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

CNANW home page

What We Do

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was established in 1996 by representatives of national organizations that share the conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and should be abolished. We believe that Canada should lead in working for their early abolition. CNANW’s nineteen member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace and women’s organizations — all of whom work in various ways for nuclear abolition.  Read more …


CNANW Conference Participants September 25, 2017, Ottawa

Recent articles and correspondence

  • Letter to P.M. Justin Trudeau, Nov 9, 2018: Making Nuclear Crisis De-escalation and Persistent and Intensified Disarmament Diplomacy a National Priority  [Letter en/fr | pdf]  [Media Release en/fr | pdf]
  • Hon. Douglas Roche: The Moral, Spiritual, Legal, Practical Response to Humanity’s Greatest Threat: Nuclear Weapons, Address at Parliament of the World’s Religions, Nov 5, 2018 [docx]
  • Letter to Prime Minister on Canadian Leadership, 11 Sep 2018: [en/fr | pdf]
  • CNWC Letter to Minister Freeland regarding INF Treaty, endorsed by CNANW [fr | html]  [en | html]
  • “Canadian Leadership on Nuclear Disarmament” workshop: rapporteur’s report
  • Statement by nine Canadian NGOs regarding July NATO Summit, May 2018 [pdf]
  • Roche: Canadian Action for Nuclear Disarmament, May 30 2018 [docx]
  • CNANW Letter to Minister Freeland re 2018 NPT PrepCom: [en | docx] [fr | docx]
  • CNANW September 2017 Conference — Energizing Action By Canada
  • CALL to SIGN Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: [html]
  • Divesting from Companies Producing Nuclear Weapons: Resources Page

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; 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

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 francais]

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

 

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

Powerpoint

These are PowerPoint format files:

  1. Abolition Primer
  2. Requirements for abolition
  3. Good News (Momentum)
  4. Disarmament presentation (.ppt or .key)
  5. Weapon-useable fissile material, by Annette Schaper (zipped file)
  6. Nuclear Weapons 101 (zipped file)
  7. Nuclear Weapons Basics, Level 2 (zipped file)
  8. UN Disarmament Presentation: Peace and Security Through Disarmament

“A presentation highlighting a broad range of multilateral disarmament issues and the initiatives undertaken by the international community. The presentation also includes a timeline of arms regulation treaties and a map of agreed nuclear-weapons free zones.  The imbalance of global expenditures on military compare to a host of world social and environmental problems were also shown. The first presentation provides a general view of disarmament while the second presentation provides a more in-depth introduction to disarmament.”

Douglas Roche: UN Meeting Offers Chance for Disarmament Progress

This op-ed originally appeared in Embassy magazine, September 11, 2013
http://www.embassynews.ca/



UN Meeting Offers Chance for Disarmament Progress

EMBASSY, Wednesday, September 11, 2013
DOUGLAS ROCHE

An unprecedented high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament will be held at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 26.

For the first time in the 68-year history of the UN, heads of government or at least foreign ministers will devote their attention to “the complete elimination of nuclear weapons” as “essential to remove the danger of nuclear war.”

Though the UN resolution setting up the meeting was adopted nearly unanimously, the United States, United Kingdom and France abstained (Russia and China voted yes). Given this lack of enthusiasm by the three Western nuclear powers, what is this special meeting likely to achieve?

With world attention riveted on Syria, nuclear disarmament does not rate high in polls of public concerns. But as Syria showed with the actual use of chemical weapons, public outrage will skyrocket if an aggressor ever launches a nuclear device of some sort. Every informed observer knows that the only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is the complete elimination of all 17,000 of such weapons still remaining.

While the international spotlight has been on Iran’s nuclear program and North Korea’s testing of nuclear weapons, the heart of the nuclear weapons problem remains the intransigence of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the same five original members of the nuclear weapons club, who each possess a veto and who could not agree on Syria.

