(Weblinks are arranged alphabetically)

Canadian Peace and Research Groups:
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
Canadian Peace Alliance
Canadian Peace Research and Education Association
Canadian Pugwash Group
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade
End the Arms Race
The Markland Group deals with state compliance with international treaties
No Nukes!
Peace Brigades International – Canada
Physicians for Global Survival
Project Ploughshares (National Office)
Science for Peace
United Nations Association in Canada
Vancouver Island Peace Society – Nuclear Warships Litigation
Victoria Peace Centre

International Peace and Peace Research Groups:
Abolition 2000
The Acronym Institute (UK)
Back from the Brink
British American Security Information Council
Disarmament and Security Centre
Federation of American Scientists
International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA)
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANW)
International Committee of the Red Cross
International Network of Engineers and Scientists against Proliferation
International Peace Bureau
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
The Middle Powers Initiative
NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) Committee on Disarmament
(Monitoring disarmament progress at the UN.)
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament
Reaching Critical Will
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Union of Concerned Scientists

International Institutions:
The African Union
The Arctic Council
The Commonwealth
La Francophonie
Organization of American States
OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
UN & International Law
United Nations
United Nations News

Missile Control Technology Regime:
Arms Control Association site
FAS site
MCTR chronology (pdf file)
SIPRI site
United States government site

Nuclear Posture Review:
Carnegie Endowment report
Disarmament Diplomacy article
IPPNW report: How the NPR Repudiates the NPT
Physicians for Social Responsibility article
Ploughshares Letter to the Prime Minister, march 2002
Western States Legal Foundation article

Peace Publications:
Most of our supporting groups publish regular newsletters – so we encourage you to join a group and get their information. CNANW members.
Arms Control Today is the Magaizine of the Arms Control Association (USA).
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a well-respected American publication covering nuclear weapons issues, other weapons of mass destruction and international affairs.
Disarmament Diplomacy is the the journal of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy since 1997.
Peace Magazine is an important national publication providing a discussion of current issues on war and peace.
Ploughshares Monitor is the magazine of Project Ploughshares, a national peace education and research group operated out of a head office in Waterloo, Ontario. The Ploughshares Monitor is published quarterly and contains excellent academic, educational and activist information. For further information, email:

Poll of Canadian public opinion on nuclear weapons (1998)
May 2002 Global Poll Shows World Perceived As More Dangerous Place

Treaty Sites:
Federation of American Scientists arms control agreements site
Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament
Treaty texts
UN treaty site

Verification Sites:
Cooperative Monitoring center run out of Sandia
Dismantling the Bomb and Managing the Nuclear Materials
UNIDIR ongoing projects: Handbook on Verification and Compliance,
Tactical Nuclear Weapons Project, Fissile Materials, Missiles and Missile Defences,
Expert Group on Missiles
VERTIC promotes effective and efficient verification as a means of ensuring confidence in the implementation of international agreements.

Weapon site maps/Mapping the effects of nuclear bombs:
Blast mapper 
Historical map of military fissile material and nuclear weapons programs
Nuclear radiation effects (Joint U.S.-Japan site)
Nuclear weapon effects
Snapshot of what a nuclear attack on Russia would do
Study on deaths at a nuclear weapon production facility
US Active NW sites

Other Sources:
“Battle for the Planet”, Report of the Third Global Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
Canada, NATO and Nuclear Weapons, by Senator Douglas Roche, O.C.
Canadian Department of National Defence (DND)
Find Your Member of Parliament
Genie in the Bottle video
Guidelines for Circulating Petitions
MPI Consultation Report: “Priorities for Preserving the NPT”
Priorities for Preserving the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the New Strategic Context


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



How many nuclear weapons are there in the world?

