear weapons might be considered. The Brussels Summit Declaration issued after the meeting of the North Atlantic Council 11-12 July 2018 included a fulsome defence of nuclear weapons as the “supreme guarantee of the security of allies.” Further, there is growing allusion to the potential for nuclear weapons use in a variety of situations including in response to conventional attack and in a preemptive first strike, which must be understood in the context of weapons modernization programs and entrenching nuclear sharing within Europe

The idea that nuclear weapons of unlimited destructive capacity could be the foundation of security is, quite simply, offensive, particularly as the Alliance also continues to claim that it seeks to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.

Regehr offered the following recommendations to move once again toward détente with Russia as a means of reducing the role of nuclear weapons in national and alliance defence policies:

  • Adopt realistic language to limit the roleof nuclear weapons and highlight the commitment to a world without nuclear weapons, replacing language that characterizes weapons of massive destructive capacity as a supreme guarantee of security;
  • Commit to no first use of nuclear weapons;
  • Repatriate all B61 bombs to the US;
  • Refrain from acquiring dual capable aircraft by non-nuclear weapons states;
  • Pursue missile defence cooperation with Russia;
  • Reinvest in NATO-Russia dialogue and diplomatic engagement

Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute and former Ambassador for Disarmament, presented the recommendations of the all-party, unanimous report submitted by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence in June 2018 regarding Canada and NATO. Recommendation 21 included a welcome call for the government to “…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.” Emphasizing the urgency of this issue, the report called attention to several of the points raised by disarmament experts including the renewed risk of nuclear proliferation, potential deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, and changes in nuclear doctrines to lower the threshold of use. The report is a welcome sign of political consensus, and a testament to the influence of civil society, on a specific policy option that could contribute to gradual nuclear disarmament.

Ms. Mason further underscored key themes emerging from the day’s discussion, such as global dissatisfaction with stagnant disarmament trends, and the contrast between previous Canadian leadership and contemporary inaction, including boycotting of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Tom Sauer from the University of Antwerp in Belgium addressed the divergence of European civil society perspectives from the actions of NATO member states with regards to the TPNW. On the one hand, opinion polls show that most Europeans are against the presence of nuclear weapons in Europe and favour signing the Treaty. However, the issue is not adequately discussed or debated at a public level. Secrecy and lack of transparency on behalf of NATO make it difficult for both journalists and activists to engage the issue, and this limits the impact of peace movements.

Within NATO, it is clear that members are reluctant to lead efforts to change the Alliance’s nuclear posture, or to deviate from one another in other disarmament fora.

And yet leadership and change are possible. For example, the Netherlands is the only NATO member to have participated in the TPNW process, which itself was not anticipated just a few years ago. And while the Treaty may not eliminate nuclear weapons quickly, it is essential for stigmatizing their use – particularly in the current crisis – and stimulating new debate within civil society.

Discussion re-iterated the need for engagement on nuclear disarmament, diplomatically within NATO and with Russia, as well as by civil society and journalists. The Artic was raised as an example of how a security community can be created around shared interests.

Part III: Political Disengagement

Limited participation on the parliamentary panel “Canadian Leadership on Nuclear Disarmament” illustrated the current political climate of disengagement with nuclear disarmament. All major Canadian political parties were invited to present their positions. The NDP’s Agricultural Critic, the Hon. Alistair MacGregor, (substituting for the Party Foreign Policy spokesperson who was travelling) was the only person to participate directly. Noting that his party has long opposed nuclear weapons, he asserted that it was a strong proponent of Recommendation 21 within the Standing Committee’s report. MacGregor further questioned how Canada can be “back” while simultaneously failing to participate in the most important disarmament negotiations in years, and pointed to a shift in stance by the Liberal party from its time in opposition.