Even though calls for nuclear disarmament escalated through the years, the nuclear weapons states have consistently dodged any real efforts for nuclear disarmament. This year alone, they boycotted a Norway government conference attended by 127 states on the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of the use of nuclear weapons, and ignored three special inter-government meetings in Geneva called to do preparatory work for negotiating the end of nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia have engaged in bilateral rounds of reductions, but the trumpeting of lower numbers has masked their continued modernization of warheads, delivery systems and infrastructure. The 2013 Yearbook of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states that the nuclear weapons powers, which continue to deploy new nuclear weapons and delivery systems, “appear determined to retain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely.”

A double standard has deeply conflicted NATO, which continues to claim that the possession of nuclear weapons provides the “supreme guarantee” of the security of its 26 member states. At one and the same time, the NATO states reaffirm their commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty goal of nuclear disarmament and their NATO dependence on nuclear weapons.

The policies are incoherent. The US, UK and France drive NATO and have made it the world’s biggest nuclear-armed alliance. The continued deployment of US tactical nuclear bombs on the soil of Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey, though resisted by growing numbers of people in those countries, is a standing provocation to Russia, which is consequently disinclined to lower its own huge numbers of tactical nuclear weapons. Russia is unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons while it is virtually surrounded by an expanding NATO.

US-Russia bilateral negotiations for deeper cuts are stalled over such issues as the US’s proposed missile defence system in Europe, the militarization of space, and the US intention to militarily dominate air, land, sea, space and cyberwarfare. Nuclear disarmament is inevitably caught up in geopolitical tensions. US President Barack Obama, who in 2009 convened the first Security Council meeting devoted to the issue, has tried to move nuclear disarmament forward, but received little support from his allies.

Maybe the nuclear powers won’t do much at the extraordinary meeting on Sept. 26, but this is definitely an opportunity for non-nuclear weapons states to make their views heard. They should demand that the long-awaited Middle East conference on removing all weapons of mass destruction from the region take place. Had this preventive diplomacy action been taken in a timely manner, the Syrian crisis might never have erupted.

In 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested that the international community start work on a nuclear weapons convention or a framework of instruments to achieve a nuclear weapons-free world. This work would amount to a global legal ban on all nuclear weapons.

This brings us to Canada’s role at the Sept. 26 meeting. In 2010, both the Senate and the House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion calling on the government of Canada to support Ban Ki-moon’s proposals and to launch “a major worldwide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.”

This Parliamentary action was spurred by a campaign by members of the Order of Canada, now numbering 700, who signed an appeal for the government to act on building a global ban on nuclear weapons. Many parliamentarians and Order of Canada members have united in calling on Canada to host a meeting in Ottawa of like-minded states to push this work forward. The Middle Powers Initiative, a civil society organization working with middle power states on this issue, convened such a meeting in Berlin earlier this year.

Canada has an opportunity on Sept. 26 to make an important contribution to the verified elimination of nuclear weapons, before the world experiences another crisis over weapons of mass destruction. It should be remembered that Foreign Minister John Baird was, at the time, the government house leader who pushed through Parliament the unanimous motion calling for action.

Former Senator Douglas Roche, author of How We Stopped Loving the Bomb, is working on a new book on world peace issues, to be published in early 2014. editor@embassynews.ca

 

Brief history of International Humanitarian Law, Nuclear Weapons, and the Canadian Government

At the 2010 Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the delegates agreed on text considered somewhat progressive that read as follows:

“v. The Conference expresses its deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian  consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and reaffirms the need for all States at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law.”

Information on the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) rules can be found at the International Committee of the Red Cross website www.icrc.org) and are summarized in Appendix A.