Globally there are now  approximately 17,300 nuclear warheads.
(Upated as of early 2013)

Russia 8,500
United States 7,700
France 300
China 250
United Kingdom 225
Israel 80
Pakistan 100-120
India 90-110
North Korea <10

Estimated Total:  17,300

This total is from the Federation of American Scientists source:

(FAS data is from the Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
and the nuclear appendix in the SIPRI Yearbook.)

This is a decrease from the global high of 70,000 nuclear warheads in 1986.

For updates or comparisons, go to:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Center for Defense Information (Washington)

SIPRI Media Release of 16 June 2014:
Nuclear Forces reduced, while modernization continues, says SIPRI

(Note that where there are discrepancies about numbers, you may wish to check the above sources and compare.)

To view the world Proliferation Status and Warheads (2007) map (a list of countries Possessing Ballistic Missiles, and how many) go to The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace site here 

For a graphic idea of the number of nuclear weapons currently in the US arsenal, have a look at the “ball bearing demonstration”:



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
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]


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.”

Have nuclear weapons ever been used?

Have nuclear weapons ever been used?

• In Hiroshima, Japan: deaths as of December 1945: 140,000 deaths
deaths calculated as of August 1996: 197,045 deaths

• In Nagasaki, Japan: deaths as of December, 1945: 74,000 deaths
• In addition, 2,045 nuclear tests have resulted both in deaths and illness for people living in the test area and in serious environmental damage.

• In the US alone, there are estimates of 49,000 deaths from radioactive fallout following nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s and 60s. 

• On the 2013 anniversary of the International Day against Nuclear Testing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Ukraine,
Mr. Erlan Idrissov, published a comment in Foreign Policy Journal on Aug. 28, 2013 stating:

Kazakhstan initiated the UN resolution that led to the international
community marking August 29 as the day to reflect on nuclear
disarmament issues. The resolution commemorates the closure of the
Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August, 1991. Kazakhstan was
the first country in the world to close a nuclear test site on its
territory. Nearly 500 nuclear explosions took place at Semipalatinsk,
causing untold damage to the environment and the to the health of over
1.5 million people. The power of these explosions was equal to 2,500
atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima. The radiation polluted an area
roughly the size of today’s Germany.


Douglas Roche: UN Meeting Offers Chance for Disarmament Progress

This op-ed originally appeared in Embassy magazine, September 11, 2013

UN Meeting Offers Chance for Disarmament Progress

EMBASSY, Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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.


A legal obligation to ban nuclear weapons

a. Global citizens need a promise from the Nuclear Weapon States to eliminate the nuclear weapons they possess.

DONE! This promise was originally given in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (the “NPT”). Under the NPT, all States Parties have agreed as follows:

Article VI: Each of the parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

This promise was confirmed in May 2000 at the Review Conference on the NPT. All 187 States Parties to the NPT agreed on 13 practical steps for the implementation of Article VI of the NPT. Step 6 reads as follows:
6. An unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-wean States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament to which all States parties are committed under Article VI.

b. Global citizens had to make clear that nuclear weapons are illegal.

In response to a citizens’ action called The World Court Project, the UN General Assembly called upon the International Court of Justice (the “ICJ” or “World Court”) to render an advisory opinion on the legality of the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons. The , The ICJ advised on July 8, 1996 that:

“…the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”.

The Court stated it could not reach “…a definitive conclusion as to the legality or illegality of the use of nuclear weapons by a State in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which its very survival would be at stake”.

But the Court said that any use of any weapons is bound by the rules of international humanitarian law. These rules require that the use of any weapon:

  • • must be proportional to the initial attack,
  • • must be necessary for effective self-defence,
  • • must not be directed at civilians or civilian objects,
  • • must be used in a manner that makes it possible to discriminate between military targets and civilian non-targets,
  • • must not cause unnecessary or aggravated suffering to combatants,
  • • must not affect States that are not parties to the conflict, and
  • • must not cause severe, widespread, or long-term damage to the environment.

    This is just a partial list of the rules established by the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions which govern the use of weapons during war.

