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

Energizing Action By Canada, September 2017

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)

Energizing Action by Canada to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Monday, September 25, 2017
Cartier Hotel, Ottawa

Welcome, and time of remembrance: Bev Delong, Chairperson, CNANW

Keynote address:

Chairperson: Debbie Grisdale, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Ambassador Elayne Whyte-Gómez, Costa Rica, President, Conference negotiating the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Presentation: here

Forward Steps in Nuclear Disarmament:

Chairperson: Douglas Roche O.C.

“Diplomatic Reflections at this Historic Moment”,
Mr. Michael Hurley, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Ireland to Canada

“Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty: Transparency and Risk Reduction”,
Mr. Tariq Rauf, Head – Verification and Security Policy Coordination, Office reporting to the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, 2002-2011; Alternate Head of IAEA NPT Delegation.

Luncheon Keynote:

Moderator: Dr. Adele Buckley, Canadian Pugwash Group

Alyn Ware: “2018 UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament”
Presentation: here

Canadian Government Views on next steps to Nuclear Disarmament:

Chairperson: Peggy Mason, Rideau Institute

Mr. Martin Larose, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, Global Affairs Canada

Ms. Cori Anderson, Deputy Director of Strategic Analysis, Department of National Defence: here

1st Discussant: Mr. Paul Meyer, Adjunct Professor, Simon Fraser University; Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation; former Ambassador for Disarmament

Presentation: here

Building Momentum for Nuclear Disarmament Conference Oct 24 2016

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
Building Momentum for Nuclear Disarmament

October 24, 2016, Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa

Conference Report (long version, English)
Conference Report (short version, English)
Rapport de la conférence en français

Panel: Canada:  Between NATO and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Chairperson: Dr. Nancy Covington, Physicians for Global Survival and VOW.

Mr. Marius Grinius, former Ambassador for Disarmament [Presentation here]

Representative, Department of National Defence (invited)

Prof. Erika Simpson, Dept. of Political Science, University of Western Ontario [Presentation here]

Panel: Partnering with Russia for Nuclear Disarmament

Chairperson – Mr. Earl Turcotte, Group of 78

Dr. Metta Spencer, President, Science for Peace [Presentation here]

Dr. Joan DeBardeleben, Chancellor’s Professor, Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa [Presentation here soon]

Prof. Sergei Plekhanov, Dept. of Political Science, York University

Panel: Nuclear Disarmament:  Diplomatic Options

Chairperson:  Ms. Janis Alton, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Mr. Bernhard Faustenhammer, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Austria.

Ms. Heidi Hulan, Director General, International Security Policy, Global Affairs Canada,

Prof. Paul Meyer, former Ambassador for Disarmament, Adjunct Professor, School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University and Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation. [Presentation here]

Panel: The Crisis with Nuclear Weapons:  Parliamentary & Civil Society Responses

Chairperson:  Ms. Maddie Webb, Canadian Federation of University Women

Mr. Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear NonProliferation and Disarmament (PNND)d (by skype)

Mr. Paul Dewar, Member, Global Council, PNND; former Canadian Member of Parliament. [Presentation here]

Ms. Peggy Mason, President, The Rideau Institute; former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament [Presentation here soon]

Mr. Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares.

CNANW Seminar “Defining Steps for Canada in a Nuclear Weapons-Free World” Nov 2015

The reality of a new Government in Canada provides a new opportunity for CNANW to make an impact on the development of Canada’s nuclear weapons policies. Building on the unanimous motion of Parliament adopted in 2010 to support the UN Secretary General’s Five Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament and take a major diplomatic initiative to advance nuclear disarmament objectives, the Seminar explored Canadian action concerning the Humanitarian Pledge and development of effective legal measures for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.