In February, 2011, the Vancouver Declaration was developed with the input of a conference in Vancouver, Canada, organized by The Simons Foundation and the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms. Signed by eminent experts in international law and diplomacy, the Vancouver Declaration affirms that nuclear weapons are incompatible with international humanitarian law, the law stating what is universally prohibited in warfare. The declaration observes that with their uncontrollable blast, heat, and radiation effects, nuclear weapons are indeed weapons of mass destruction that by their nature cannot comply with fundamental rules forbidding the infliction of indiscriminate and disproportionate harm. ….[T]he declaration concludes by calling on states to commence and conclude negotiations on the global prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons as mandated by the legal obligation unanimously proclaimed by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1996. An annex to the declaration specifying  the applicable law states: “It cannot be lawful to continue indefinitely to possess weapons which are unlawful to use or threaten to use, are already banned for most states, and are subject to an obligation of elimination.” (Excerpted from Media Release from the conference.)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Council of Delegates Resolution 1 of 2011 regarding nuclear weapons:

In 2011, the ICRC Council of Delegates passed an historic Resolution 1 calling for action on nuclear weapons. The Council’s resolution:

“1. emphasizes the incalculable human suffering that can be expected to result from any use of nuclear weapons, the lack of any adequate humanitarian response capacity and the absolute imperative to prevent such use;

  1. finds it difficult to envisage how any use of nuclear weapons could be compatible with the rules of international humanitarian law, in particular the rules of distinction, precaution and proportionality;
  2. appeals to all States:
    • to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used, regardless of their views on the legality of such weapons,
    • -to pursue in good faith and conclude with urgency and determination negotiations to prohibit the use of and completely eliminate nuclear weapons through a legally binding international agreement, based on existing commitments and international obligations,…”

Norway then decided to hold a conference in 2013 on the Impact of Humanitarian Law on Nucleqr Weapons. Many states, including Canada, attended. We have not as yet been provided with a copy of Canada’s statement at that meeting.

In the ICRC news release published just prior to the Oslo conference, they commented:

“The sheer number of people likely to be in need of help would be enormous. The challenges involved in bringing relief to survivors in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion would be immense,” said ICRC President Peter Maurer. “To name only a few, humanitarian agencies would need to organize the triage, treatment and possible decontamination of very large numbers of injured victims, many of them severely burned, and their transfer out of affected areas. There would also be significant concerns about the safety of those providing assistance and the risk associated with their exposure to ionizing radiation.”

These points were raised in a study of the ICRC’s capacity, and that of other agencies, to assist victims of nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical weapons. The study concluded that it is highly unlikely that the massive investments required to expand the capability to provide effective relief would ever be made and, if they nevertheless were made, they would likely remain inadequate. This finding should not, however, discourage efforts to meet the challenges and to be in a position to provide as much assistance as possible.

The  ICRC’s Information Note is a major statement on absence of assistance should such a disaster occur.

Online you can find the Chairperson’s summary of the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons (conference), Oslo, 4 – 5 March 2013 wherein these “key points can be discerned”:

  • It is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected. Moreover, it might not be possible to establish such capacities, even if it were attempted.
  • The historical experience from the use and testing of nuclear weapons has demonstrated their devastating immediate and long-term effects. While political circumstances have changed, the destructive potential of nuclear weapons remains.
  • The effects of a nuclear weapon detonation, irrespective of cause, will not be constrained by national borders, and will affect states and people in significant ways, regionally as well as globally.

South Africa has been working since the Oslo Conference to build consensus on a summary statement on IHL and Nuclear weapons. Their statement was read April 24, 2013 in the NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in Geneva. Eighty countries supported the statement but not Canada. However discouraging this might be, it is important to note that Canada did comment on IHL and nuclear weapons in two other statements.

As a member of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, Canada’s views were part of a statement by that group presented by the Netherlands in this speech which included these comments:

“The members of the NPDI participated in the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Weapons that took place in Oslo, Norway on March 4th and 5th 2013. The NPDI remains deeply the risk for humanity represented by the possibility that nuclear weapons could be used and by catastrophic humanitarian consequences that would result from their use. The discussions at the Conference illustrated once more the devastating immediate and long-term humanitarian weapon detonation. We welcome the offer of Mexico to convene a follow-up conference on this issue.”

