CNWC letter to PM: Help Preserve the INF Treaty

From Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention

Jan 24, 2019
Dear Prime Minister,
We write to urge, in the strongest terms, you and your government to publicly and prominently call on all the parties to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty to ensure that it is preserved.

De Rassemblement canadien pour une convention sur les armes nucléaires
Monsieur le Premier Ministre,
Nous vous envoyons cette lettre pour vous exhorter, ainsi que votre gouvernement, à inciter – publiquement et fermement – toutes les parties au Traité de limitation des armes nucléaires à moyenne portée (traité INF) à faire en sorte qu’il soit maintenu.

PDF here/ici: 2018-01-24-CNWCINF Letter to PM

Letter to Prime Minster Trudeau: Seeking Canadian action to lessen nuclear risk

January 31, 2017
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
RE: Canadian Emergency Response Plan

With the Presidency of Mr. Trump, we are urgently seeking your engagement in an emergency response plan to confront the possible use of nuclear weapons by President Trump. He has been quoted as saying “If we have [nuclear weapons], why can’t we use them?” President Trump has joined the small group of “leaders” who claim the right to kill millions of people to protect their country’s interests. It is clear he is a man of little patience, no diplomatic expertise, no military or conflict resolutions skills. His control of “the button” places the global community in grave danger.

We call on you to use your considerable skill in inspiring communications and clear thinking to urgently lessen and eliminate the nuclear threat. We believe you have the capacity to ensure a more secure future for your family and our families, and indeed the global family.

More specifically, we would propose that you personally take these steps:

1. During your first meeting with President Trump, propose a Reykjavik-style bilateral summit between him and President Putin to discuss how they could further reduce nuclear arsenals and work together to pursue global nuclear disarmament.

2. Publicly commend President Xi’s proposal for nuclear disarmament, to press China for CTBT ratification and to actively explore with China ways to pursue nuclear disarmament on an urgent basis.

3. Seek cooperation with like-minded leaders of NATO member states to promote reduced Allied reliance on a nuclear deterrent and to make an active contribution to creating the conditions necessary for a “world without nuclear weapons”.

4. Direct Canadian diplomats to engage in upcoming negotiations on a legal instrument prohibiting nuclear weapons and in all other processes that will advance nuclear disarmament

5. Strongly support public advocacy on the increased threat of a nuclear weapons exchange and the need for urgent work toward nuclear disarmament.

We recognize the load on you has been heavy but want to assure you that should a nuclear exchange occur, a legacy of environmental agreements and pipelines will be irrelevant. There can be no greater 150th Birthday gift to Canada than one of increased security for Canadians and the global community.

Respectfully,
Bev Tollefson Delong
Chairperson, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

This letter has been endorsed by the following groups:
Canadian Peace Initiative(CPI)
Canadian Pugwash Group
Physicians for Global Survival
Religions for Peace Canada
Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Nanaimo Chapter

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

Regehr and Roche on INF Treaty

Canada must be clear-eyed about nuclear disarmament
ERNIE REGEHR AND DOUGLAS ROCHE
Globe and Mail
JANUARY 20, 2019

Ernie Regehr is the chairman of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, a project of Canadian Pugwash, and the former executive director of Project Ploughshares. Douglas Roche was a senator from 1998 to 2004, and was the Canadian ambassador for disarmament.

The world is about to lose one of the most important nuclear disarmament agreements ever made – and distressingly, Canada is silent.

The 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, signed by then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan and former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev, marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. It bans the possession, production and flight-testing of ground-launched missiles within the 500-to-5,500 kilometre range and bans launchers for such missiles. Also, it resulted in the elimination of 2,692 Soviet and U.S. missiles based in Europe, and it was key to building an innovative system of verification, data exchanges, and mutual consultations.

Now, U.S. President Donald Trump has said the United States intends to suspend its participation in early February, leading to its termination six months later. The United States says the Russians are cheating. Russia says the United States is stretching the treaty’s boundaries. The debate over who’s right is what verification procedures and diplomatic talks are all about.