Ottawa, November 30, 2015

Letter from Seminar to Government of Canada: English; Francais
Seminar Report: Linked here

Keynote Speakers:


Tarja Cronberg and Tariq Rauf

Seminar Program: linked here

Keynote Address by Tarja Cronberg: “Creating the Framework for a Nuclear Weapons-Free World” (linked here)

Keynote Luncheon Address by Dr. Tariq Rauf:  “Challenges for Canada’s Nuclear Weapons Policies” (linked here)

Panel: “The Moral Compass and the Humanitarian Pledge”
Mr. Bernhard Faustenhammer: “Progress on, and Plans for Pursuing the Humanitarian Pledge”
Prof. Paul Meyer: “After the Humanitarian Pledge, What?” (linked here)

Panel: “Securing a Nuclear Weapons-Free World: Creating and retaining the replacement regime”
Biographies of panelists (linked here)
Dr. H. Peter Langille: “Sustainable Common Security” (linked here)
Dr. Walter Dorn: “Peacekeeping”
Prof. Peter Jones: “Track Two Diplomacy”

Panel: “Political and Legal Steps: New Initiatives for Canada”
Hon. Douglas Roche: “Political and Legal Steps: New Initiatives for Canada” (linked here)
Heidi Hulan
Cesar Jaramillo
Earl Turcotte: (linked here)

CNANW Meeting, May 2014

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) Meeting
May 13 and 14, 2014

Representatives of 10 of the CNANW’s member groups met in Ottawa for a lively update on recent progress and a highly informed discussion on the proposals for legal options with respect to nuclear weapons.

Paul Dewar, M.P., recently elected Global Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), joined us to provide a briefing on recent work of that group.  He had participated in the recent Annual Assembly of PNND in Washington in February 25-27, 2014.  We are pleased to hear of the appointment of two new CoChairpersons of PNND Canada, Linda Duncan, M.P. (NDP) and Blaine Calkins, M.P. (Cons.) both Albertans. Mr. Dewar encouraged us to continue with education of the public and of MPs through direct meetings and especially fora such as the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs and National Defence.

Good news was shared of an Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) resolution from the March 20, 2014 meeting that involved representatives of 160 Parliaments. Blaine Calkins M.P. of Canada worked for this resolution called Toward a Nuclear Weapon Free World: The Contribution of Parliaments. One of the recommendations was that “parliaments urge their governments to start negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or on a package of agreements to help achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.” PNND are exploring through national conferences how to implement the resolution.  Hedy Fry M.P. is working through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to support PNND initiatives.

The people of the Marshall Islands are suing all nine nuclear-armed states.  Background on the case and information for the media is available from Nuclear Age Peace Foundation as linked on this quite incredible David and Goliath case. We need to determine if CNANW (or its individual member groups will endorse the action, and identify any other ways Canadians can support the action.  There is a possibility that individual affirmations might be filed with the court.  The court has yet to determine the process.

We received briefings on the recent NPT PrepCom meeting and the Nayarit, Mexico meeting on humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

We are pleased to note that there are now over 750 Order of Canada members supporting Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

CNANW is aiming primarily to communicate to the public and the government our deep concern over the need for Nuclear Weapons Convention by organizing activities

1) for Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemorations on Aug. 6 and 9th
and
2) then during the period  September 21 (International Day for Peace) and September 26 (International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons).  Project Ploughshares is willing to continue to upload worship resources for all faith groups at its website so that faith communities across Canada can have materials to use for either the International Day of Peace or the International Day for the Total Elimination for Nuclear Weapons. We hope to encourage observance of these days in all faith groups.

Thereafter we will focus on preparation for the NPT Review Conference in the spring of 2015 and the spring or fall federal election.