And then again at the NPT  on April 25th, Amb. Golberg’s statement on behalf of Canada during the Cluster One debates included these comments:

“Canada shares the concern expressed in South Africa’s earlier statement about the humanitarian consequences that would result from the use of nuclear weapons. Canada welcomed the March 2013 conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held Oslo, as an opportunity for valuable fact-based discussions on these consequences and on humanitarian preparedness for a nuclear weapons detonation. We welcome the offer of Mexico to convene a follow-up conference on this issue.”

Bev Delong
June 11,  2013

Appendix A.

Nuclear Weapons and Compliance with International Humanitarian Law and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Charles J. Moxley Jr.,* John Burroughs,** and Jonathan Granoff

Excerpted from FORDHAM INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL [Vol. 34:595]

 

  1. Summary of the Main Rules of International Humanitarian Law

Applicable to Nuclear Weapons

The following is a summary of key rules of IHL applicable to nuclear and other weapons.

            The rule of distinction/discrimination prohibits the use of a weapon that cannot discriminate in its effects between military targets and noncombatant persons and objects. It is unlawful to

use weapons whose effects are incapable of being controlled and therefore cannot be directed against a military target. If the state cannot maintain such control over the weapon, it cannot ensure that such use will comply with the rule of discrimination and may not lawfully use the weapon.

The rule of proportionality prohibits the use of a weapon whose potential collateral effects upon noncombatant persons or objects would likely be disproportionate to the value of the

military advantage anticipated by the attack. The rule of proportionality requires that a state using a weapon be able to control the effects of the weapon. If the state cannot control such effects, it cannot ensure that the collateral effects of the attack will be proportional to the anticipated military advantage.

The rule of necessity provides that a state may only use such a level of force as is necessary to achieve the military objective of the particular strike. Any additional level of force is unlawful.

            The corollary rule of controllability provides that a state may not use a weapon if its effects cannot be controlled because, in such circumstances, it would be unable to believe that the particular use of the weapon would comply with the rules of distinction, proportionality, or necessity.

International law on reprisals provides, at a minimum, that a state may not engage in even limited violations of the law of armed conflict in response to an adversary’s violation of such law,

unless such acts of reprisal would meet requirements of necessity and proportionality and be solely intended to compel the adversary to adhere to the law of armed conflict. The reprisal must be necessary to achieve that purpose and proportionate to the violation against which it is directed. These requirements of necessity and proportionality for a lawful reprisal are analogous to the requirements of necessity and proportionality (discussed immediately below) for the lawful exercise of the right of self-defense.

A state’s right of self-defense is subject to requirements of necessity and proportionality under customary international law and the Charter of the United Nations. A state’s use of force in

the exercise of self-defense is also subject to the requirements of IHL, including the requirements of distinction, proportionality and necessity, and the corollary requirement of controllability.

            International law as to individual and command liability provides that military, government, and even private industrial personnel are subject to criminal conviction for violation of the

law of armed conflict if they knowingly or recklessly participate in or have supervisory responsibility over violators of the law of armed conflict. Such potential criminal liability of commanders extends not only to what the commanders knew but also to what they “should have known” concerning the violation of law.

Documents

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.

Dallaire in Senate Hansard: May 17, 2012

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May 17, 2012 Canadian Senate Hansard
ORDERS OF THE DAY
Criminal Code
Bill to Amend—Second Reading

On the Order:
Resuming debate on the motion of the Honourable Senator Andreychuk, seconded by the Honourable Senator Tkachuk, for the second reading of Bill S-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code.

Hon. Roméo Antonius Dallaire: Honourable senators, yes indeed, you are going to have to put up with me for another 45 minutes, but I will try to do as my friends in the U.S. Marines taught me.
[English]

I will try to power talk my way through this and curtail my time.
Honourable senators, Bill S-9 concerns nuclear terrorism. In the 1970s when I was serving, Canada still had the capability of delivering nuclear weapons. By that time we had gotten rid of the missiles we had and we were based on gun systems. In my duties within NATO, I had the capability of ultimately being able to deliver nuclear weapons.

Some of the tactical nuclear weapons that I speak of are the size of a grapefruit and can take out half of Toronto. There are still close to 27,000 of those weapons out there today, and those are the small ones, the tactical ones. Therefore, there is an urgency and a concern that in fact the international community does its best to ensure that nuclear capabilities do not fall into the wrong hands.