The stakes are very high. Mr. Gorbachev, now in retirement, and George Shultz, who was Mr. Reagan’s secretary of state, have issued a dire warning that “abandoning the INF” would undermine strategic stability and be a step towards an immensely destructive war. Retired senator Sam Nunn and Barack Obama’s former energy secretary Ernest J. Moniz, two giants in the realm of U.S. arms control who now run the Nuclear Threat Initiative, have also warned of a “cascade of negative consequences” if the INF treaty is abandoned. Those risks include the unfettered deployment by Russia of intermediate missiles sparking a new arms race, serious division within NATO, and the undermining of efforts to rally the world to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The end of the INF also portends the collapse of the U.S.-Russia New START pact, which is due to expire in 2021 unless it is renewed. The United States has signalled it isn’t interested in renewing the one nuclear disarmament pillar left to hold a new outbreak of long-range missiles in check, and the nuclear-armed states are already modernizing their nuclear stocks.

Countries such as Canada must intervene and demand a diplomatic review of INF compliance procedures because we have a big stake in whether the world will lapse into a new nuclear arms race – and that could be where things are headed.

The importance and success of this treaty cannot be in doubt. The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the international organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, warns against “a world ungoverned by treaties constraining actions of states with nuclear weapons,” and concludes that “decades of effort to build an architecture of restraint are unravelling because key lessons from the early years of the Cold War seem to have been forgotten.”

In 2018, both the Group of Seven and NATO summits – two groups that include Canada as a member – declared that the preservation of the INF treaty is a key to Euro-Atlantic and international security. That’s a good start. But we are disappointed that the government of Canada has itself remained inexplicably silent in the face of the Trump administration’s threat to abandon the treaty.

This is not simply a European or U.S.-Russia matter. Canada definitely has a stake in averting the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of any nuclear weapon. As the great Canadian diplomat George Ignatieff once said, “No incineration without representation.”

This is not a time for quiet diplomacy. Canada has a voice and stature in the world. We must be heard by those who control our fate of whether we will live or die in a nuclear war. What the world should be witnessing is not the collapse of nuclear arms control treaties, but new agreements to provide for further reductions in deployed and stockpiled nuclear weapons.

Silence is an abrogation of responsibility. We urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to provide bold, public, and insistent leadership, because continued silence won’t do anything to stop the loudest and most tragic explosion.

CNANW and CNWC write to Prime Minister Trudeau about nuclear dangers

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention write in the face of a deepening global nuclear crisis to urge you and your Government to make crisis de-escalation and persistent and intensified disarmament diplomacy a national priority. The following draws your attention to four elements of this escalating nuclear threat and identifies ways in which Canada can help move the international community, including our allies in NATO, to a more effective pursuit of the collective goal of a world without nuclear weapons. ”

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

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

Roche: The Moral, Spiritual, Legal, Practical Response to Humanity’s Greatest Threat: Nuclear Weapons

The Moral, Spiritual, Legal, Practical Response to Humanity’s Greatest Threat: Nuclear Weapons
By Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C.
Address to Panel at Parliament of the World’s Religions
Toronto, November 5, 2018

An excerpt: Political action against nuclear weapons is indeed possible. But such action, on a global scale, requires the emergence of a global ethic based on the common good.  Let us not despair at the magnitude of this challenge. The very existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an expression of global conscience. So are the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Global Compact on Migration.  Political action against nuclear weapons is indeed possible. But such action, on a global scale, requires the emergence of a global ethic based on the common good.  Let us not despair at the magnitude of this challenge. The very existence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an expression of global conscience. So are the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Global Compact on Migration.   …To continue reading, speech is linked here:
20181107 Roche ParliamentWorldReligionsspeech

Traité INF: lettre à l’Honorable Chrystia Freeland

L’Honorable Chrystia Freeland
Département des Affaires Globales
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0G2

25 octobre 2018

Chère madame la ministre,

Nous vous adressons respectueusement cette lettre qui a pour objet de vous inciter fortement, ainsi que le gouvernement du Canada, à vous objecter publiquement de façon persistante au récent plan de l’Administration Trump de se retirer du Traité USA-Russie concernant les forces nucléaires de portée intermédiaire (INF) et à lancer un appel à maintenir et à revitaliser le contrôle international sur les armes nucléaires et leur prolifération en vue d’un désarmement.

