Recommendations to the Government of Canada
Canadian Pugwash Group Conference – July 2015
The Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) held a conference entitled “The Way Forward to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” July 9-11, 2015 at the National Historic Site of Thinkers” Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan, the conference, which featured leading Canadian and American experts, examined the challenges posed by the current international security context and ideas for making real progress on the road to a world without nuclear weapons. The executive of the Canadian Pugwash Group has endorsed the following recommendations developed by the conference participants for consideration by the Government of Canada:
- The Government should implement the unanimous motion of Parliament adopted in 2010 to support the UN Secretary General’s Five Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament and to immediately take a major diplomatic initiative to advance nuclear disarmament objectives. To this end, the Government should endorse the Humanitarian Pledge and host an inclusive international meeting to explore effective legal measures for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and to elaborate elements of a working agenda for a multilateral negotiating process to achieve this goal.
- In light of ongoing modernization of nuclear weapons assigned to NATO, Canada should advocate within Alliance councils for the end of NATO’s reliance on nuclear weapons. As an interim measure, Canada should urge that a global policy of no foreign basing of nuclear weapons be adhered to.
- Given the crucial role that transparency plays in ensuring the accountability of states with respect to their commitments, Canada should intensify its efforts to enhance the transparency of the nuclear disarmament process through information reported by states on the size and nature of their nuclear weapon arsenals, research and production facilities, delivery vehicles, fissile material holdings, doctrines and related budgets.
- The Government is to be commended for its participation in the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification and is encouraged to strengthen its engagement in the development of nuclear disarmament verification measures.
- Canada should sign and ratify the Arms Trade Treaty in order, as a state party, to play its full role in the future development and implementation of this important accord.
- Canada should consider a moratorium on the development and deployment of lethal autonomous robots, and the desirability of an international ban on such weapons.
- Canada should seek the early international regulation of unmanned armed aerial vehicles/drones.
- As a contribution to both regional and global security, Canada should support the full implementation of the Minsk Accords and the material enhancement of the OSCE monitoring mission in Eastern Ukraine.
- The Government should revisit its earlier proposal (set out in Conference on Disarmament working paper CD/1865 5 June 2009) to advocate that states make three “pledges” to safeguard the security of outer space.
- In recognition of its crucial role in preserving a secure and sustainable environment in outer space, Canada should advocate for the convening, and possibly host, a conference of the states parties to the Outer Space Treaty to mark the 50th anniversary of that treaty in 2017.
- In applying the principles of strategic foresight, the Government should produce a policy statement setting out its global role on peace and security.
- The Government should initiate a process to ensure the nuclear weapon free status of Canada and promote an Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.
- The Canadian military should be appropriately represented (CDS or designate) in any future Canadian delegation to nuclear disarmament negotiations.
The Canadian Pugwash Group believes that Canada can make substantial contributions to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. It therefore commends the above recommendations to your active attention and is ready to discuss them further with you or your officials.
David Harries, Chair
on behalf of the CPG Executive
* David Harries (chair), Adele Buckley, Bev Delong, Walter Dorn, Pierre Jasmin, Paul Meyer, Sergei Plekhanov, Shane Roberts, Douglas Roche, Metta Spencer, Murray Thomson.
cc: Leaders of the New Democratic, Liberal and Green Parties