The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons | Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires

Dr. Jonathan Down new Chairperson of CNANW


Dr. Jonathan Down succeeds Dr. Sylvie Lemieux and Mr. Robin Collins as Chairperson of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons 

Dr. Jonathan Down, an active supporter of nuclear disarmament for more than 30 years, will serve as chairperson of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, effective March 31, 2024.

He replaces Robin Collins and Sylvie Lemieux who served as Co-Chairpersons for a period of three years. Highlights of their work include the promotion of, and outreach for, a Peace Table for Ukraine and Russia and several important Roundtables generating focused recommendations to the Government of Canada, especially on reduction of nuclear weapon risks.

The nomination of Dr. Down, presented by former Senator and Ambassador for Disarmament, the Honourable Douglas Roche O.C., Chairperson of the CNANW Search Committee, was unanimously approved by the CNANW Steering Committee and endorsed by the 17 member organizations of the Network.

Dr Jonathan Down is a recently retired Developmental Paediatrician and lives in Victoria, BC. He became a member of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1986, the same year he founded a local chapter of Project Ploughshares in Manotick, Ontario where he was then living. As did many, he had expected that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the USSR would eventually lead to peace and the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Dr. Down, together with Dr Mary-Wynne Ashford, formed a teaching partnership in Victoria giving peace talks in local high schools and community venues, and gathered support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the Ban Treaty). Their work was acknowledged by the 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award from Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention. Dr. Down was President of IPPNW Canada from 2019-2023 and remains on the Board.

The outgoing Co-Chairpersons of the CNANW, Sylvie Lemieux and Robin Collins,  remarked that “Dr. Down has already brought us much leadership in the disarmament field, and contributed a great deal to our network over the years. We are now happy to pass the baton over to him.”

The new Chairperson will continue to receive the support of Dr. Lemieux and Mr. Collins, together with the steadfast advice of Bev Delong, who remains a lifetime member of the Network’s Steering Committee.

Other Steering Committee members are Dr. Nancy Covington, Dr. Arnd Jurgensen, Mr. Cesar Jaramillo, Dr. John Guilfoyle, Dr. Richard Denton, and Dr. Erika Simpson.

The member organizations of the CNANW are:
Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Project Save the World (publishers of Peace Magazine)
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Canadian Peace Research Association
Canadian Pugwash Group
Friends for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
Group of 78
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada
Project Ploughshares
Religions for Peace Canada
Rideau Institute
Science for Peace
United Nations Association in Canada
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Canada section)
World Federalist Movement – Canada


Contact CNANW by email:
The CNANW is a project of Canadian Pugwash Group.

CNANW: “We believe that the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons are abhorrent and morally wrong. We call on the Government of Canada to work urgently with other nations to conclude a Convention which will set out a binding timetable for the abolition of all nuclear weapons in the world.”


PDF (in English): CNANW Chair Dr. J Down Announcement
PDF (en français): RCAN Dr. J Down Annonce

Submission to UN Summit of the Future

Submitted by CNANW as a contribution to:  Chapter II. International peace and security

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Steering Committee (CNANW-SC) welcomes the opportunity for civil society to make an important contribution to the upcoming UN Summit of the Future.

First, we strongly encourage the strengthening of support for the bedrock Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and goals of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and other legal restraints and obligations. But greater attention to the urgent work to eliminate nuclear weapons is required.

Second, CNANW-SC supports the nuclear disarmament proposals from civil society for the Summit of the Future  in the first round of civil society consultations facilitated by the Coalition for the UN we Need, and which are included in the Interim People’s Pact for the Future which includes the following proposals:

We also highlight the following proposals, which will reduce global instability: 

1)  The approval by all Nuclear Weapons States and their alliances of the policy of No-First-Use of nuclear weapons;

2)  The prioritizing of policies based on Common Security as the foundation for global governance. Restore and expand emphasis on war prevention and peaceful conflict resolution, and give priority to building the United Nations as envisaged by its Charter. Press for multilateral over unilateral responses to stave off, or hasten the repair of, breaches of the peace, to limit human suffering and environment degradation, and to thereby minimize costly military interventions.  Common security puts a premium on the machinery and diplomacy of international cooperation and favours the peaceful resolution of disputes, together with the equal right to security of all states;

3) Reliance on the International Court of Justice as a core legal instrument for the prevention of war;

4)  Sustainable earth stewardship will be enhanced by redirection of financial and human resources away from maintenance of dangerous weapons systems, including nuclear weapons modernization, and failed military doctrines, including nuclear deterrence.

We wish the planners of the UN Summit of the Future great success in the elaboration of the Zero Draft Report.

In pursuit of a more stable and sustainable world, free of nuclear weapons.

We remain available should you have any questions.

