The Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) held a conference entitled “Canada’s Contribution to Global Security”, July 23-25 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The conference commemorated the 150th anniversary of Confederation as well as the 60th anniversary of the international Pugwash movement. The focus of the conference was the current and future contribution Canada could make to global security and to countering existential threats to humanity.
Correspondence with government
Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention (CNWC) calls on the Government of Canada to participate actively in the new nuclear disarmament negotiations at the United Nations starting March 27. These negotiations, supported by a majority of states of the world and open to all countries, aim to produce a treaty prohibiting all nuclear weapons.
The urgency of this action was highlighted January 26, 2017, when the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight – closer than the clock has been since 1953 when the Cold War heated up following U.S. and Russian detonations of thermonuclear bombs.
From the Ottawa Citizen, 21 June 2016:
Authors Marius Grinius, Peggy Mason, Paul Meyer, Douglas Roche and Christopher Westdal have each held the post of Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, under four prime ministers.
Thirty years ago in Reykjavik, Iceland, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev – almost – made a deal that would have led to the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The discussions foundered on Reagan’s insistence that the U.S. be allowed to develop a ballistic missile defence system.
Despite the 1986 failure, Reykjavik was one of the most important summits in history. A year later, the U.S. and Soviet Union signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), for the first time eliminating an entire class of nuclear weapons. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed a few years later.
Reykjavik projected the vision of a world without nuclear weapons. It showed how leaders could look beyond hostilities to build greater security for people around the world. The end of the Cold War quickly followed and hopes for global stability, if not peace, were raised.
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:
Over 940 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.
Visit www.nuclearweaponsconvention.ca for the most recent list of recipients.