Bill S-9 on nuclear terrorism is a bill that I certainly support. Let me provide some of the surrounding material to the argument in support of this bill.
The bill is entitled An Act to amend the Criminal Code to combat nuclear terrorism. My objective today is to outline a number of elements within the legislation itself, as well as a series of concerns that I have with Canada’s anti-nuclear efforts. I want to describe how Bill S-9 fits into those efforts and finally discuss questions that need further study in committee.
Nuclear weapons are the most extreme massive violation of human rights imaginable. They are a violation of our human right to security, to peace in the world. These terrible weapons of mass destruction not only threaten us as a species, but they threaten our humanity as well.

Why worry about an oil spill or a plastic bag when we actually have the capability of wiping out the planet completely?

Honourable senators, there is simply no other issue of equal or greater importance, significance, danger or threat than that of a nuclear weapon to Canadians and to global security.

Honourable senators, nuclear weapons are absolutely and totally useless weapons

[Translation]
I would like to express my support for what Senator Andreychuk said when she proposed these amendments on March 27, 2012, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson. These amendments will update Canada’s penalties for activities related to nuclear terrorism and will enable Canada to implement in full two major international agreements on the fight against nuclear terrorism.
This is in accordance with Amendment to the CPPNM regarding criminalization and constitutes a national law that would enable Canada to ratify the ICSANT. This is an important symbolic measure that brings Canada into step with its international partners.

Canada is committed to participating in international efforts to fight nuclear terrorism. We are one of the states parties to the 1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the CPPNM, which establishes measures related to the prevention, detection and punishment of offences related to nuclear material.

Canada has also signed the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, ICSANT, which covers a broad range of criminal acts and stipulates how those who commit nuclear terrorism offences are to be treated.
Canada’s Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Nuclear Security Regulations fulfill the physical protection requirements set out in the 2005 Amendment to the CPPNM, but criminalization measures are not yet in place.

Bill S-9 would amend the Criminal Code to create four new offences.
Possessing or trafficking in nuclear or radioactive material or devices would be illegal. Anyone found guilty of this serious offence would be liable to imprisonment for life.

Anyone found guilty of using or altering nuclear or radioactive material or devices or committing an act against a nuclear facility would be guilty of an indictable offence and would be liable to imprisonment for life.

Anyone committing an indictable offence with the intent to obtain nuclear or radioactive material or a device or to obtain access to or control of a nuclear facility would be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

Lastly, anyone threatening to commit any of these offences would be guilty of threatening and liable to imprisonment for up to 14 years.
These penalties are in line with the international agreements we signed.
[English]

This bill can be seen as a tool to close legal loopholes when it comes to the prosecution of those carrying out activities related to nuclear terrorism. Through the extraterritorial jurisdiction approach, it extends the reach of Canadian law where prosecution may have previously occurred in a legal vacuum. It also provides for extradition in the case of nuclear terrorism without the need for pre-existing bilateral agreements.

If we are to leave this planet a better place for those who succeed us, then we must take nuclear weapons far more seriously into the forefront, and we must struggle with every effort that we can muster to keep our planet free of their use.

Bill S-9 is the result of one such effort, but it is certainly not enough. Though perhaps Canadians feel unthreatened by the prospect of nuclear terrorism, I must stress that theft of weapons-grade material and components is not just possible, it is happening. Some of the world’s estimated 2,100 tonnes of plutonium and highly enriched uranium are kept in poorly guarded buildings, and there have been 18 known attempted thefts since 1993. These are the materials essential for creating the nuclear weapons.

Matthew Bunn, an eminent scholar at Harvard University and a former White House adviser in the Office of Science and Technology Policy says that the al Qaeda terrorist network has made repeated attempts to buy stolen nuclear material in order to make a nuclear bomb. They have tried to recruit nuclear weapons scientists, including two extremist Pakistani nuclear weapons scientists, who met with Osama bin Laden shortly before the 9/11 attacks to discuss nuclear weapons. Nuclear terrorism, Bunn says, remains a real and urgent threat. The way to respond is through international cooperation, not confrontation and certainly not war.