Si nous sommes parfaitement au courant des accusations de Washington envers les violations russes du Traité, nous observons, comme l’a fait un rapport récent de recherches du Congrès américain, que la Russie a de son côté identifié trois programmes militaires américains en cours ou en planification en violation du Traité. La façon de résoudre de telles accusations n’est certes pas en abandonnant des traités d’importance historique, gagnés de haute lutte, tels que l’INF. Nous prions donc le Gouvernement du Canada de se joindre à ses alliés européens pour insister que les États-Unis et la Russie aplanissent leurs différents à une table de négociation en respectant les clauses de désarmement du Traité de non-prolifération. Selon les termes employés par le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’Allemagne Heiko Maas, il y va de notre responsabilité collective de ne ménager aucun effort afin de ramener Washington et Moscou à cette table.

La menace d’abrogation du Traité INF repousse le monde vers un danger de basculer. Tous les pays possédant des armes nucléaires étant déjà embarqués dans des programmes coûteux et déstabilisants de “modernisation”, nous craignons que si l’Administration Trump abandonne ce Traité sans une forte réaction négative de la part d’alliés tel que le Canada, il pourrait aussi abandonner le Traité New Start (dont l’expiration sera en février 2021, à moins que les États-Unis et la Russie le prolongent). Cette éventualité mettrait un terme à toute restriction formelle sur les programmes d’armes nucléaires et enclencherait une impensable accélération périlleuse des courses à l’arme nucléaire déjà en cours. Nous vous implorons, ainsi que le gouvernement du Canada, d’agir de toute urgence et avec persistance pour revenir à la pénible mais prudente et incessante tâche diplomatique en vue du contrôle des armes nucléaires et de leur désarmement.

Sincèrement,

Murray Thomson, OC
David Silcox, CM
Douglas Roche, OC
Ernie Regehr, OC
Président du comité directeur du CNWC
Cesar Jaramillo
Bev Delong
Adele Buckley

Cc: Le Très Honorable Justin Trudeau, Premier ministre
L’Honorable Andrew Scheer, chef de l’Opposition et du Parti Conservateur
Jagmeet Singh, chef du Nouveau Parti Démocratique
Elizabeth May, cheffe du Parti Vert
L’Honorable Peter Harder, représentant le gouvernement au Sénat
Membres du Comité Permanent de la Chambre des Communes pour les Affaires étrangères et le Développement international

INF Treaty: letter to Chrystia Freeland

October 25, 2018

The Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0G2

Dear Minister Freeland,

We write to strongly urge you and your Government to publicly and persistently object to the Trump Administration’s plan to withdraw from the US-Russian Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to call for maintaining and revitalizing the international nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament regime.

We are well aware of US charges that Russia is in violation of the Treaty, and we also note, as has a recent US Congressional Research Report, that Russia has identified three current and planned US military programs that it charges are or will be in violation of the Treaty. The way to resolve these serious charges is not by abandoning hard won, and in the case of the INF, historically important Treaties. We thus urge the Government of Canada to join with its European allies to insist that the United States and Russia resolve their differences at the negotiating table and by honoring their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has put it, it is our collective responsibility to leave “no stone unturned in the effort to bring Washington and Moscow back to the table…”

The threatened abrogation of the INF Treaty pushes the world toward a dangerous tipping point. All states with nuclear weapons are already embarked on expensive and destabilizing “modernization” programs. We fear that if the Trump Administration proceeds with abandoning this Treaty without major push back from allies like Canada, it will also abandon the New START Treaty (which will expire in February 2021 if the US and Russia do not extend it). That would end all formal restraints on nuclear weapons programs and would lead to an unthinkably perilous acceleration of the nuclear arms races that are already underway.

We implore you and the Government of Canada to act with urgency and persistence and to stand for a return to the careful, painstaking, and unrelenting diplomacy of nuclear arms control and disarmament.

