Over 800 Recipients of the Order of Canada Call for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
JOHN POLANYI, DOUGLAS ROCHE AND MURRAY THOMSON
are requesting your financial support for this work.
Over 800 recipients of the Order of Canada have joined an initiative led by John Polanyi, C.C., Douglas Roche, O.C., and Murray Thomson, O.C., calling for international negotiations to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Convention – a verifiable treaty on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Order of Canada is the country’s highest civilian honour and is the centrepiece of Canada’s honours system. It recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
The initiative notes that
Accordingly, we call on all member States of the United Nations – including Canada – to endorse, and begin negotiations for, a Nuclear Weapons Convention as proposed by the UN Secretary-General in his five-point plan for nuclear disarmament.
The wealth of talent and experience of the Canadians who have endorsed the Nuclear Weapons Convention is incredibly rich and extensive, and it is matched only by the seriousness and complexity of the task that faces us.
THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS AN EXCERPT FROM A LETTER FROM JOHN POLANYI, DOUGLAS ROCHE AND MURRAY THOMSON requesting financial support for this work:
We believe that the quality and diversity of this group of Canadians, from all parts of Canada, represents a significant, positive force for the change we all seek. We wish to use this force carefully so that we accurately reflect your expressed concern for a nuclear weapons convention as both a vision of a nuclear weapon–free world and a comprehensive step-by-step way of achieving it. We therefore suggest the following guidelines:
That all activities which we may undertake, such as a press conference or public meeting, be conducted under the name of “Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.” We will avoid being side-tracked onto other related issues, however important some of us may feel them to be, nor will we identify with any single political party, as our appeal regarding this initiative is directed to all political parties.
On September 24, 2009, we issued a news release on Parliament Hill. It called on the government and all political parties to support President Obama’s efforts, as Chair of the UN Security Council that day, towards nuclear disarmament. In the past month the Ottawa-based Embassy newsweekly has written three articles on our initiative, including a lead story which received a response from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. DFAIT, though supportive of the Nuclear Weapons Convention, took the position that it was premature to include it in Canadian foreign policy at this time – the same position it had taken ten years previously. In order to proceed with the initiative and encourage the Canadian government to move ahead on the Nuclear Weapons Convention, we seek your help:
1. We plan to hold a few public events in the cities where most of the endorsers live, starting with Ottawa and Toronto. Other possible sites are Vancouver, Montréal and Moncton. To do this we need to establish a minimum budget, which we estimate to be between $10,000 and $15,000. We thank those who have donated to the initiative and suggest that those who can, please send a cheque made out to “Canadian Pugwash Group – NWC Project.”
We will deposit it with the Canadian Pugwash Group, a registered Canadian charitable organization, one of the two supporting organizations, to be used exclusively for the work of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
2. Please look over the names of those who have signed to date. Do you know of any Order of Canada recipients not on this list? If so, please send their names and addresses to the address at the bottom of this letter. We will then approach them and ask if they would be interested in signing. We believe that four hundred, perhaps even five hundred in total, will agree to do so.
You can be assured that we will keep the infrastructure of this initiative as small as possible, will act in a non-partisan manner, and will maintain an exclusive focus on the Nuclear Weapons Convention.
John Polanyi, C.C., Toronto
Douglas Roche, O.C., Edmonton
Murray Thomson, O.C., Ottawa
YES, I want to support Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention
Here is my donation of $__________
Street Address: ____________________________ Postal Code: ________________ City: _____________________________________ Province: ___________________
[ ] My cheque is enclosed, payable to “Canadian Pugwash Group – NWC Project”
Security Number: __________