CNWC — Canada and the Stockholm Initiative

Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention welcomes Canada’s participation in the 16-nation Stockholm Initiative (SI). The initiative’s recommendations, in the form of a series of “stepping stones,” have the important virtue of being well-established, practical, and doable – and all the measures advanced are still urgently needed actions to pull our planet back from the precipice of nuclear catastrophe. To be sure, much more is required, but the SI affords Canada an important opportunity, as part of its multilateral engagement with like-minded states, to elevate attention to nuclear arms control and disarmament internationally, and to pursue it as a clear national priority.

Read further:

CNANW Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: Canada can join Norway and attend first TPNW meeting

[Aussi, en français: https://www.cnanw.ca/category/documents-en-francais/]

Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly
Minister of Defence Anita Anand

October 28, 2021

Canada can join Norway and attend first TPNW meeting

Dear Mr. Prime Minister, Madame Foreign Minister and Madame Defence Minister,

This month the Government of Norway announced that it will attend the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (1MSP-TPNW) in Vienna (22-24 March 2022) as an Observer. This is welcome news and an indication that, within NATO, States in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons can work together towards that goal whether or not they are signatories to the TPNW. This commitment to dialogue is a particularly important signal to Canada’s new government in the lead up to the Tenth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in January 2022.

A recent Nanos poll indicates that 80% of Canadians support nuclear weapons elimination; 74% believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. 

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) encourages Canada to also commit, as Norway has done, to attending the TPNW States parties meeting as an Observer. Our government can make an early and clear statement to this effect and encourage other NATO members to also attend. CNANW supports Canada acceding to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons or to a new comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention that will achieve the same stated goal: the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Canada is able to sign and ratify the TPNW while a member of NATO as long as our government disassociates Canada from NATO’s existing nuclear deterrence doctrine. As recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence in its 2018 report, Canada can 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.”

As members of the Stockholm Initiative, Canada and Norway are also well placed to work together within NATO to develop a cohort of alliance members engaged in challenging nuclear deterrence policy, during the alliance’s current review of its “Strategic Concept” slated to be adopted at the next NATO Summit in June 2022.

The new government in Canada has a fresh opportunity to work with like-minded States and middle powers, such as Norway and others, and to revitalize our traditional disarmament credentials. The nuclear weapons threat demands measurable progress on nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, and towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. CNANW expects to see early concrete action in this direction from our government, in keeping with the wishes of most Canadians, and we stand ready to assist in achieving this common objective.

Sincerely,

Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-Chairpersons
Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

and the following member organizations:
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility – Gordon Edwards, President
Canadian Disarmament Information Service  – Metta Spencer, Chairperson
Canadian Peace Research Association – Erika Simpson, President
Canadian Pugwash Group – Cesar Jaramillo, Chair
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – Nancy Covington and Lyn Adamson
Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention – Richard Denton
The Group of 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, Mary-Ellen Francoeur
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada – Jonathan Down, President
Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director
Religions for Peace Canada – Pascale Frémond, President
Rideau Institute – Peggy Mason, President
Science for Peace – Arnd Jurgensen
World Federalist Movement–Canada – Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director

Additional Signatories: organizations and individuals

Response to CNANW Letter by Office of The Prime Minister: here

RCAAN Lettre: TIAN – Le Canada peut se joindre à la Norvège et assister à la première réunion

28 octobre 2021
TIAN – Le Canada peut se joindre à la Norvège et assister à la première réunion

Cher Monsieur le Premier Ministre Trudeau, Madame la Ministre des Affaires étrangères et Madame la Ministre de la Défense,

Ce mois-ci, le gouvernement norvégien a annoncé qu’il participerait à la première réunion des États parties au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires (1REP- TIAN) à Vienne (22-24 mars 2022) en tant qu’observateur. C’est une bonne nouvelle et une indication qu’au sein de l’OTAN, les États en faveur de l’abolition des armes nucléaires peuvent travailler ensemble vers cet objectif, qu’ils soient ou non signataires du TPNW. Cet engagement au dialogue est un signal particulièrement important pour le nouveau gouvernement du Canada dans la perspective de la dixième Conférence d’examen du Traité sur la non-prolifération des armes nucléaires (TNP) en janvier 2022.

Un récent sondage Nanos indique que 80 % des Canadiens appuient l’élimination des armes nucléaires; 74 % croient que le Canada devrait adhérer au nouveau Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires, même s’il y a des pressions de la part des États-Unis pour rester à l’écart.

Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires (RCAAN) encourage le Canada à s’engager également, comme la Norvège l’a fait, à assister à la réunion des États parties au TIAN en tant qu’observateur. Notre gouvernement peut faire une déclaration rapide et claire à cet effet et encourager d’autres membres de l’OTAN à y participer également. Le RCAAN appuie l’adhésion du Canada au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires ou à une nouvelle convention globale sur les armes nucléaires qui atteindra le même objectif déclaré : l’élimination totale des armes nucléaires.