Responding to these new threats, the UN Security Council, in 2004, adopted Resolution 1540, binding all states to enforce measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and their means of delivery. A nuclear weapon on the back of a truck may not necessarily be the most effective delivery means, but in downtown Toronto, it could still achieve its aim.

However, the resolution requires complex implementation mechanisms that reduce confidence in its effectiveness. When President Obama convened the Security Council in 2009 to tighten up the non-proliferation regime, Resolution 1887 on non-proliferation was unanimously adopted. While that resolution called for the enforcement of strict controls on nuclear material to prevent it from falling into dangerous hands, it also underlined the right of states to pursue peaceful nuclear energy under the IAEA supervision, so nuclear power is certainly acceptable and within the context of the use of nuclear material.

Unfortunately, all it could do was urge states to curb the export of nuclear-related material to countries that had terminated their compliance with agency safeguard agreements. Since fewer than half of the world’s governments have signed on to the tougher IAEA inspection program known as the additional protocol, the checkpoints on nuclear materials are full of holes.

This perilous state of affairs prompted the Obama administration to convene the Washington Nuclear Security Summit in April 2010, a conference that would be succeeded by the Seoul conference in 2012. There, 47 heads of government, including of course Canada’s and including those of India, Pakistan and Israel, where the fear of terrorism is constant, pledged to prevent the theft of fissile material by securing stockpiles within four years. That was the plan.

With this commitment, the chances are better that at least states possessing civilian nuclear sites, many of which lack even standard military protections like barbed wire and checkpoints, will invest in proper security measures, such as fuel vaults, motion detectors and central alarms.

Most importantly, the leaders left the summit with a new resolve to beef up the 30-year-old Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and to tighten security measures around the world. Canada is attempting to achieve that in this bill.

[Translation]
A “new nuclear order” is needed to confirm the symbiotic relationship between the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament. Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, and President Obama have tried to lead the way to a nuclear-free world. However, many important countries, including Canada, hesitate to follow their lead and appear to be afraid to embrace the bold measures needed to truly rid the world of nuclear weapons.

In the hope that modest measures will be enough to stave off nuclear disaster, these countries are resisting the historic movement that would put an end, once and for all, to the proliferation of weapons that poses a problem for all peoples.

[English]
I will bring to honourable senators’ attention a bit of history. In 1957, in the little village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia, a gentleman called Cyrus Eaton, who made his millions in the United States but came back to use them in Canada, put together a group of 20 nuclear physicists, including the Russians, at the height of the Cold War. Together they commenced the process of ultimately creating an atmosphere for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

The Pugwash movement, of which I have been the patron, continues still today. It meets internationally, and Pugwash, Nova Scotia, remains the heart of that overall anti-nuclear movement.

[Translation]
Quite an impressive achievement for a fisherman!

The international community has voiced its concerns about the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and again stated that all countries must obey international humanitarian law.

In fact, the 2010 Review Conference, tasked with reviewing the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty, added to the world’s agenda consideration of negotiations toward a nuclear weapons treaty to strengthen the instruments. For the first time, the concept of an international ban on all nuclear weapons was validated. That was a first step.

However, progress is hindered by modernization programs of countries with nuclear weapons, countries that have retained their military doctrine of nuclear deterrence as a means of exercising their authority. Moving forward with some reductions would be beneficial; eliminating all weapons would not, at least not at this time.

[English]
It is interesting that since the end of the Cold War, when we sought the peace dividend and reduced our conventional military capabilities and the start of a disarmament program was commenced, up to this day, the developed countries that possessed nuclear weapons have invested over $800 billion in modernizing them. That is at a time when we do not need them anymore, certainly not under the context of the history of why they were created in the first place. We have not put $800 billion into environmental protections, but we have put $800 billion into how to wipe out the planet and humanity along with it.

