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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.
The new set of meetings at the U.N., the most significant nuclear disarmament move in twenty years, offers hope that all countries will recognize the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of any of the 15,000 nuclear weapons still in existence.
Canada must overcome its initial reluctance to support this new humanitarian effort. The government’s negative vote on the U.N. resolution mandating comprehensive negotiations was a denial of the country’s long track record of working constructively for nuclear disarmament.
CNWC rejects the government’s argument that such negotiations are “premature.” Rather, the major nuclear powers have undermined the Non-Proliferation Treaty by their refusal for almost 50 years to meet their legal obligation to negotiate in good faith the elimination of nuclear weapons.
Canada, which seeks to play a greater role in U.N. affairs, cannot be just an observer on an issue affecting the continuation of life on the planet. It has an obligation to engage seriously in the new effort to rid the world of weapons that threaten the existence of humanity. It must join actively in the new negotiations to ﬁnd a legal path to prohibit all nuclear weapons.
The names of members of the CNWC who have endorsed this statement appear below.
Jan Andrews, CM Tom Axworthy, OC Christopher Barnes, CM Gerry Barr, CM Michel Bastarache, CC Monique Begin, OC Avie Bennett, CC Ed Broadbent, CC Robert Carsen, OC Elaine Carty, CM Jan Christilaw, CM Paul Copeland, CM Gisele Cote-Harper, OC Anne Crocker, CM David Cronenberg, CC
Sir John Daniel, OC Libby Davies, OC Natalie Davis, CC Shelagh Day, CM Thomas DeKoninck, CM Howard Dyck, CM Paterson Ferns, CM Nigel Fisher, OC Norman Foster, OC Robert Glossop, CM Clarence Guenter, CM Judith Hall, OC Margaret Hilson, OC Greg Hollingshead, CM Laurent Isabelle, CM
Dan Ish, OC Sven Johansson, CM Harold Kalant, CM Bruce Kidd, OC Bonnie Klein, OC Michael Klein, CM Joy Kogawa, CM Lucia Kowaluk, CM Marcel Kretz, CM James Kudelka, OC Eva Kushner, OC John Last, OC Dennis Lee, OC Barbara Sherwood Lollar, CC Janet Lunn, CM Margaret MacMillan, CC
Peter Martin, OC David Matas, OC Elizabeth May, OC Gordon McBean, OC Audrey McLaughlin, OC Jonathan Meakins, OC John Meisel, CC Ann Mortifee, CM Jock Murray, OC Alex Neve, OC Peter Newbery, OC John O’Donnell, CM Maureen O’Neil, OC James Orbinski, OC Landon Pearson, OC John Polanyi, CC
Kari Polanyi, CM Alfred Popp, CM Valerie Pringle, CM Ernie Regehr, OC Douglas Roche, OC Nancy Ruth, CM Jack Shapiro, CM Michael Shenstone, CM David Silcox, CM Ian Smillie, CM Gérard Snow, CM Veronica Tennant, CC Murray Thomson, OC Setsuko Thurlow, CM Jane Urquhart, OC Lois Wilson, CC
Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, a project of Canadian Pugwash Group, is a civil society group representing nearly 950 members of the Order of Canada, who have asked the Canadian government to undertake a major diplomatic initiative for nuclear disarmament.