Le Canada est en mesure de signer et de ratifier le TIAN alors qu’il est membre de l’OTAN, à condition que notre gouvernement dissocie le Canada de la doctrine de dissuasion nucléaire existante de l’OTAN. Comme l’a recommandé à l’unanimité le Comité permanent de la défense nationale de la Chambre des communes dans son rapport de 2018, le Canada peut assumer « un rôle de chef de file au sein de l’OTAN en commençant le travail nécessaire pour atteindre l’objectif de l’OTAN de « créer les conditions d’un monde exempt d’armes nucléaires ». »

En tant que membres de l’Initiative de Stockholm, le Canada et la Norvège sont également bien placés pour travailler ensemble au sein de l’OTAN afin de former une cohorte de membres de l’Alliance engagés dans la remise en cause de la politique de dissuasion nucléaire, lors de l’examen actuel par l’Alliance de son « concept stratégique » qui doit être adopté au prochain sommet de l’OTAN en juin 2022.

Le nouveau gouvernement du Canada a une nouvelle occasion de travailler avec des États et des puissances moyennes animés des mêmes idées, comme la Norvège et d’autres, et de revitaliser nos références traditionnelles en matière de désarmement. La menace des armes nucléaires exige des progrès mesurables en matière de non-prolifération et de contrôle des armements nucléaires vers l’élimination des armes nucléaires. Le RCAAN s’attend à ce que notre gouvernement prenne rapidement des mesures concrètes dans cette direction, conformément aux souhaits de la plupart des Canadien.ne.s, et nous sommes prêts à aider à atteindre cet objectif commun.

Nous vous prions d’accepter, l’expression de nos sentiments distingués,

Robin Collins et Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, coprésidents RCAAN

Ainsi que les organisations membres suivantes,
Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire – Gordon Edwards, Président
Canadian Disarmament Information Service  – Metta Spencer, Président
Association Canadienne de Recherche Pour la Paix– Erika Simpson, Président
Les Conférences Pugwash Canada – Cesar Jaramillo, Président
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace – Nancy Covington and Lyn Adamson
Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention – Richard Denton
Le Groupe des 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair
The Group of 78 – Roy Culpeper, Chair
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition, Mary-Ellen Francoeur
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada – Jonathan Down, Président
Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director
Religions for Peace Canada – Pascale Frémond, Président
Institut Rideau – Peggy Mason, Président
Science for Peace – Arnd Jurgensen
Le Mouvement fédéraliste mondial – Canada – Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director

Signataires supplémentaires

Nuclear Disarmament Must be a Priority for the Next Canadian Government

Paul Meyer and Cesar Jaramillo
The Hill Times, Sept 16, 2021

Excerpt:
We see three near-term steps that Canada could take to demonstrate leadership on this challenging issue.

First, Canada should help heal the rift between TPNW supporters and opponents by attending, as an observer, the first meeting of TPNW states parties (currently 55) slated to be held in Vienna March 22-24, 2022. Such participation would be a welcome sign of engagement with fellow NPT states which have adopted a different route to fulfill the nuclear disarmament obligation.

Second, Canada should advocate for the inclusion in the Stockholm Initiative package, support for a “No First Use” declaration on the part of nuclear weapon states. Such a step would help counter a destabilizing (and proliferation-friendly) expansion of rationales for the use of nuclear weapons on the part of some nuclear states. It would also be timely given the favourable attitude towards such an adjustment of policy expressed earlier by President Joe Biden and the resumption of strategic stability talks between the U.S. and Russia.

Third, Canada should elevate its involvement in the Stockholm Initiative, including participating in the meetings at the ministerial level. Such engagement on the part of Foreign Minister Marc Garneau could be coupled with an invitation by Canada to host a meeting of the group this fall to prepare for the NPT Review Conference.

See full article in The Hill Times (pay wall):
https://www.hilltimes.com/2021/09/16/nuclear-disarmament-must-be-a-priority-for-the-next-canadian-government/317306

CNANW 2021 ELECTION CALL

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

The 2021 federal election is an opportunity to reinforce our Network’s call on leaders of political parties. 

Canadians care deeply about nuclear disarmament and want Canada to step up this country’s engagement on this critically important issue.

To this end, we invite organizations and individuals across Canada, to undertake the following:

1. In debates, or while meeting candidates at your front door, point out that:
80% of Canadians support nuclear weapon elimination. 74% believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. 

And ask them: Do you support Canada playing a stronger international leadership role on nuclear disarmament? What will you and your party do to support this effort? 

2. In correspondence, please remind candidates of these calls that CNANW has issued:

The Canadian government should act upon the motion adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate in 2010 which requested that the Government of Canada engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention and deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative in support of “preventing nuclear proliferation and increasing the rate of nuclear disarmament.”    