    Thus the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons has, for all practical purposes, been declared illegal by the Court. We ignore that law at the peril of all humanity.

    c. Global citizens had to make clear that negotiations on a ban are to begin and be concluded.

    DONE! The International Court of Justice in its July 8, 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons examined Art. VI of the NPT and concluded:

    “Unanimously, There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective control.”

    Thus all states are obligated to start and conclude negotiations for nuclear disarmament.

    The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice:

Canada, IHL and Nuclear Weapons, a Brief History: here

d. The development of international humanitarian law has made even stronger the call for a global legal ban on nuclear weapons.

In 2010, the Swiss and Austrian governments funded work by the Monterey Institute on the implications of international humanitarian law on nuclear weapons. They have published Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons: Examining the Validity of Nuclear Deterrence.

2011, a meeting of international lawyers concluded with the publication of the Vancouver Declaration: Law’s Imperative for the Urgent Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World which notes that recent progress in the development of international humanitarian law makes even more imperative work on a global ban on nuclear weapons. That Declaration in part said:

The ICJ’s declaration that nuclear weapons are subject to international humanitarian law was affirmed by the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. In its Final Document approved by all participating states, including the nuclear-weapon states, 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.”

It is unconscionable that nuclear-weapon states acknowledge their obligation to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons but at the same time refuse to commence and then “bring to a conclusion,” as the ICJ unanimously mandated, “negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control.”

In statements made during the 2010 NPT Review Conference, one hundred and thirty countries called for a convention prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons globally. And the Conference collectively affirmed in its Final Document “that all states need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons,” and noted the “five-point proposal for nuclear disarmament of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which proposes, inter alia, consideration of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention or agreement on a framework of separate mutually reinforcing instruments, backed by a strong system of verification.”

An “absolute evil,” as the President of the ICJ called nuclear weapons, requires an absolute prohibition.


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 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



  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.


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

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


May 17, 2012 Canadian Senate Hansard
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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.)



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




  • Restoring Canada’s Nuclear Disarmament Policies Expert Seminar, February 2008:
    • Event Report (english, pdf)
    • Statement (english, pdf)
    • Séminaire d’experts sur la restitution de leadership Canadiene sur le désarmement nucléaire
    • Déclaration (pdf)

    • Text Box: Vers 2010: Priorités en vue d’un consensus à propos du TNP
      • Rapport de l’Initiative des puissances moyennes, Avril 2007
        [MPI Statement to Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs]
      • Mémoire de l’Initiative des puissances moyennes en prévision de la réunion du Comité préparatoire du TNP qui aura lieu à Vienne, en 2007 [rtf; pdf]

    • Canadians Call for End to Nuclear Weapons in NATO/Des Canadiens exigent la suppression du recours à l’armement nucléaire par l’OTAN:

Petition House of Commons 2011

Petition Canada to Invite States to Discuss a Global Legal Ban on Nuclear Weapons

This petition calls “upon the House of Commons to issue an invitation for all states to gather in Canada to begin discussions needed for a global legal ban on nuclear weapons”.

Here is some general information on handling the petition:

1. Print the petition: The petitions (English and French versions) are formatted for 8 x 14″ paper so all 25 signatures can go on one page. If you must convert it to 8 x 11″, kindly observe the rules for doing so set out here. The petitions can be accessed from the bottom of this page.

2. Seek out signatures. They must be clearly written – for the Clerk won’t certify the petition their office have checked each name against a phone book to ensure each person exists.

3. Once signed, the Petition should be sent to your Member of Parliament with a request that he or she arrange for certification by the Clerk of Petitions (who checks every name to ensure the person exists) and then that the M.P. present the petition during Routine Proceedings. You could ask the MP’s assistant to advise you of the date of the petition presentation so that you may find the presentation noted in the Debates and the Journal.

To find names of MPs, go to the centre column here:
The address for all MPs is House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
No postage required.