Our lengthiest discussion was on the Ban Treaty proposal. We had the benefit of highly informed input from three former Ambassadors for Disarmament and several other very senior experts with experience with treaty negotiations.  The Ban Treaty proponents are calling for a legal instrument setting out a prohibition against use, possession (etc.) of nuclear weapons.  But that instrument will not set out a process for verified elimination of nuclear weapons since this would require buy-in from nuclear-dependent states, which have made it clear that they consider it “premature”.  The anticipated Nuclear Weapons Convention will call for both prohibitions and a process of verified elimination of nuclear weapons.  A paper was circulated in advance setting out the implications of the Ban Treaty proposal for our work. Concern was expressed about the Ban Treaty being redundant, likely to divert scarce NGO time and resources, likely to cause confusion, and possibly disillusionment among the public.  Others argued that the Ban Treaty proposal would not only engage the public and provide a tool for progress, but might support the longstanding pursuit of a NWC, which seems impossible to achieve in the current state of affairs.

The meeting accepted a proposal that 1) CNANW should take the position that the ban treaty could encourage progress toward a multilateral treaty with specific timelines for nuclear disarmament.  2) While individual CNANW member groups may choose to emphasize a Ban Treaty or the NWC, they are encouraged to be informed on implications of their options to practice “truth in advocacy” in public education and to clarify what process and results are being sought (thus, a ban with or without the elimination of nuclear weapons).  3) As a network, CNANW will continue to focus on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.  4)  Activists are encouraged to call on all states to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, recognizing that the prohibitions and safeguards it creates are restricting the spread of nuclear weapons.

Congratulations to Doug Roche on the launch of his new book Peacemakers: How People Around the World Are Building a World Free of War.

For more information on the work of CNANW, please contact Bev Delon  at bevdelong [at] shaw.ca

The Cuban Missile Crisis, Iran, and the value of negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, Oct 2012

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons met on Oct. 19, 2012 in Ottawa on the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  This report is written to provide you with the key lessons from the meeting.

What are the lessons of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis for Iran and the value of pursuing urgent negotiations on nuclear disarmament? The analysis presented by Prof. Erika Simpson of the Department of Political Science at Western University explained some of the ‘new lessons’ revisionists are putting forward concerning the Cuban missile crisis fifty years later, now that the historical records and transcripts are being fully revealed. It discussed the implications of these sorts of ‘lessons’ for ‘realists’–who continue to support nuclear deterrence– and ‘idealists’ who counsel urgent nuclear disarmament. Then Prof. Simpson considered the implications of all these types of lessons for the present-day stand-off between Iran and the rest of the international community, especially the United States and Israel, for deterrence and arms control negotiations. She argued that the principal lesson of the Cuban missile crisis, interpreted fifty years later, is that disarmament negotiations need to be urgently pursued now, not during or in the wake of a similar nuclear crisis besetting the world.

In a comment from the floor, Dr. Walter Dorn of Canadian Forces College advised that research in the UN archives that he and Robert Pauk have completed has shown that President Kennedy in fact was fearful during the Cuban Missile Crisis that his actions might trigger a nuclear war.  He sought the assistance of UN Secretary General U Thant to mediate and this mediation occurred successfully.  Contrary to frequent reports of the crisis, Krushchev did not “blink” but rather engaged with U Thant in a deal under which the Soviet Union would withdraw its navy in exchange for the US withdrawing its missiles from Turkey.

Of concern to the group was the recent announcement by the Government of Canada of the closure of the Canadian Embassy in Iran.  Senator Roche, Chairperson of the Middle Powers Initiative questioned “what would have happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis if the Kennedy Administration had broken diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union when the US discovered Soviet missile sites in Cuba?”  He stressed that international security is not served by breaking relations with Iran. He also queried Canada tolerating nuclear weapons in the hands of Israel, India and Pakistan but objecting to Iran. We need strong diplomacy toward nuclear disarmament if we want to influence world security.

