e-Workshop; Nuclear Weapons, Disarmament, and the Middle East

An opportunity for all Pugwash members to participate in an E-workshop on “Toward a Nuclear Weapons-Free Middle East”

Featuring: Paul Meyer and Peter Jones
Where? On your computer screen
When? June 5, 2-4 p.m. 2013 Eastern Daylight Time (past event)

We are pleased to invite you to join us for a special online workshop on the obstacles and prospects for establishing the Middle East as a zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.

The failure to hold a promised international conference of states on this question in 2012 is now having significant and dangerous reverberations for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review process.

The workshop will be moderated by Ernie Regehr and will feature presentations by two of Canada’s foremost experts on these issues:

Paul Meyer

  • Fellow in International Security, Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
  • Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation
  • formerly Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament and head of Canadian delegations to the NPT Review Conferences

Peter Jones

  • Associate Professor in the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
  • formerly a senior analyst for the Security and Intelligence Secretariat of the Privy Council of Canada
  • member of the Pugwash International Council
  • a specialist in Middle East affairs and Iranian security policy; international negotiation and conflict resolution, and track-two diplomacy

Discussions with the online participants will follow the expert presentations.

Participation will be via your home computer.

When you log in to the event, you will see the presenters and moderators and you will be able to participate through email and/or the microphone on your computer.

Register for the E-Workshop

REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL. We will send you log-in instructions as well as some background reading

To register, contact Ernie Regehr at eregehr@uwaterloo.ca.

This is a new approach to holding conferences and workshops for Canadian Pugwash members – one that facilitates the sharing of expertise on important, topical issues and the participation of members from across the country, while leaving no carbon footprint. We look forward to your participation. Help us to make this new venture a success!

Yours in peace,

Ernie Regehr and Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon


There is a growing consensus expressed by world leaders on the urgent need for ridding the world of nuclear weapons. A Nuclear Weapons Convention is widely recognized as the best negotiating process yet devised to bring about total nuclear disarmament. Leaders have supported the public campaign for zero nuclear weapons led by the Global Zero movement. Explore these links to other organizations pursuing goals of total nuclear disarmament.

Other links and articles

Note: These projects are not part of the Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention initiative. We cannot be responsible for controlling the availability, accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of the information on other websites. As well, the decision to include a specific link is not intended to be an endorsement of its content or of its owner.

Experts urge Canadian leadership to ban nuclear weapons

(Ottawa) The Canadian government should join a new international effort to construct a global legal ban on all nuclear weapons, concluded disarmament experts meeting in Ottawa.

“Canada should host a meeting of governments and civil society experts to prepare for negotiations for universal, verifiable and irreversible nuclear disarmament as called for by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon,” said former Senator Douglas Roche, Canada’s former UN Ambassador for Disarmament.

Five Canadian civil society organizations urged the Canadian government to act on motions already adopted by both the Senate and the House of Commons calling on the government “to deploy a major worldwide Canadian diplomatic initiative” for nuclear disarmament.

The expert seminar, held April 11th and 12th, was attended by diplomats from 20 embassies, parliamentarians, and government officials to consider the threat posed to Canadians and all global citizens by the 22,000 nuclear weapons still in existence.

Calling for negotiations to start on a legal ban on all nuclear weapons, Sergio Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament at the U.N., said use of any nuclear weapon would be “an egregious violation of the most fundamental tenets of international humanitarian law and the laws of war.”

Amb. Richard Butler, Middle Powers Initiative chairman, said Canada has a special role to play because it has the standing to stimulate informal discussions on the legal, technical and political requisites for a nuclear weapons free world that can set the stage for major international negotiations later on. He said the Middle Powers Organization would be prepared to work with Canada in going forward.

Diplomats from the UK, Switzerland, Mexico and Austria responded to H.R. Duarte. Nicolas Brühl, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland stated: “[Nuclear weapons] are fundamentally immoral because they cause massive and indiscriminate destruction in terms of human lives, material resources and consequences for the environment. They are illegal by their very nature with regard to international humanitarian law.”