Sincerely,
Murray Thomson, OC
David Silcox, CM
Douglas Roche, OC
Ernie Regehr, OC
Chair, CNWC Steering Committee
Cesar Jaramillo
Bev Delong
Adele Buckley
Cc: The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister
The Hon. Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Conservative Party
Jagmeet Singh, Leader of the New Democratic Party
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party
Rhéal Fortin, Interim Leader of the Bloc Québécoisbr>
The Hon. Peter Harder, the Government’s representative in the Senate
Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

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

Letter to PM, July 2018, from 9 Canadian NGOs regarding leadership in NATO

Subject: NATO Summit in Brussels – July 2018

May 25, 2018

Dear Minister Freeland and Ambassador Buck,

Please find enclosed a Statement setting out our recommendations for Canadian action with respect to the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels.  We would very much appreciate receiving your views on these proposals and hearing about your plan for making progress at the Summit.  Kindly send your responses to this email and I will ensure their circulation among these (and other concerned) Canadian groups.

This Statement has been endorsed by the following Canadian groups:

Boundary Peace Initiative
B.C. Southern Interior Peace Coalition.
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Pugwash Group
Project Ploughshares
Science for Peace
Religions for Peace Canada
The Rideau Institute
World Federalist Movement – Canada

Thank you for your attention.

Best regards,
Bev Delong

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

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.

Letter To Hon Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

[ français ici ]

December 17, 2015 Letter to Honourable Stéphane Dion from Bev Delong, CNANW Chair

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear  Weapons

140 Westmount Road North  Waterloo, ON   N2L 3G6 Phone: (403) 282-8260  FAX (403) 289-4272 Email:  bevdelong@shaw.ca
December 17, 2015
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P. Minister of Foreign Affairs Global Affairs Canada 125 Sussex Drive  Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2
Dear Minister Dion,
Re: Recommendations to the Government of Canada on meaningful steps toward the abolition of nuclear weapons
Greetings from the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW). We are a coalition of civil society organizations from across the country working to advance the cause of nuclear disarmament and move toward a world without nuclear weapons―a goal the Government of Canada has publicly and consistently supported. We welcome you to the critical portfolio you now lead and assure you of our willingness to collaborate constructively toward a foreign policy that, driven by principle and guided by evidence, best meets the interests of Canadians and the international community.
Seven decades after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 45 years after the entry into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and over a quarter century after the end of the Cold War, nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons continue to threaten the very survival of humanity and our ecosystem. The only foolproof way to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used by accident, miscalculation or design is through their complete and verified elimination.
On 30 November 2015 CNANW hosted an experts’ seminar entitled “Defining Steps for Canada in a Nuclear Weapons-Free World” focused on political and diplomatic opportunities for Canada to engage constructively and exhibit determined global leadership in the pursuit of a world free of nuclear weapons. The discussions addressed a broad range of legal, political, security, and verification questions―all founded on the recognition that Canada is uniquely positioned to effect a positive and substantive impact on the push for nuclear abolition.
Our network is calling for a fundamental shift in the security doctrines of some members of the international community—away from security arrangements that rely on nuclear deterrence, and in line with fundamental precepts of sustainable common security. The value of deterrence is far outweighed by the risk posed by any use of nuclear weapons and the catastrophic humanitarian consequences this would entail. The humanitarian imperative for nuclear disarmament should be the catalyst to launch a comprehensive process leading to the enactment of a legal framework for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
We welcome the support from the Liberal Party of Canada for the 2010 unanimous Parliamentary motion calling for a major Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of nuclear disarmament, and recall the pertinent questions you have personally raised in the House of Commons on this issue. We also note with gratitude the work being done by the Government of Canada on transparency and verification practices through its engagement in the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.
Taking into account the deliberations at our recent seminar, the Organizing Committee for the CNANW Nov. 30th Expert Seminar would like to bring to your attention the following recommendations. We call on the Government of Canada to:
1. Endorse the Humanitarian Pledge championed by the Government of Austria as a means of focusing international attention on the catastrophic humanitarian effects anticipated from any use of nuclear weapons, and energizing the global push for nuclear abolition.
2. Host a “Framework Forum” Meeting in the spring of 2016, organized in coordination with the Middle Powers Initiative, to enable focused preparation for the Open Ended Working Group established by the UN General Assembly to “substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”
3. Build political and diplomatic support for resolutions at the 2016 UN General Assembly calling for: a) the creation of a further Open-Ended Working Group with an actual mandate to negotiate a legal instrument to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, and b) the establishment of a subsidiary body to negotiate a ban on fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons.
4. Speak out against the modernization of nuclear weapons by existing Nuclear Weapons States.
5. Advocate within the NATO Alliance Council for the formulations of security policies that embrace sustainable, common security principles and do not rely on nuclear deterrence. As a key measure, Canada should urge for adherence to policy of no foreign basing of nuclear weapons.
6. Reinstate the past practice of hosting a Government-Civil Society Consultation on Arms Control and Nuclear Disarmament to enable a constructive, two-way open dialogue of pertinent issues. To this end we hereby request a meeting between you, Minister Dion, and a small delegation of CNANW representatives.
Above all, we call on the Government of Canada to work urgently with other nations to conclude a Nuclear Weapons Convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the world. We firmly believe it is in the best interest of every nation to move decisively toward the shared goal of nuclear abolition, and are convinced that Canada can and should play a leading role to this effect.
Thank you for your attention and actions in regard to these issues. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss them further with you at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely yours,