The Government of Canada should:

1. Welcome the Entry Into Force of the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), accede to this Treaty at the earliest possible date and actively promote its universalization;

2. Participate as an observer at the inaugural meeting of the new TPNW, expected to be in early 2022.

3. Canada should participate at the ministerial level in the meeting of the Stockholm Initiative of 16 states, and in its emphasis on strengthening the Treaty on Non-Proliferation on Nuclear Weapons.

4. Allow a full Parliamentary debate on Canada’s role in advancing nuclear disarmament;

5. Conduct formal hearings in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to enable Canadian citizens with extensive knowledge and expertise to advise on ways that Canada can more effectively facilitate nuclear disarmament;

6. Make clear that nuclear disarmament shall be among the highest priorities for Canada. Then, work closely with the UN Secretary General and his officials, like-minded nations and civil society to achieve the goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons;

7. Disassociate Canada from NATO’s nuclear security doctrine and take a leadership role within NATO to begin the work necessary for achieving NATO’s own goal of “creating the conditions for a world free of nuclear weapons”, as recommended unanimously by the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense in 2018;  

8. Press all nuclear-armed states to 1) commit to a ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy and remove all nuclear weapons from ‘high-alert’ status, 2) cease the modernization and expansion of nuclear arsenals and decommission and destroy nuclear weapons within their possession or control as soon as possible; and 3) engage in dialogue for effective treaties and the creation of additional Nuclear Weapons-Free Zones; 4) promote a new security framework based upon the principle of sustainable common security.    

We invite all Canadians across the country to raise their concerns about the urgency of nuclear disarmament at every opportunity, and to engage all candidates throughout the election campaign in pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons. 


Sincerely,

Dr. Sylvie Lemieux and Robin Collins
Co-Chairs, CNANW

Why do we Still Have Nuclear Weapons?

by Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux, Co-chairpersons, CNANW

A recent Nanos poll found 80% across-the-board support for nuclear weapon elimination. A strong 74% majority believe Canada should join the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (“the ban treaty” or TPNW), even if there is pressure from the United States to stay clear. Those results are no surprise. Similar enthusiasm is found in older polls, and in Canadian municipalities where Councils have supported “nuclear-weapons-free zones” for many years

In an International Committee of the Red Cross 2019 global survey, millennials (those born between 1980 and 1994) in the 16 countries polled, overwhelmingly (82%) oppose the use of all weapons of mass destruction – be they nuclear, biological, or chemical – in any circumstance.

And yet, almost half “believe nuclear weapons are an effective instrument of deterrence.”

How can this be?

There lingers a belief that possessing a nuclear arsenal may protect you from enemies. There is also a lack of political leadership countering this dangerous illusion.

For example, just recently the United Kingdom announced they would increase their Trident submarine nuclear warhead limit. There are also plans to “modernize” the arsenals of most nuclear-armed states, including Russia, the USA and China. Some militaries see these weapons as war-fighting options, or as an appropriate response to an overwhelming conventional weapon attack.

And the Canadian government has snubbed the new ban treaty. Rob Oliphant, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the ban is “inconsistent with Canada’s collective defence obligations” as a member of NATO. Within the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, however, we point to NATO’s own policy in support of “eventual” nuclear weapons abolition. And Canada has options: Either sign the treaty while pushing back against alliance nuclear deterrence policy; or work harder for a nuclear weapons convention, as Canada did before. Get back in the game.

Canadian disarmament practice hasn’t always been so hesitant – over decades, leadership was shown on antipersonnel landmines, but also nuclear weapons policy. A resolution was supported by all members of the House of Commons and Senate as recently as 2010. It called on the government to “engage in negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention” and to “deploy a major world-wide Canadian diplomatic initiative” towards that end.  Despite the all-party mandate, the last ten years saw little initiative by Canada.

There is, however, a new effort — that includes Canada — known as the Stockholm Initiative. Sixteen states are engaged, including ban supporters New Zealand, Indonesia and Kazakhstan, but also NATO members Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain, as well as two non-NATO nuclear umbrella states (South Korea and Japan). Will this be a fresh start?

“The initiative is positive in principle, but it is too soon to tell whether it will have any meaningful impact,” says Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director of CNANW member group Project Ploughshares. “Efforts to reframe, rename and relaunch a series of steps or stones or blocks are also not new.” Canada should participate, and at the ministerial level, if this is to be a serious contribution.

Canada can also at minimum sit in as observer to the inaugural meeting of States Parties (likely in January 2022) of the new TPNW to show solidarity with the goals of its 122+ supporting or signatory states. This is also being considered by Germany.

A new global campaign for No First Use (NFU) of nuclear weapons has been established and encouraged the US and Russian leaders Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin at their bilateral meeting in Geneva to engage in talks to reduce nuclear risks. US President Biden is on record as questioning “first use” of nuclear weapons for the US. At the NATO summit of leaders this month, Canada had a chance to promote NFU for the alliance as a game-changing safer policy, but also as an early step towards nuclear weapon elimination.

This opens up the urgently needed discussion of alternatives to nuclear deterrence, a shift to sustainable common security for all peoples, and protection of the global environment. Canada needs to be there.