Dr. John Burroughs of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy noted the recent Vancouver Declaration that clarifies that both the use, and threat of use, of nuclear weapons breach international humanitarian law.

“A practical and single-focused process leading to a global legal ban on nuclear weapons provides the way to safely rid the world of all nuclear weapons in a secure manner.” said Beverley Delong of Lawyers for Social Responsibility. “And Canada has a unique opportunity to lead the way.”

This seminar was sponsored by the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Canadian Pugwash, Physicians for Global Survival, Project Ploughshares, and World Federalist Movement – Canada.

Expert Seminar: Toward a Nuclear Weapons Convention: A Role for Canada” April 11, 12, 2011.



The Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament at (780) 466-8072 or cell (780) 984-8292

Mr. Ernie Regehr, O.C., Research Fellow, Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo at phone 519-579-4735 or Mobile: 519-591-4421

Appeals by Interested Parties

Many contributors over the years have provided insights into the prevention and resolution of armed conflict, including nuclear abolition and nuclear and conventional disarmament.

Advisory Panel

  • Carolyn Acker, CM, RN, MA, DSchc. Toronto, ON Founder, Pathways to Education Canada
  • Bruce Aikenhead, OC, B.Sc, AFCASI, P.Eng. Salmon Arm, BC Architect & Space Engineer
  • Christopher Barnes, CM, PhD, DSc, FRSC, P Geo. Victoria, BC Earth Scientist
  • Gerald Barr, CM. Ottawa, ON   CEO, Directors Guild of Canada; former President, CCIC
  • Michel Bastarache, CC, LL.L, LL.B, DES. Ottawa, ON former Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Tony Belcourt, OC, LLD. Ottawa, ON Advocate for Metis rights
  • Paul Copeland, CM. Toronto, ON Human Rights Lawyer
  • Gisèle Côté-Harper, OC. Québec, QC Lawyer. Board Chair, Rights & Democracy
  • Nigel Fisher, OC, O.Ont, MSC, MA, LLD. Salt Spring Island, BC Humanitarian, former head of UN Mission in Haiti
  • Margaret Hilson, OC, MES, RN. Vancouver, BC former Head, International Program, CPHA
  • Daniel Ish, OC.  Saskatoon, SK Former Chief Adjudicator, Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat
  • Pierre Jeanniot, OC, CQ, B.Sc, LL.D Montreal, QC, President Emeritus of Air Canada & CEO,IATA
  • Bruce Kidd, OC, Ph.D. Toronto, ON Former Olympic Athlete; Dean of Physical Edn, U of Toronto
  • Patrick Lane, OC. North Saanich, BC Award-winning Canadian Poet
  • Margaret MacMillan, OC, D.Phil, LL.D, FRSL Oxford, UK Historian, Author
  • Elizabeth May, OC, LL.B. Ottawa, ON Leader of Green Party of Canada; was Exec. Dir., Sierra Club
  • Audrey McLaughlin, PC, OC., MSW, LL.D. Whitehorse, YT Was Leader of NDP
  • Alex Neve, OC. Ottawa, ON Lawyer & Executive Director of Amnesty International Canada
  • Landon Pearson, OC. Ottawa, ON Author on Children’s Rights; Former Senator
  • Nancy Ruth, CM, MA, LL.D. Toronto, ON Senator and Philanthropist
  • Jennifer Simons, CM. Vancouver, BC Founder & President, The Simons Foundation
  • Gérard Snow, CM., L.Ph., LL.B; trad.a. Moncton, NB Lawyer & Jurilinguist
  • Setsuko Thurlow, CM, MSW. Toronto, ON Founder, Japanese Family Services
  • Jean Vanier, CC., BOC, D.Ph. Paris, France Theologian; founder of L’Arche
  • Lois Wilson, CC, O.Ont, M.Div, LLD. Toronto, ON President, Cdn. & World Councils of Churches


Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention is a project of the Canadian Pugwash Group.

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