Mr. Paul Dewar, the NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, reported on his recent trip to Kazakhstan as part of a delegation from Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.  He said most of them were unaware of the human suffering resulting in that area due to the legacy of Soviet nuclear testing in Semipalitinsk.  During his visit on August 29th, thousands of people were out to line the streets to observe somberly the International Day Against Nuclear Testing.  Mr. Dewar was shocked to see volumes of detailed records in Russian setting out the medical results of the testing. Recently people have become much more aware of the 2nd and 3rd generational effects of nuclear testing and the extraordinary toll this is having on the lives and health of people living in Kazakhstan, as well as in other locations where nuclear explosions have occurred such as Japan, the Marshall Islands, and in Tahiti and Muroroa in the Pacific.

Both Mr. Dewar and Mr. Alyn Ware, the Global Coordinator for PNND, spoke on the PNND Parliamentarians statement being circulated to encourage parliamentarians to consider a proposal for a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction as a diplomatic and even-handed route toward a more peaceful Middle East.  Alyn Ware  highlighted the powerful role played by the process of establishing nuclear weapon-free zones in the Antarctic, Latin America, the South Pacific, South East Asia, Africa, Mongolia, and most recently Kazakhstan along with 4 of their “stan” neighbours.  (For further information, check the NWFZs website  located at

http://www.opanal.org.)

Climate modeling research conducted by Toon and Roebuck in the US concludes that waiting for a crisis for the start of nuclear negotiations could cause a calamity, for even a small exchange of 100 nuclear weapons between India and Pakistan or in the Middle East might result in climate change resulting in global famine.  (See “Local Nuclear War, Global Suffering”, Scientific American, December, 2009.

So what then are some of the lessons in 2012 from the Cuban missile crisis, considered by many to have been the most dangerous time in our history?  What then have we learned over the past 60 years that teaches us about our security today?

First, the nuclear threat still remains as there are still approximately 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Of these, about 2,000 are on alert, operationally ready be used in under 30 minutes.

Second, the world can be placed at extraordinary risk due to political games leading to military brinkmanship.  Those involved may have serious misperceptions about the facts of the situation and the motives of other parties. Do not assume that leaders will be rational actors during a crisis.

Third, we need to ensure that the UN Secretary General’s capacity to offer his or her good offices remains strong.

Fourth, If we wish to retain a capacity to save humanity and the environment, we need to retain diplomatic lines of communication with other states.  You might contact the Prime Minister your MP and encourage them to reconsider the decision to close the Canadian Embassy in Iran, reminding of the great value of diplomacy for nonviolent solutions in instances of political challenges.

Fifth, and perhaps most importantly, we cannot wait for this to happen.  We must demand negotiations on nuclear disarmament now.

What else can be done?  The Canadian Senate and Parliament in 2010 passed unanimously an historic motion to:

  • “encourage the Government of Canada to deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament;”

Despite repeated requests and petitions, no such initiative has been deployed by the Government of Canada.  Concerned Canadians are encouraged to contact their MP and inquire what they are doing to encourage negotiations on a ban on nuclear weapons. Likewise, Members of Parliament can be urged to consider realistic options for peace in the Middle East and then invited to sign the  Joint Parliamentary Statement for a Middle East Free from Nuclear Weapons and all other Weapons of Mass Destruction available in English or French.

Round Table on a Global Ban on Nuclear Weapons, Mar 2012

Ottawa, Canada
March 26, 2012

Statement of the organizers of the CNANW Round Table:
English: 2012RTstatementMar26.doc; 2012RTstatementMar26.rtf
en Français: 2012Declaration4avril.doc

Session 1: NPT Preparatory Committee Meeting 2012: Opportunities? Challenges?
Chairperson: Ms. Peggy Mason
Summary of this session: 2012 RT NPT.doc; 2012 RT NPT.pages
Opening Statement: Ms. Isabelle Roy, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Division, DFAIT: RoyMarch26.docx
Panel Responding: The Hon. Doug Roche O.C., Acting Chairperson, Middle Powers Initiative (MPI): RocheMar26.doc and RocheMar26.doc.odt
and Mr. Cesar Jaramillo, Program Officer, Project Ploughshares
Rapporteur: Dr. Anna Jaikaran, Science for Peace