The Hon. Doug Roche read a statement provided by the current Government of Canada in response to a petition filed on behalf of constituents regarding the TPNW. It emphasized the government’s actions to advance disarmament and its commitment to a pragmatic pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons that takes into account the current security environment. In this environment, the government does not believe that the Treaty will be effective in achieving nuclear disarmament and does not intend to sign the treaty. Instead, its diplomatic efforts are to focus on inclusive measures that unite nuclear and non-nuclear armed states in common goals, specifically the pursuit of a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

A statement submitted by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, congratulated Setsuko Thurlow on her Nobel recognition for her contributions to the TPNW and the work of the CNANW, referring to the current situation as an “apocalyptic age.”

Discussion reiterated the importance of civil society expertise and advocacy, which Parliamentarians rely on for research and guidance. It was also noted that civil society should urge Parliamentarians to join the Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Network (PNND).

Part IV: The Way Forward

Mr. Cirincione addressed the final session on “Next Steps for Nuclear Abolition,” outlining the approach of the Ploughshares Fund to, first prevent the worst from happening, and then to build the world that we would like to see. This approach involves engaging politicians now to help them develop policies prior to future elections, finding ways to support positive goals set by the current Administration – including peace with North Korea – and supporting the next generation of civil society leadership on non-proliferation and disarmament. Calling ICAN “a flare that goes up in the night,” he cautioned that the current disarmament effort will not be able to rely on a mass anti-nuclear movement for change, but instead must build ties between nuclear disarmament and other mass movements of today. For example, cross-cutting feminist and environmental movements likewise question existing power dynamics and strive for an alternative future.

The remainder of the session was used to reflect on the learnings of the day and to share ideas for future work.

Returning to Recommendation 21 of the report by the Standing Committee on National Defence regarding NATO and the elimination of nuclear weapons, several speakers emphasized writing to the government prior to the release of its official response, both to express support and to raise questions about how disarmament processes might be raised within various bodies of the Alliance. It was noted that this might be a fruitful avenue for Canadian leadership in the context of its bid for a seat at the UN Security Council.

Conversation also explored options for engaging Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) in steps toward disarmament. It was noted that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution on fissile materials negotiation in 2016 was supported by 159 states, including three yes votes from NWS and two abstentions. In this context, the Government of Canada continues to prioritize efforts to bring NWS around the table and to create space for dialogue on the issue of a FMCT. Others urged the UNGA First Committee meetings and the NPT Review Conference as opportunities for leadership. The importance of continued Canadian support for the JCPOA was emphasized.

From a civil society perspective, the re-institution of the annual civil society consultation on arms control and disarmament by Global Affairs Canada is viewed as a positive step. The opportunity for additional civil society engagement with the government through its feminist foreign policy and the newly created position of Ambassador for Women, Peace, and Security was noted with cautious optimism, so that the core value of peace within feminism is emphasized. Work to this effect is currently being done by the Canadian Women, Peace and Security Network.

Overall, there is a recognition of a David v. Goliath moment. Disarmament advocates are outgunned (no pun intended) and underfunded. Within civil society, we need to raise funds and raise our voices, build new relationships, and foster creativity in our efforts to advance a world free of nuclear weapons. The need is urgent.

PDF download

The above report is also available as PDF (6 pp): “Canadian Leadership on Nuclear Disarmament” Seminar

Who are CNANW?

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. We believe that Canada should lead in working for their early abolition.
Read more …


CNANW Conference Participants September 25, 2017, Ottawa

CNANW Member Groups

Emeritus Member:

  • Veterans Against Nuclear Arms (VANA): There is a VANA Memorial posted on the Toronto Hiroshima/Nagasaki Day website that gives an extensive history and video and archival links explaining the founding, aims and work of the organization

Endorsers:

Call to sign Prohibition Treaty

ORGANIZATIONS that have signed The CNANW CALL to sign the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty
(updated March 21, 2018)