Beverley J. T. Delong Chairperson Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
c.c.:  The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada The Honourable Rona Ambrose, MP, Interim Leader of the Official Opposition The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada Elizabeth May, MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada Rhéal Fortin, Acting Leader of the Bloc Québécois

Annex 1
Members of the Organizing Committee for the Nov. 30th, 2015 Expert Seminar on “Defining Steps for Canada in a Nuclear Weapons-Free World”:
The Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., former Ambassador for Disarmament, Chairperson Emeritus,  Middle Powers Initiative Former Ambassador for Disarmament, Mr. Paul Meyer, Adjunct Professor, School for  International Studies, Simon Fraser University and Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation, Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C., Executive, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, co- founder, Project Ploughshares Ms. Debbie Grisdale, Member, Steering Committee, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear  Weapons Mr. Robin Collins, Board Member, World Federalist Movement – Canada Bev Delong, Chairperson, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

 

Advisers:  The Hon. Douglas Roche O.C.,  Chairperson Emeritus, Middle Powers Initiative;  Ms. Peggy Mason, and Mr. Paul Meyer, all three, former Ambassadors for Disarmament,  and Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C.

Member groups:  Les Artistes pour la paix, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, Canadian Federation of University Women, Canadian Peace Alliance / L’Alliance canadienne pour la paix, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Canadian Pugwash Group, Canadian Centre de Ressources sur la Non-Violence, The Group of 78, Physicians for Global Survival, Science for Peace, United Nations Association – Canada, World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP international link), World Federalist Movement – Canada.

Lettre à l’Honorable Stéphane Dion

 

Réseau canadien pour labolition des armes nucléaires

140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON   N2L 3G6
Tél.: (403) 282-8260  Copie : (403) 289-4272
Courriel :  bevdelong@shaw.ca

Le 10 décembre 2015

L’honorable Stéphane Dion, C.P., député
Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Commerce et Développement Canada
125 promenade Sussex

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2

Monsieur le ministre,

Objet : Recommandations au gouvernement du Canada en vue de progrès significatifs vers labolition des armements nucléaires.

Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires (RCAAN) tient d’abord à vous féliciter. Nous sommes une coalition d’organisations de la société civile de partout au pays qui travaillons à faire avancer la cause du désarmement nucléaire et à progresser vers un monde sans armement nucléaire — un objectif que le gouvernement du Canada a soutenu ouvertement et sans interruption. Nous vous souhaitons la bienvenue dans vos nouvelles responsabilités critiques et affirmons notre désir de collaborer de manière constructive à une politique étrangère qui, fondée sur des principes et guidée par des faits démontrés, serve au mieux les intérêts des Canadiens et de la communauté internationale,

Soixante-dix ans après la destruction d’Hiroshima et de Nagasaki, 45 ans après l’entrée en vigueur du traité de non-prolifération nucléaire et un quart de siècle après la fin de la guerre froide, près de 16 000 armes nucléaires continuent de menacer la survie même de l’humanité et de notre écosystème. La seule manière infaillible de nous assurer que les armements nucléaires ne seront pas utilisés par accident, par erreur de jugement ou à dessein est de viser leur élimination complète et vérifiable.