Session 2: Iran and the Nuclear Question
Chairperson: Mr. Fergus Watt, World Federalist Movement – Canada
Panel: Mr. Paul Heinbecker, CIGI Distinguished Fellow: RTIranSession final.doc and RTIranSessionfinal.pages
and Prof. Peter Jones, University of Ottawa: JonesMarch26.doc and JonesMarch26.pages
Rapporteur: Mr. Cesar Jaramillo, Project Ploughshares

Session 3: International Humanitarian Law and Nuclear Weapons: Progress made; Work ahead?
Chairperson: Ms. Janis Alton, Voice of Women
Speaker: Mr. Ilario Maiolo, Senior Legal Advisor, Canadian Red Cross: MaioloMarch26
Panel: Mr. Robin Collins, World Federalist Movement-Canada: CollinsMarch26.doc
and Ms. Debbie Grisdale, CNANW: GrisdaleMarch26.rtf
Rapporteur: Dr. Richard Denton, Physicians for Global Survival (PGS)

Session 4: Next steps for CNANW member groups
Chairpersons: The Hon. Doug Roche O.C. and Ms. Bev Delong
Notes circulated among CNANW member groups

roundtable1

 

Toward a Nuclear Weapons Convention: A Role for Canada, Apr 2011

April 11-12, 2011
Brittany Salon, Cartier Place Suite Hotel, 180 Cooper Street, Ottawa, ON

Summary Report: Toward a Nuclear Weapons Convention: A Role for Canada (pdf in english)

Recommendations: (in english; Vers une convention de l’interdiction des armes nucléaires : un rôle pour le Canada: en français)


April 11: “Implementing the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament”

Program: [here: pdf]

HeadTable podium panaudience

Keynote Speaker: H.E. Ambassador Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, U.N. High Representative for Disarmament “Implementing the UN Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament” [here: pdf]

Chairpersons: The Hon. Douglas J. Roche O.C., Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C., Research Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo

Respondents:

  • Ambassador Werner Brandstetter, Embassy of Austria [here: pdf]
  • Counsellor Julian Juarez, Embassy of Mexico [here: pdf]
  • Mr. Nicolas Brühl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland [here: pdf]
  • Mr. Clive Wright, Head of Foreign Policy Team, British High Commission, Ottawa [here: pdf]

Acknowledgements: We express our sincere gratitude to the sponsors of this seminar: Canadian Network toAbolish Nuclear Weapons, Canadian Pugwash Group, Physicians for Global Survival,Project Ploughshares, and World Federalist Movement – Canada.


April 12: “Experts’ Seminar”

Agenda: [here: pdf]
Theme: The Final Document of the 2010 NPT Review Conference took note of the UNSecretary-General’s Five-Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament, which proposes, inter alia, “consideration of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention or agreement on a framework of separate mutually reinforcing instruments backed by a strong system ofverification.”

This seminar is being held to develop a broadly shared understanding of the mainelements and requirements for a global convention to prohibit nuclear weapons; to buildCanadian capacity in the expert and disarmament advocacy community on key issues linkedto advancing the global movement toward a nuclear weapons convention; and to engage theGovernment of Canada to encourage early and concrete support for working toward aNuclear Weapons Convention.


Legal Aspects of a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Elements of a legal architecture for a nuclear weapons prohibition/framework of agreements.Implications of an International Humanitarian Law approach to progress on NWC

Dr John Burroughs
Dr Erika Simpson
Dr Michael Byers

Chairperson: Dr. Erika Simpson, Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario and Vice-Chair, Canadian Pugwash Group

Speakers : Dr. John Burroughs, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy [here: pdf] Dr. Michael Byers, Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law,Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia [here: pdf]


Verification and Compliance Aspects of a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Dr Trevor Findlay
Ms Peggy Mason
Mr Jo Sletback