[Translation]
The nuclear powers say that, as long as nuclear weapons exist, they will have to keep their arsenals. According to the convoluted logic that led to the historic nuclear arms race during the Cold War, as we have seen, the degree of security these weapons bring always depends on their use.
[English]

The idea of zero nuclear weapons is considered but a dream. The powerful defenders of nuclear weapons act as if not possessing nuclear weapons would be an unbearable deprivation. This continued obstinacy has created a new crisis for humanity because failure to seize this moment to start comprehensive negotiations will lead to the further spread and possible use of nuclear weapon.

More people have them; more idiots are there to use them.

Both the opportunity and the crisis point to an inescapable fact of life in the 21st century: A two-class world in which the powerful aggrandize unto themselves nuclear weapons while proscribing their acquisition by other states is not sustainable. This is certainly not leadership by example. “I need mine and they have to be better and more improved. You do not do not need yours and you have no reason to acquire them.” It is not particularly logical.

We face the danger of the proliferation nuclear weapons because the powerful nuclear states have not used their authority to build a world law outlawing all nuclear weapons. They can do that. They own them, they lead in it and they could actually stop it. Whether their industries are prepared to support their politicians certainly still remains up in the air today.

Yet there is hope that a way can be found to move forward together. The 2010 consensus NPT final document stated:

The Conference calls on all nuclear-weapon States to undertake concrete disarmament efforts and affirms that all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.

It is a major step in the efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. All states — the strong and weak, the rich and poor — stand on common ground. The global need to reduce nuclear dangers by making it unlawful for anyone to use, deploy, produce or proliferate nuclear weapons is there for us to make and subsequently apply.

In short, the problem of nuclear terrorism cannot be seen in isolation. It is but one facet, albeit important and not insignificant, of the overall problem of nuclear weapons. This fact was recognized by 550 distinguished members of the Order of Canada who have called on the Government of Canada to support the UN Secretary-General’s five-point plan for nuclear disarmament, which includes starting negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.

This action led to a motion unanimously adopted by the Senate on June 2, 2010, and also adopted unanimously in the House of Commons on December 7, 2010. It called for the government to initiate a major diplomatic initiative on nuclear disarmament. So far, the government has not acted on this unprecedented motion. This is the moment for Canada to show that it cares about nuclear disarmament. Its parliamentarians have unanimously requested it to do so.

[Translation]
The Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism are just two of Canada’s many commitments to support efforts against nuclear terrorism, and we commend our country for that. Other government resolutions and international agreements in which Canada participates, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, emphasize the importance of member states helping each other keep their commitments.

This involves offering support in the way of information sharing, technical cooperation, such as mutual support during investigations and extradition proceedings, and other forms of direct intervention.

There is very little information about how Canada contributes. Further to the Nuclear Security Summit, which was held in Seoul in 2012, Canada announced that it was going to cooperate with the United States to support Mexico by replacing its highly enriched uranium research reactors with ones that run on low-enriched uranium. Unfortunately, few other specific projects have been announced and no resources have been allocated.

The obligations resulting from these agreements and Canada’s lack of progress show the potential and importance of Bill S-9. It also reminds us of how far we still have to go. We have taken a fundamental step; now, we just have to continue moving forward.

The measures taken to incorporate these agreements into Canada’s legislative framework are very important; however, they represent only one aspect of Canada’s overall commitment in the fight for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
There are still important questions remaining with regard to Canada’s commitments overseas. How will the $367 million, which was announced after the summit in Seoul and set aside by Canada under the Global Partnership Program, be spent? To date, this budget has been used to fund programs designed to secure nuclear materials, technology and knowledge in countries of the former Soviet Union. What are the future budget priorities? What projects funded in other areas of the world have to do not only with nuclear materials but also with nuclear weapons? These questions need to be answered. And we can help answer them, since our country is part of the solution.
[English]

We know, for instance, that support for starting work on the nuclear weapons convention, which would be a legal ban of all nuclear weapons, is widespread. More than three quarters of the countries of the world have voted for a United Nations resolution calling for the commencement of negotiations leading to the conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention. Support comes from across the geopolitical spectrum, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and parts of Europe, and includes support from some countries possessing nuclear weapons, which include China, India, Pakistan and, yes, even North Korea.

