Canadian Pugwash


Funding Campaign:- (1)Promote Recommendations to Government of Canada; (2)Further the cause of Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention- Recipients of the Order of Canada press the Canadian Government sign the current Prohibition Treaty and to convene an international conference to promote a 'Convention', a universal treaty making nuclear weapons illegal. (3) Arctic security - remove nuclear weapons; see Canada Helps profile too
Canadian Pugwash@Pugwash_Group
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Recommendations to the Government of Canada
Canadian Pugwash Group Conference – July 2017
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.
The CPG Board of Directors has endorsed the following recommendations developed by
the conference participants for consideration by the Government of Canada:
1. Canada should sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and state
that it will, through dialogue and changes to its own policies and practices, persist
in efforts to bring NATO into conformity with the Treaty, with a view to Canada’s
ratification as soon as possible.
2. Canada should revivify its work on nuclear disarmament by enlarging its
contribution to the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification
and by leading efforts to initiate negotiations for a Fissile Material Treaty in the
UN General Assembly in 2018.
3. Canada should demand that nuclear weapons states reduce risks by, inter alia,
taking nuclear forces off high alert status, adopting no first-use policies and
ensuring adequate security of existing nuclear weapons.
4. Canada should convene a high-level roundtable, taking into account the
submission by civil society to the Defence Policy Review entitled A Shift to
Sustainable Peace and Common Security and involving its contributing
organizations to explore opportunities for developing a comprehensive, whole-ofgovernment
approach to sustainable peace.
5. Canada should commit meaningfully and substantially to a people-centric
approach to multilateral peace operations. This will require a major reinvestment
in standing capabilities, in line with the goals of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre
(1995-2013) and continued efforts by peacekeeping training centres in Africa.
6. Canada should re-commit to the practical requirements of protecting civilians,
including building on the Canadian Forces’ new doctrine on child soldiers and
ensuring alignment between peace operations and the feminist international
assistance policy.
7. Canada should become a leading technology contributing country to support UN
peace operations and demonstrate specific commitments to these operations in
Africa and beyond as befits our role as host to the November UN ministerial
meeting on peacekeeping.
8. Canada should convene no later than 2018 the first ever meeting of States Parties
to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.
9. Canada should convene in 2018 a multilateral meeting on the implementation of
the consensus recommendations from the 2013 UN Group of Governmental Experts
on Transparency and Confidence Building Measures in Outer Space.
10. Canada should articulate a national space policy that would ensure the continued
safe, secure and sustainable access to outer space.
11.Canada should promote international arrangements to ensure the peaceful use of
12.Canada should rebalance the federal budget by directing resources to programs
which are effective in reducing climate change and thereby help to prevent
security threats.
13.Canada should include greenhouse gas emissions of overseas military operations in
official accounting, seek to reduce such emissions and urge others to do the same.
14.Canada should convene a conference of Arctic States, at the highest level, with
the involvement of Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic to launch an ongoing security
forum to consider practical measures to advance peaceful cooperation in the
The CPG Board of Directors convey the above recommendations with the
conviction that Canadian leadership in advancing these critical issues for global
security would represent an important and enduring way of commemorating the
150th anniversary of our Confederation.
Yours respectfully,
David Harries, Chair
On behalf of the CPG Board of Directors*
*David Harries, Adele Buckley, Robin Collins, Bev Delong, Walter Dorn, Pierre
Jasmin, Paul Meyer, Sergei Plekhanov, Shane Roberts, Erika Simpson, Metta
“Canada’s Contribution to Global Security”
Canadian Pugwash Group Conference
Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 23-25, 2017
Report of Proceedings: August 15, 2017
Executive Summary:
Canada’s contribution, past, present and future, to global security was the principal focus of the Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) conference marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 60th anniversary of the Pugwash movement. The international Pugwash movement, of which the Canadian group is an affiliate, has its birth place in the seaside village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia and its national historic site of “Thinkers Lodge”. CPG’s mission is to harness “science” broadly understood in the effort to counter existential threats to humanity and this core focus informed the selection of the seven thematic sessions comprising the conference.