Chairperson:  Ms. Peggy Mason, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and Advisory BoardChair, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance, Carleton University

Speakers:  Dr. Trevor Findlay, Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance [here: pptx (original) pdf] Mr.  Jo Sletbak, Minister Counsellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy [here: pdf]


Luncheon Keynote

Amb. Richard Butler
Ms Bev Delong

Chairperson: Ms. Bev Delong, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Guest Speaker: H.E. Ambassador Richard Butler, A.C., Chairperson, Middle Powers Initiative [here: pdf]


Political and Security Requirements for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

How can security relationships be used as stepping stones toward a NWC?Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons through Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones, and Nuclear Doctrines

Mr Ernie Regehr
Mr Simon Rosenblum
Mr Simon Rosenblum, Mr Ernie Regehr, Hon. Landon Pearson

Chairperson: The Honourable Landon Pearson, O.C., member, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Speakers: Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C., Research Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies,Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo; Fellow, The Simons Foundation [here: pdf] Mr. Simon Rosenblum, World Federalist Movement – Canada [here: pdf]


 Roundtable on the Role of Canada

Mr Paul Meyer, Dr Adele Buckley, Hon Douglas Roche

Chairperson: Dr. Adele Buckley, Past Chair, Canadian Pugwash Group

Speakers: Mr. Paul Meyer, former Ambassador for Disarmament; Fellow in International Security,Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University; Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation [here: pdf] The Honourable Douglas J. Roche, O.C., former Ambassador for Disarmament [here: pdf]


Acknowledgements

Organizing committee:The Honourable Douglas J. Roche, O.C.Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C.Dr. Dale Dewar, Executive Director, Physicians for Global SurvivalDr. Trevor Findlay, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty ComplianceMr. Fergus Watt, Executive Director, World Federalists Movement – CanadaMr. Cesar Jaramillo, Program Associate, Project PloughsharesMs. Bev Tollefson Delong, Chairperson, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Advisors: Amb. (Ret.) Paul Meyer, Mr. Murray Thomson, O.C. and the late Dr. Michael WallaceAdministrative support: Project Ploughshares

Sponsors: Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Canadian Pugwash Group,Physicians for Global Survival, Project Ploughshares, World Federalist Movement – Canada

Funders: Canadian Pugwash Group, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, Lawyersfor Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, Project Ploughshares, Science for Peace,Sisters of Service of Canada, anonymous donor.

 

“Practical Steps to Zero Nuclear Weapons,” Jan 2010

January 25-26 2010, Ottawa

Canada Should Support Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons:
News Release (January 21): in english  [.doc] [.pdf]

Le Canada devrait appuyer un traité d’interdiction des armes nucléaires:

Communiqué  27 janvier 2010: en français  [.doc] [.pdf]

Conference Program: [pdf]

Briefing Paper: Canadian Action for Zero Nuclear Weapons: [pdf]

André-François Giroux, Department of Foreign Affairs Canada,
speaking notes:
Practical Steps to Zero Nuclear Weapons
: [.doc] [.pdf]

Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association:
Next Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons: the View from Washington [.doc] [.pdf]

Related Documents and websites:

Paul Meyer: Saving the NPT: Time to Renew Treaty Commitments
The Nonproliferation Review, Volume 16, Number 3 [link]

Middle Powers Initiative (MPI): website

Conference Co-sponsors: Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG)
Physicians for Global Survival (PGS)
Project Ploughshares
World Federalist Movement-Canada (WFM-C)

Nonproliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Consultations 2005

Summary report of 2005 consultations
(Bev Delong, chair of CNANW): see below

Foreign Affairs and International Trade summary report: here

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

Space Security
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 treaty’s 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.
http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/arms/nptoverview-en.asp
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 <pcdsres@mail.island.net> <mailto:pcdsres@mail.island.net>

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 simpson@uwo.ca. 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:
http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/foreign_policy/global_partnership/menu-en.asp

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.