Le 30 novembre 2015, le RCAAN a accueilli un séminaire d’experts intitulé « Définir la trajectoire du Canada dans un monde libre d’armes nucléaires », particulièrement intéressé aux opportunités politiques et diplomatiques qui permettraient au Canada de s’engager constructivement et de démontrer un leadership mondial dans la recherche d’un monde libre d’armements nucléaires. Les discussions ont porté sur un large éventail de questions juridiques, politiques, de sécurité et de vérification — à partir du constat que le Canada occupe une place unique pour jouer un rôle positif substantiel dans l’effort vers l’abolition des armes nucléaires.

Notre réseau appelle à une réorientation fondamentale des doctrines de sécurité de certains membres de la communauté internationale — qui nous éloignerait des dispositifs sécuritaires fondés sur la dissuasion nucléaire et retrouverait le lien avec les préceptes fondamentaux d’une sécurité partagée durable. Le déséquilibre est immense entre la valeur de la dissuasion et les risques posés par une quelconque utilisation des armes nucléaires et les conséquences humanitaires catastrophiques qui y sont associées. L’impératif humanitaire du désarmement nucléaire devrait constituer le catalyseur d’un processus intégrateur menant à la promulgation d’un cadre juridique pour l’interdiction et l’élimination des armes nucléaires.

Nous reconnaissons l’appui du parti Libéral du Canada à la motion unanime du Parlement de 2010 appelant à déployer une importante initiative diplomatique canadienne en faveur du désarmement nucléaire, et nous souvenons des questions pertinentes que vous avez personnellement soulevées à la Chambre des Communes à cette occasion. Nous sommes également reconnaissants pour le travail accompli par le gouvernement du Canada relativement aux pratiques de transparence et de vérification au travers de son engagement dans le Partenariat international pour la vérification du désarmement nucléaire.

En prenant en compte les délibérations de notre récent séminaire, le Comité organisateur du séminaire d’experts du 30 novembre du RCAAN aimerait porter à votre attention les recommandations suivantes. Nous demandons au gouvernement canadien de :

1.  Endosser l’Engagement humanitaire mis de l’avant par le gouvernement de l’Autriche comme moyen pour attirer l’attention internationale sur les conséquences humanitaires catastrophiques associées à toute utilisation d’armement nucléaire, et pour énergiser la mobilisation mondiale pour l’abolition de ces armements.

2. Accueillir une assemblée « Forum cadre » au printemps 2016, organisée en coordination avec l’Initiative des puissances intermédiaires, pour permettre une préparation ciblée du groupe de travail à composition non limitée établi par l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies pour « étudier de manière substantielle des mesures, des dispositions et des normes juridiques concrètes, qui devront être promulguées pour atteindre et maintenir un monde sans armements nucléaires.»

3. Bâtir un appui politique et diplomatique pour des résolutions à présenter dans le cadre de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU de 2016 appelant à : a)  la création d’un nouveau groupe de travail à composition non limitée avec un mandat effectif de négocier un appareillage juridique visant à interdire et éliminer les armes nucléaires, et b) l’établissement d’un organisme subsidiaire visant à négocier une interdiction des matériaux fissiles destinés à l’armement nucléaire.

4. Prendre officiellement position contre la modernisation des armements nucléaires par les puissances nucléaires existantes.

5.  Faire des représentations au sein du conseil de l’OTAN pour la formulation de politiques de sécurité qui intègrent des principes communs et durables de sécurité et ne reposent pas sur la dissuasion nucléaire. Comme mesure clé, le Canada devrait faire pression en faveur de l’adhésion à une politique restreignant le déploiement d’armes nucléaires hors des territoires des puissances nucléaires.

