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

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

Letter to Minister Bill Graham, January 2003

January 23, 2003

The Honourable Bill Graham,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G4

Dear Mr. Graham,
Re: Canada’s policies with respect to nuclear weapons

We are very grateful that Canada cast a favourable vote at the UN on the New Agenda Group resolution. We are aware that this is a result of your knowledge of, and principled leadership on this issue. This vote is consistent with Canada’s undertakings and statements at the NPT May 2002 Review Conference and within the Conference on Disarmament.

Please be advised that we have requested an explanation of vote from other NATO states.

We write now to express our deep concern with regards to recent nuclear weapons developments, and the current unravelling of the international legal infrastructure relating to nuclear disarmament and abolition. Recent events such as the setbacks with the CTBT, the ABM Treaty, the proposals with respect to missile defence and weaponization of space, the suggestion of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states and the funding for developments of mini-nukes make us fear that we are moving more surely toward nuclear war than to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Rarely in recent years has our objective seemed more important, or the achievement of our goal more remote.

We request that Canada’s commitment to nuclear weapons abolition be specifically reaffirmed in the upcoming Foreign Policy Review.

We are particularly concerned with the failure of NATO governments to address, let alone reconcile the glaring contradiction between their “unequivocal undertaking” to abolish nuclear weapons under the NPT, and NATO’s policy that nuclear weapons remain essential for the foreseeable future. We are asking the Canadian government to make every effort to urgently resolve this contradiction in a manner that is wholly consistent with our obligations under the NPT and the undertakings related thereto.

Knowing the immense capacity of nuclear weapons to cause destruction, we are further proposing that this problem be addressed by the SCFAIT. More specifically, we propose that the Committee examine:

a) progress in implementing those recommendations accepted by the Government from the SCFAIT Report entitled “Canada and the Nuclear Challenge”, December 1998; and

b) Canadian progress, and progress within NATO, in implementing the “13 Practical Steps” agreed upon in the Final Agreement of the May 2000 NPT Review Conference.

Representatives of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons held meetings about this NATO-NPT contradiction with MPs Irwin Cotler, Stockwell Day and Bernard Patry on October 31st. Mr Day and Prof. Cotler were both supportive of our proposal that the SCFAIT address this NATO-NPT contradiction next year. Dr. Patry indicated that he would consider it.

Your consideration of this letter is most sincerely appreciated.
Sincerely,

Bev Tollefson Delong
President, Lawyers for Social Responsibility and
Chairperson, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

On behalf of the following members of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons:
Jacques Boucher, Centre de ressources sur la non-violence
Bev Delong, President, Lawyers for Social Responsibility
Paul Klopstock, Les Artistes pour la paix
Michael Call, PeaceFund Canada
Dr. Hanna Newcombe, Director, Peace Research Institute Dundas
Debbie Grisdale, Executive Director, Physicians for Global Survival
Dr. Ernie Regehr, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares
Dr. John Valleau, Science for Peace
Nancy Gordon, National President, United Nations Association in Canada
David Morgan, National President, Veterans Against Nuclear Arms
Rev. Bern Barrett, President, World Conference on Religion and Peace
Fergus Watt, Executive Director, World Federalists of Canada

cc: to All SCFAIT members