The first session on “Current Challenges to Global Security” set the stage via an address by the Hon. Douglas Roche O.C. on the challenges posed by building the security architecture for a world without nuclear weapons.  He characterized the humanitarian movement that had led to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as the contemporary equivalent of the 19C movement to abolish slavery and foresaw a similar impact on the world. Sean Howard decried the “cancers” of the 20C arising from a belief in domination over cooperation and elucidated the imperative to shift to a strategy of “sustainable peace”.
What the Government of Canada might contribute to a “sustainable peace” effort was highlighted in presentations by DND and GAC officials on the outcomes of the Defence Policy and International Assistance Policy reviews. Noting the security problems posed by a return of great power rivalry, both presentations stressed the conflict prevention orientation of the respective policies. It was acknowledged that the root causes of conflict required attention via a “whole of government” and that peace was an essential condition for realizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
The current state of nuclear arms control and disarmament was featured in the third session with a stress on the real progress represented by the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty and the challenge it posed to “outmoded doctrines” of nuclear deterrence as well as specious objections that international security conditions were not “ripe” for nuclear disarmament. The Government of Canada was encouraged to engage in global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Multilateral peace operations and Canada’s role with respect to them was a natural focus for the conference’s fourth session. While current Canadian contributions to UN peace operations had fallen to an all-time low, there was hope that the Government would finally make a specific commitment to an existing UN mission worthy of the host of the November ministerial meeting. The “mission multiplier” role that surveillance and other technology could impart to UN peace operations was showcased. Complementary efforts Canada could play in enhancing African peacekeeping capability and the development of security sector approaches to dealing with child soldiers were further subjects of attention.
The potential for preventive diplomacy in the fragile, but vital environment of outer space was the focus of the fifth session. The importance of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the 50th anniversary of which occurs this year, for preserving space for “peaceful purposes” was emphasized. At the same time, there is a need to reinforce the legal regime for outer space with additional Transparency and Confidence-building Measures if its peaceful orientation is to be sustained. The destabilizing effects of the unchecked development of ballistic missile defence for both space security and as a check on further reductions of nuclear forces was also stressed. The new environment of cyberspace was flagged as an increasingly crucial asset for humanity that will require proactive steps by governments and civilian stakeholders if it is not to become just another domain for war-fighting.
Climate change has long been recognized by Pugwash as an existential threat to humanity, one that has only been intensified by the recent research linking nuclear weapon use with gravely adverse climatic changes. The exacerbating effects of climate change for provoking conflict was highlighted in the sixth session as was the need for continued civil society advocacy at all levels of government for implementing the targets set out in the Paris agreement.
Global warming has had a disproportionate impact on the Arctic. The seventh session examined strategies to ensure that increased commercial activity, such as navigation, fishing and hydrocarbon exploration and drilling did not produce an increase in militarization in the region. The advisability of continued multilateral cooperation in the harsh Arctic environment, together with the intention of many non-circumpolar states to participate in Arctic development will introduce security issues which are outside the mandate of the Arctic Council. The potential stabilizing effects of an Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone were discussed in this context.
The conference’s keynote speech, delivered by Ernie Regehr O.C. addressed the diminishing utility of violence in achieving political goals. Regime destruction does not equate with positive regime change. Attaining sustainable development objectives is predicated on maintaining a modicum of peace and security. The development of good governance and institutions for the just and peaceful settlement of disputes merit priority attention by the international community rather than enlarging the capacity to wage war. It is time to heed the UN Secretary General’s call for a shift in focus from response to prevention.
A concluding presentation by CPG’s Chair, David Harries, on “The Way Forward” noted the statement by Elissa Golberg of the establishment of a Foresight staff at GAC and recommended broader application of strategic foresight to global security challenges in three areas: anticipation of changes to security context, engaging youth, and exploring the real costs of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.
A feature of CPG conferences is the development by participants of action-oriented recommendations for consideration by the Government of Canada. The breakout groups comprising the second day of the conference enabled all attendees to relate expert presentations to potential solutions for pressing problems in keeping with CPG’s “thinking and doing” character. These recommendations are appended to the present report.
 [full report is available at]

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