Is your MP required to present your petition? The rules state:
“Members are not bound to present petitions and cannot be compelled to do so; [53] nevertheless, it is evident that many Members consider it a duty to present to the House petitions brought forward by citizens. [54] The Member, whose role it is to make the presentation on behalf of the petitioners, is not required to be in agreement with the content of any petition he or she may choose to present, and no such inference is to be drawn. [55] “

If your MP won’t present, please ask for the petition to be returned and send it to Mme. Hélène Laverdière, Foreign Affairs Critic for the NDP or to M. Dominic LeBlanc, Foreign Affairs Critic for the Liberals. I’m sure either would be happy to assist with the tabling of these petitions.

4. Note that the Government must respond to each Petition within 45 days of it being presented. The instructions say:

” Government responses to petitions are generally tabled in the House during Routine Proceedings, under the rubric “Tabling of Documents”, but may also be deposited with the Clerk. [78] Petitions receive individual responses. Any Member who has presented a petition is provided with a copy of the response at the time it is tabled. After being tabled in the House, government responses to petitions (unlike the petitions themselves) become sessional papers.” [79]

• Petition in English here:

• Petition en français ici:

• Backgrounder (English): Parliamentary Forum on Nuclear Disarmament:
Implementing the Unanimous Motions in the House of Commons and Senate
Here in rich text format:

• Backgrounder (French): Forum parlementaire sur le désarmement nucléaire :
Mise en œuvre de motions unanimes à la Chambre des communes et au Sénat
Ici [“rich text format”]:

Signatories/Signataires Academic Statement

Signatories/Signataires Academic Statement

Signatories/Signataires (18 mai/May 18 2010):

Beverly Anderson
Associate Professor Emeritus (retired) 
Faculty of Nursing
University of Calgary

Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford 
Assoc Prof (retired)
School of Child and Youth Care,
University of Victoria.

Hélène Beauchamp
Professeure émérite (retraitée)
École supérieure de théâtre
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Marie Beaulieu Ph.D. Directrice du département de danse Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur Paul Bélanger
Département d’éducation et formation spécialisées
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeure Colette Bellavance
Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé
Université de Sherbrooke

Professor Jordan Bishop (retired)
Department of Humanities
Cape Breton University

Professeure Colette Boky
Prix du Québec, O.C.
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Katherine Bonathan (retired)
Kwantlen Polytechnical University
Surrey, BC

Professeure Denise Brassard Département d’Études littéraires Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Carl Braun
Professor Emeritus
Department of Applied Psychology
University of Calgary

Claude Braun, Ph.D.
Professeur titulaire au département de psychologie
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur André Breton
Département des communications
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Merlin B. Brinkerhoff
Professor Emeritus
Department of Sociology
University of Calgary

Professeure Anne-Marie Broudehoux
École de design
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)  

Professor Michael Byers
Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law
University of British Columbia

Professor Max Cameron
Dept. of Political Science
University of British Columbia

Debbie Carroll, PhD, MTA Professeure de Musicothérapie Département de musique Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

André F. Charette, Ph.D. Professeur titulaire
Département d’organisation et ressources humaines École des sciences de la gestion (ESG-UQAM)
Université du Québec à Montréal                                                                                                                                              

Dr. Normand Chevrier
Département de biologie
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Arthur Clark
Professor of Neuropathology
Faculty of Medicine
University of Calgary

Professeur Alessandro Colizzi
École de Design
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Phyllis Creighton
Adjunct faculty
Faculty of Divinity
Trinity College, Toronto

Louis Cyr
Professeur retraité
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Edwin E. Daniel
Professor Emeritus, Adjunct Professor
Dept. of Pharmacology
University of Alberta

Professor Dayna B. Daniels
Coordinator, Women’s Studies
University of Lethbridge

Professeure Martine Delvaux Études littéraires
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Emily Doolittle Assistant Professor of Music Composition Cornish College of the Arts – Seattle

