UN’s Kim Won-Soo calls on Canada for disarmament role

UN High Representative Calls on Canada to Play Special Role in Nuclear Disarmament

Canada is uniquely placed to play a catalytic role between the nuclear weapons states and the non-nuclear states in promoting nuclear disarmament, UN High Representative for Disarmament Kim Won-soo said in Ottawa on May 3, 2016.

Addressing a Parliamentary Forum organized by Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, Mr. Kim warned that the consequences of not resolving present geopolitical tensions in the world could prove “catastrophic” if nuclear weapons are not eliminated.  He said Canada, with a strong record in nuclear disarmament work over several decades, could play a “bridging role” bringing the nuclear and non-nuclear states closer together on forming common policies.

The High Representative’s two-day visit to Ottawa was elevated by the Government of Canada to official status.  He met with Foreign Minister Stephane Dion, who also gave a luncheon in his honour for officials and civil society representatives.

Mr. Kim also met with the Speaker of the Senate, George Furey and with senior officials in the Prime Minister’s office as well as giving a lecture, “Pursuing a Nuclear Weapon-free World: the Secretary-General’s Five-Point Plan on Nuclear Disarmament,” to the University of Ottawa.  Appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, he urged parliamentarians to activate a motion already passed by the Parliament of Canada calling for progress in getting negotiations started that would lead to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Senator Douglas Roche, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, hailed the High Representative’s visit to Ottawa as “an outstanding success in raising the profile in Canada of nuclear disarmament issues at a time when the nuclear states are modernizing their arsenals and also boycotting ongoing talks in Geneva aimed at finding a legal path to the elimination of nuclear weapons.” 

Read the text of HR Kim Won-Soo’s speech here: UN High Representative Calls on Canada to Play Special Role in Nuclear Disarmament