6.  Remettre en vigueur la pratique passée de tenir des consultations entre le gouvernement et la société civile sur la non-prolifération et le désarmement nucléaire pour favoriser un dialogue constructif et ouvert sur des enjeux pertinents. À cette fin, nous demandons par la présente une rencontre entre vous, Monsieur le Ministre, et une petite délégation de représentants du RCAAN.

Par-dessus tout, nous appelons le gouvernement du Canada à collaborer de manière urgente avec les autres nations pour conclure une Convention sur les armes nucléaires qui établira un calendrier contraignant pour l’abolition de toutes les armes nucléaires dans le monde. Nous croyons fermement qu’il est dans le meilleur intérêt de toutes les nations de franchir des étapes décisives en vue de l’objectif partagé de l’abolition nucléaire, et sommes convaincus que le Canada peut et doit jouer un rôle prépondérant à cet égard.

Merci de votre attention et de la considération que vous accorderez à nos recommandations. Nous accueillerons avec plaisir l’occasion d’en discuter avec vous dès que vous en aurez la disponibilité.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Ministre, nos sincères salutations,

Beverley J. T. Delong
Présidente
Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

c.c.:      Le très honorable Justin Trudeau, premier ministre du Canada

L’honorable Rona Ambrose, députée, chef intérimaire de l’opposition officielle

L’honorable Thomas Mulcair, député, chef du nouveau parti démocratique du Canada

Elizabeth May, députée, chef du parti vert du Canada

Rhéal Fortin, chef intérimaire du Bloc Québécois

Annexe 1

Membres du Comité organisateur du Séminaire d’experts du 30 novembre 2015

« Définir la trajectoire du Canada dans un monde libre d’armes nucléaires »

L’hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., ancien ambassadeur pour le désarmement, président émérite, l’Initiative des puissances intermédiaires

Paul Meyer, ancien ambassadeur pour le désarmement, professeur auxiliaire, École des études internationales, Université Simon Fraser, et agrégé supérieur, la Fondation Simons

M. Ernie Regehr, O.C., directeur, Rassemblement canadien pour une convention sur les armes nucléaires et cofondateur, Projet Ploughshares

Ms. Debbie Grisdale, membre, comité directeur, Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

M. Robin Collins, membre du Conseil, Mouvement fédéraliste mondial – Canada

Bev Delong, présidente, Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

Conseillers : L’hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., président émérite, l’Initiative des puissances intermédiaires; Ms. Peggy Mason, et M. Paul Meyer, tous trois anciens ambassadeurs pour le désarmement, et M. Ernie Regehr, O.C.

Organisations membres : Les Artistes pour la paix, le Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire, la Fédération canadienne des femmes diplômées universitaires, Canadian Peace Alliance / L’Alliance canadienne pour la paix, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, Canadian Pugwash Group, Centre de Ressources sur la Non-Violence, le Groupe des 78,  Médecins pour la survie mondiale, Project Ploughshares, Science for Peace, l’Association pour les Nations-Unies – Canada, Conférence mondiale des religions pour la paix, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Canada, Mouvement fédéraliste mondial – Canada

Letter: Dion to Delong

A10918-2015 In reply to your correspondence of December 17, 2015
Letter of Honourable Stéphane Dion to Bev Delong.

Feb. 11, 2016

Ms. Beverley J. T. Delong
Chairperson
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
bevdelong@shaw.ca

Dear Ms. Delong:

Thank you for your correspondence of December 17, 2015, outlining the six primary recommendations arising from the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ (CNANW) Expert Seminar “Defining Steps for Canada in a Nuclear Weapons Free World” that took place in November 2015.

As you know, Canada remains committed to promoting international peace and security by working to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to encourage eventual nuclear weapons disarmament. Canada’s policy is rooted in its support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which remains the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. We are convinced that the establishment of a nuclear weapons convention without engaging the states that possess nuclear weapons will not bring us more quickly toward “global zero.” Instead, we are continuing to focus Canada’s efforts on practical, pragmatic work to bring us closer to a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard, Canada is working diligently to strengthen the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime through our leadership on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) and our engagement in the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification.