Most sincerely,

CNANW Co-Chairs Robin Collins and Dr. Sylvie Lemieux,
CNANW Steering Committee,
Canadian Pugwash Group
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW)
Group of 78
Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition (HNDC)
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Canada (IPPNWC)
Project Ploughshares
Religions for Peace Canada
Religions pour la Paix – Québec
Rideau Institute
Science for Peace

— December 2023 —

Today’s Wars No Excuse to Abandon Disarmament

Download statement in pdf


Published in The Hill Times, November 1, 2023

For the first time, the four leading organizations in Canada devoted to nuclear disarmament issues — Canadian Pugwash GroupCanadian Network to Abolish Nuclear WeaponsCanadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention and Project Ploughshares — co-sponsored a single event on Oct. 19, 2023. This extraordinary Roundtable, “Revitalizing Nuclear Disarmament Afer the Ukraine War,” was convened at a moment of extreme danger to the world. This is the Roundtable’s abridged report to the Government of Canada.

Full Report, Canada’s Role in Nuclear Disarmament in a Multi-Polar World: After Ukraine Special Roundtable

Reducing the Nuclear Weapons Risks in the Ukraine Conflict

Report on November 29, 2022 Special Meeting of CNANW

In a recent statement, NATO’s Secretary General, a former social-democratic Norwegian Prime Minster, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance will continue to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes”. He added: “We will not back down.” Prominent columnists have challenged the very idea that a ceasefire in the Ukraine crisis is possible or have even suggested that it might lengthen the war on Russian President Putin’s terms. Some press for a “fight to victory” by Kyiv, given recent gains on the battlefield. Sometimes the nuclear weapons threat is seen as blackmail, a bluff, or a risk worth ignoring.

How then can Canada constructively contribute to peace?

Panelists at the CNANW discussion in late November were asked to consider opportunities for reducing the nuclear weapon threat, and prospects for peace. All acknowledged the dire situation in Ukraine following the illegal Russian invasion.

CNANW Appeal to Members of Canada’s Parliament to Support Canada attending as Observer to the TPNW

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 together with prolonged conflict and heightened rhetoric have contributed to fears of a widening of this war, and even to detonation of nuclear weapons by intention, through escalation or by accident.

Add to this global challenge the US and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 2019, the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, ongoing skirmishes between India and Pakistan, modernization of nuclear weapons by all nuclear weapon states, and the possibility of cyber-attacks leading to a nuclear weapon event.

One opportunity now arises through a show of support by Canada for movement in a safer direction and towards eliminating nuclear weapons from the battlefield entirely, as part of our country’s longstanding disarmament legacy.

The First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) approaches at the end of June. Several countries that have shown little interest in signing the TPNW are still considering registering their solidarity in support of the intent of the treaty’s goal of nuclear weapon abolition. This includes NATO allies Norway and Germany, and aspiring NATO members Sweden and Finland. Canada can join this group.

For these reasons, we ask all Members of Parliament to now support an all-party call on the Canadian government to attend the TPNW inaugural meeting of states parties – as an observer.

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
May 31, 2022

RCAAN: Appel aux membres du Parlement canadien pour soutenir la participation du Canada en tant qu’observateur à la TIAN

L’invasion de l’Ukraine par la Russie le 24 février ainsi que la prolongation du conflit et l’intensification de la rhétorique ont contribué à faire craindre un élargissement de cette guerre, voire une détonation d’armes nucléaires par intention, par escalade ou par accident.

À ce défi mondial s’ajoutent le retrait des États-Unis et de la Russie du traité sur les forces nucléaires à portée intermédiaire (FNI) en 2019, le retrait des États-Unis de l’accord nucléaire avec l’Iran, les escarmouches en cours entre l’Inde et le Pakistan, la modernisation des armes nucléaires par tous les États dotés d’armes nucléaires et la possibilité de cyberattaques menant à un événement impliquant des armes nucléaires.

Dans le cadre de l’héritage de longue date de notre pays en matière de désarmement, une occasion se présente aujourd’hui d’aller dans une direction plus sûre et d’éliminer complètement les armes nucléaires du champ de bataille.

La première réunion des États parties au Traité sur l’interdiction des armes nucléaires (TIAN) approche à la fin du mois de juin. Plusieurs pays qui ont manifesté peu d’intérêt pour la signature du TIAN envisagent encore d’enregistrer leur solidarité pour soutenir l’objectif du traité, à savoir l’abolition des armes nucléaires. Il s’agit notamment des alliés de l’OTAN, la Norvège et l’Allemagne, et des pays aspirant à devenir membres de l’OTAN, la Suède et la Finlande. Le Canada peut se joindre à ce groupe.

Pour ces raisons, nous demandons à tous les membres du Parlement de soutenir l’appel lancé par tous les partis au gouvernement canadien pour qu’il assiste à la réunion inaugurale des États parties au TIAN – en tant qu’observateur.


Le Réseau canadien pour l’abolition des armes nucléaires
31 mai 2022

Canadians call on NATO:  Reduce Nuclear Risks

Les demandent à l’OTAN de Réduire les Risques Nucléaires

In June 2022, NATO will conclude a review of its principal “Strategic Concept” policy. Backed by strong science-based information, we urge the Canadian Government to lessen the risk of nuclear weapon use, and emphasize diplomacy in resolving conflicts.

En juin 2022, l’OTAN conclura la révision de sa politique principale relative au “concept stratégique”. Sur la base d’informations scientifiques solides, nous demandons instamment au gouvernement canadien de réduire le risque d’utilisation de l’arme nucléaire et de privilégier la diplomatie pour résoudre les conflits.