The African Community Association of Calgary
The Anglican Church of Canada
Les Artistes pour la Paix
Atomic Photographer’s Guild
Brandon/Westman Chapter, Council of Canadians
Canada Peace Alliance/L’Alliance canadienne pour la paix
Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Canadian Environmental Law Association
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Friends Service Committee
Canadian Peace Initiative
Canadian Pugwash Group
Canadian Unitarian Council
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
Chilliwack, BC, Council of Canadians
Citizens in Action Montreal
Climate Justice Saskatoon
Committee for Future Generations
Comox Valley Council of Canadians
Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area
Congregation of Our Lady of Sion
Council of Canadians
County Sustainability Group
Cowichan Valley Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Denman Island Peace Group
Development and Peace
Edmonton Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Fédération des femmes du Québec Greenspiration
First United Church, Salmon Arm, BC
Group of 78
Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative
Inverness County, N.S., Council of Canadians
Kent County NB Chapter, Council of Canadians
Knox United Church, Calgary
National Council of Women of Canada
London, ON Chapter, Council of Canadians
Mission and Social Justice Committee, St. Basil’s Catholic Parish, Ottawa
Montreal Chapter, Council of Canadians
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Pax Christi Montreal
Pax Christi Toronto
Peace Quest Cape Breton
PEI Chapter, Council of Canadians
People For Peace (London, ON)
Peterborough and Kawarthas Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Physicians for Global Survival
Ploughshares Calgary Society
Powell River Chapter, Council of Canadians
Project Ploughshares
Project Ploughshares Saskatoon
Quill Plains (Wynyard), SK, Council of Canadians
Religions for Peace Canada
new Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
The Rideau Institute
Saskatoon Chapter, Council of Canadians
Saskatoon Parklands Eco-left Collective
Saskatoon Peace Coalition
Science for Peace
Sierra Club of Ontario
Sisters of Charity – Halifax
Sisters of Service of Canada
Social Environmental Alliance (Victoria)
Soka Gakkai International Association of Canada
South Niagara, ON Chapter, Council of Canadians
South Shore, NS Chapter, Council of Canadians
St. Andrews United Church, Calgary
St. David’s United Church, Calgary
The United Church of Canada
Ursuline Sisters of Bruno
Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
Veterans Against Nuclear Arms – Saskatoon
Victoria-Council of Canadians
Westmount Initiative for Peace/Initiative de Westmount pour la paix
Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Canadian Section
World Federalist Movement – Canada

Resources: Divesting from Companies producing Nuclear Weapons

Move the Nuclear Weapons Money booklet published by Internaitonal Peace Bureau (IPB), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), and World Futures Council (WFC)
Brochure on Nuclear Divestment written by Hallgeir Langeland, Member of the Norwegian Parliament Keith Locke, Member of the New Zealand Parliament. 
Don’t Bank on the Bomb – a Dutch group offering resources on nuclear divestment. See their 2016 Report published by PAX, The Netherlands, with research by Profundo in The Netherlands.
Powerpoint Presentation by Kerry Duncan McCarney introducing key resources available on divestment.
Powerpoint presentation on Activist Investing by Devan Legare, CFP, CPA, CMA of Manulife Securities in Calgary describing investor activism, what are the different types of activism and the impacts on corporate policies.
Handout explaining divestment concept and offering a graphic of the top 10 nuclear-weapons producing companies; call on people to review their investments.

 

Getting Involved

What can YOU do to help abolish nuclear weapons?

Here are some steps you can take to support the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:

  1. Spread the word. Talk about the need to abolish nuclear weapons with your family and friends, in your neighbourhood, faith group or workplace. Share the documents from our website with your contacts.
  2. Divest from companies producing nuclear weapons. See our divestment page of resources: here.
  3. Educate yourself on the basic facts. Spend time on this website or any of the many other good resource sites.
    Here are a few others you can look through:

  4. Inform the Prime Minister and your Member of Parliament of your concern (no postage necessary). Ask them to support the goal of the CNANW. To find your Member of Parliament, go to the parliamentary website. Sample letter here. Hand your MP a background briefing document (rtf format; pdf format).
  5. Inform the House of Commons of your concern: Circulate a petition urging support for the abolition of nuclear weapons by all states, and ask your M.P. to present it to Parliament. (A sample petition is available on this website.)
  6. Individuals are invited to join one or more of our member groups.
  7. Community organizations, faith groups and unions are invited to endorse the goals of the CNANW.
  8. Make a donation to organizations that are working to abolish nuclear weapons.
  9. Make a donation to support the CNANW.

Email us for details at: cnanw [at] web.ca