I considered carefully your first recommendation for Canada to endorse the Humanitarian Pledge. Canada recognizes the grave humanitarian consequences of a nuclear detonation; they are clear and beyond dispute. Accordingly, Canada has engaged actively and constructively in the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (HINW) dialogue, including through our participation in the three HINW conferences held to date in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna. It is our firm belief that these concerns should be a force that unites the international community and reinforces a common and unshakeable commitment to eliminate nuclear weapons. However, realistic progress toward nuclear disarmament can only be achieved if both strategic security and humanitarian principles are given due consideration, which the Humanitarian Pledge unfortunately does not recognize. Furthermore, attempts by some to steer the HINW discourse toward the immediate negotiation of a nuclear weapons ban or convention are unhelpful, because they also do not recognize that the political and security context is intimately linked to prospects for achieving progress on disarmament. Canada appreciates that this divergence of perspectives means that it will be all the more important to try to reframe this dialogue with some new language and fresh thinking. Canada will remain committed to continuing and contributing to the HINW dialogue as it relates to nuclear disarmament by working to ensure that the political and security context is taken into account and that the dialogue remains inclusive and constructive.

You have also recommended that Canada host a “Framework Forum” meeting to prepare for the upcoming Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to “substantively address concrete effective legal measures, legal provisions and norms that will need to be concluded to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.” I am pleased to report that departmental officials will shortly be in contact with representatives from the Middle Powers Initiative to discuss options for such a meeting to occur in Geneva this spring. The CNANW will be kept abreast of all developments in relation to this meeting.

Your third recommendation is for Canada to begin building support for specific action on disarmament and the FMCT at the 2016 UN General Assembly. We are always looking for concrete and practical ways to advance nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts in the UN General Assembly. In 2012, Canada led a successful resolution creating the Group of Governmental Experts to examine aspects of treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, which surpassed expectations by producing a robust consensus report on the topic in April 2015. We subsequently introduced another FMCT resolution in the fall of 2015 that garnered the support of 179 countries. We are currently focussed on building on this momentum to initiate FMCT negotiations this year. Once the outcomes of these efforts, and of the upcoming OEWG, become clear, we will be better placed to determine the best course of action at the UN General Assembly in 2016.

As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Canada contributes to peace and stability in the international security environment, while creating conditions for a world without nuclear weapons in accordance with the goals of the NPT. Canada was an active participant in the development of the NATO Strategic Concept in 2010, as well as the Defence and Deterrence Posture Review in 2012. In the current international security context, we continue to believe that these documents effectively balance our long‑term policy objectives of nuclear disarmament with our collective defence responsibilities as a NATO member. In response to your fourth and fifth recommendations relating to advocacy within NATO and with nuclear‑weapon states (NWS), I can assure you that Canada continues to work actively with allies and partners in NATO, the UN, the G7, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Security Summit, and the Conference on Disarmament to ensure that all NATO and NWS fulfil their NPT obligations, and that our allies continue to pursue nuclear disarmament in a way that enhances our collective security.

Regarding your sixth recommendation, constructive dialogue with civil society is not only a component of the mandate letter I received from the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but also a personal priority. As such, Global Affairs Canada is currently exploring ways to better engage with civil society, as well as other stakeholders in our community, in an open and transparent way. As part of this process, we will consider your recommendation for renewing the Government consultation with civil society on arms control and nuclear disarmament.

Thank you for your continued interest in these important issues.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs

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; français
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

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons – September 26
In recognition of this first ever “International Day” we have organized letters to the Prime Minister calling for Canada to engage in negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention. The Letter on Legal Issues is endorsed by four former Ambassadors of Disarmament and Professors of Law and Political Science. The second Letter is endorsed by 21 Canadian civil society groups.

Letter on Legal Issues, September 25, 2014: [.doc english] [.doc français]

Letter to the Prime Minister: Negotiating a Nuclear Weapons Convention,
September 26, 2014
[.doc english][.doc francais]

Progress Towards Nuclear Disarmament? [.doc]
Summary of CNANW Meeting, May 2014
[.doc]

DiplomatTable