In fact, the international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons has noted that nations that support a ban make up 81 per cent of the world’s population, and who do honourable senators think are the targets of these nuclear weapons? There are no more huge armies deployed in the field. The targets are civilian targets. The targets are our cities, our populations and our resources.

More support is coming from such important groups as the InterAction Council, comprised of 20 former heads of state from key countries, including the United States, Canada, Norway, Germany, Japan and Mexico, and a December 2011 summit of leaders of Latin America and Caribbean states.

The ball is moving slowly. Despite the growing support for a treaty, many major states are still unwilling to enter such negotiations. To overcome this obstacle, a practical action would be a core group of countries starting an informal process to start building the framework for a nuclear weapons-free world. This could include preparatory work on some of the elements of a framework, such asverification, national prohibition, exploring what we would be required to ensure, compliance with a global ban, advancing alternative security frameworks to nuclear deterrence, and further refining the model nuclear weapons convention to make it into a realistic working draft for actual negotiations. Such work would pave the way for eventual formal negotiations. It would be a continuum of the great initiative by Cyrus Eaton in Pugwash, for which the Nobel Peace Prize was given in 1995 and sits there in Pugwash.

This could be complemented by actions by like-minded states to build political momentum for such negotiations through advocacy at the highest level, that is, head of state, or through establishing a full-scale international diplomatic conference, as called for by numerous commissions in the past.

Honourable senators, we have stood up time and again to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to a nuclear-free world, yet we feel the tension of being a part of NATO, an organization predicated on the possession of these weapons and their potential use. We are really quite bicéphale about it. We establish rules to protect our uranium and nuclear device components, but we do not seriously ask how we can create a framework for cooperating on ridding ourselves of them. We fight tooth and nail to hold on to what we have and punish those who try to take it away from us. However, we do not ask ourselves how we can one day reach a world where those same people do not need, through their rage, to take anything from us in that fashion. That is a world we ought to make. That is a world we ought to leave behind. That is a world in which Canada could be a leader.

Bill S-9 is a small step in Canada’s efforts to ridding the world of a nuclear threat. By filling the legal vacuum in which prosecution of these crimes might have taken place, we not only take an important symbolic step forward in the anti-nuclear commitments, but we empower our country with essential new jurisdictional and punitive powers.

I propose, however, that we discuss how this legislation fits into the broader stance Canada has taken and needs to take against nuclear weapons.

Our international commitments, some universally adopted and many reaffirmed by this Senate, hold us to a higher standard. It was only two years ago that this Senate unanimously passed a motion in support of a statement on nuclear disarmament by a group of recipients of the Order of Canada. The time has come once more to study and reflect on what we must do to see that commitment through. The time is now to explore how we can best continue to implement Security Council Resolution 1540, which holds us to assisting other member states with their disarmament and non-proliferation commitments.

We must continue to explore how we can continue to promote peaceful uses of nuclear energy through our partners at the Nuclear Energy Agency, the OECD and the IAEA. We owe it to ourselves to take these challenges to the Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism and continue to ask questions and continue to act.

As nuclear weapons remain one of the only true existential threats to our species, we must always be vigilant and we must always be proactive.

I have stood before you, honourable senators, not only to speak of our successes but also of our failures and our challenges. With each step, we must reflect on the questions, holes and obstacles that still remain in ridding us of what is essentially and fundamentally an absolutely useless weapons system and a threat to our human right to security on this globe. Thank you very much.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Are honourable senators ready for the question?
Some Hon. Senators: Question.

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Is it your pleasure, honourable senators, to adopt the motion?

(Motion agreed to and bill read second time.)
Referred to Committee

The Hon. the Speaker pro tempore: Honourable senators, when shall this bill be read the third time?

(On motion of Senator Andreychuk, bill referred to the Special Senate Committee on Anti-terrorism.)

 

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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

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