Professeur Gilles Dostaler
Département des sciences économiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur François Dragon
Département des sciences biologiques
Université du Québec à Montréal

Professeur Michel Duguay
Ph.D. en physique nucléaire (Yale University)
Département de génie électrique et de génie informatique
Université Laval

Professeure adjointe Carolina Ferrer
Département d’études littéraires
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Trevor Findlay
William and Jeanie Barton Chair in International Affairs
Director, Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance
Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs
Carleton University

Professeur Hervé Fischer
Fondateur de l’Observatoire international du numérique de Montréal
Chercheur Hexagram
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Jean Fisette Professeur associé Département d’études littéraires
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Ward Flemons
Faculty of Medicine
University of Calgary

Martin Foster
Professeur associé (retraité)
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal

Professeur Jean-Louis Gagnon
Directeur du programme de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Louis Gill
Professeur retraité
Département des sciences économiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeure Jacinthe Giroux Département d’éducation et formation spécialisées Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Trudy Govier 
Department of Philosophy
University of Lethbridge

Professor Donald Grayston
Department of Humanities
Simon Fraser University

Professor Richard Guy
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of Calgary

Professeure Nicole Harbonnier-Topin
Département de danse
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Stoody Harding (ret.)
Past Director of School of Human Justice
University of Regina

Professor  Maureen S. G. Hawkins
Department of English
University of Lethbridge

Professor Yvonne Hébert
Faculty of Education
University of Calgary

Professeur Mario Houde
Département des sciences biologiques
Université du Québec à Montréal

Connie Isenberg, Ph.D., MTA, MT-BC,
FAMI Psychologue et psychanalyste Professeur Musicothérapie Département de musique Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur titulaire Pierre Jasmin
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeure Catherine Jumarie, Ph.D
Département des sciences biologiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor  Catherine Kingfisher
Department of Anthropology
University of Lethbridge

Professor John Kirk
Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies
Cape Breton University

Professeure Julie Lafond
Département des Sciences Biologiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur invité Gérald Larose
École de travail social
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Professeur Pierre Lebuis Département d’éducation et pédagogie Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur émérite Georges Leroux
Département de philosophie
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur Jacques Lévesque
Ancien doyen de la faculté de droit et de science politique
Département de sciences politiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Ernest McCullough (retired)
Faculty of of Arts & Science
St Thomas More College,
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Peter Meincke
President Emeritus
University of Prince Edward Island

Ray Morris
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
York University

Emeritus Professor Ronald Neufeldt
Department of Religious Studies
University of Calgary

Professeure Michèle Nevert
Département d’études littéraires
Présidente du syndicat des professeures et professeurs de l’UQAM
Université du Québec à Montréal

Professor Jacquetta Newman
Chair, Department of Political Science
King’s University College, UWO
Dr. Peter Nicholls,
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Essex,
Colchester, Essex

Professor Mark Nitz
Department Chemistry
University of Toronto

Jean-Pierre Noiseux
Professeur associé
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Emerita Liisa L. North,
Department of Political Science 
York University

Dr Éric Notebaert
Faculté de médecine
Université de Montréal

Prof. James V Penna (ret.)
Faculty of Arts and Science
St. Thomas More College, 
University of Saskatchewan

Professeur émérite Jean-Marc Piotte
Département de science politique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Sergei Plekhanov 
Department of Political Science
York University

Professeure Louise Poissant
Doyenne de la Faculté des Arts
Chercheure à Hexagram
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur Laurent Poliquin Département des Sciences biologiques Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Richard Price
Director, Graduate Program
Department of Political Science
University of British Columbia

Professeure Dominique Primeau
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor Emeritus James Ramsay
Department of Psychology
McGill University

Eric Rassart, Ph.D. Département des sciences biologiques Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Ernie Regehr O.C.
Adjunct Associate Professor
Peace and Conflict Studies
Conrad Grebel University College
University of Waterloo.

Professor Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg 
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto

Professeur Max Roy
Université du Québec à Montréal
Président de la Fédération québécoise des professeures
et professeurs d’université (FQPPU)

Joanna Santa Barbara
Assoc. Prof. (retired), 
Psychiatry and Peace Studies
McMaster University

Professeure Lucie Sauvé Titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en éducation relative à l’environnement Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeure Claire Savoie
École des arts visuels et médiatiques
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professor J. Robert Sevick, M.D.
Head, Department of Radiology
Faculty of Medicine
University of Calgary

Professor Elemir Simko
Department of Veterinary Pathology
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Jennifer Simons
Adjunct Professor
School for International Studies
Simon Fraser University

Professor Erika Simpson
Department of Political Science
University of Western Ontario

Professor Emeritus Graham M. Simpson
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Metta Spencer
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
University of Toronto

Professor Hank J. Stam
Department of Psychology
University of Calgary

Professeur Jacques Saint-Pierre Chaire SITQ d’immobilier École des sciences de la gestion Université du Québec à Montréal

Professeure Madeleine Saint-Pierre
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. David Swann, M.L.A., 
Leader of the Official Opposition (Alberta)
Former Professor of Public Health,
University of Calgary

Miklós Takács
Professeur associé (retraité)
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Jean-Guy Vaillancourt
Professeur associé au département de sociologie
Prix Michel-Jurdant 2009 de l’ACFAS pour les sciences environnementales
Université de Montréal

Louise Vandelac, Ph.D. Professeure titulaire au département de sociologie et Institut des sciences de l’environnement
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Professeur André Villeneuve
Département de musique
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Dr. Michael Wallace
Professor Emeritus
Department of Political Science
University of British Columbia

Professor Maureen G. Wilson
Faculty of Social Work
University of Calgary
Professor Ian Winchester
Emeritus Dean
University of Calgary

Professor Melanie A. Woodin
Department of Cell & Systems Biology
Faculty of Arts & Science 
University of Toronto

Professor Andrew Woolley
Dept of Chemistry
University of Toronto

Professor Deborah Zamble
Department of Chemistry
University of Toronto

Nuclear weapons convention

Nuclear weapons convention

Negotiation of an agreement among all states with nuclear weapons which will:
• define the process for eliminating nuclear weapons
• prohibit further development, stockpiling, use and threat of use

It is anticipated that many elements required to prohibit the development, production, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons and provide for their elimination. will be negotiated within a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Ambassadors to the United Nations have not started negotiations on a Convention as yet.
A model Convention has been drafted and filed at the United Nations. Commentary on this model Nuclear Weapons Convention (“mNWC”) can be found at:

The revised Model Nuclear Weapons Convention (UN/62/650) is now accessible in the six UN languages on the UN Documents website.

You can go directly to the following language versions:

· Arabic · Chinese · English · French · Russian · Spanish

For further information on the proposed Nuclear Weapons Convention, check out:
International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms
and International Campaign Against Nuclear Arms

Is momentum building for a global ban on nuclear weapons?

Is momentum building for a global ban on nuclear weapons?

Yes! Check out the positions of Governments summarized in Towards Nuclear Abolition, a publication of International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

And note the long list of statements by current and former heads of government and officials calling for nuclear disarmament:

Go to Annexes 1 and 2 of the Academic Call for Abolition, located here.

Steps to Abolition

How do we go about getting rid of nuclear weapons?

1. A legal obligation to ban nuclear weapons

2. An agreement to ban testing

3. An agreement to eliminate nuclear explosive materials

4. Nuclear weapons-free zones

5. Reductions in nuclear warheads

6. An agreed process for disarmament

7. No cheating

8. Negotiation of an agreement among all states which:

  • defines the process for eliminating nuclear weapons
  • prohibits further development, stockpiling, use and threat of use

9. Securing and destroying nuclear weapons and materials

10. Do you want more information?

11. Is momentum building for a global ban on nuclear weapons?