Perhaps it is time for a review and update of Canada’s role in nuclear weapons elimination. It may be time to have a debate of such as:
A Canadian Declaration on the Control, Verification and Eventual Elimination of Nuclear weapons
Preamble. The IPNDV consultation represents an opportunity for Canada to continue to deliver its government mandated “pivot to peace operations’ in regards to international peace and stability, specifically in the area of nuclear weapons control.
However, getting rid of all nuclear weapons does not un-invent the technology or the knowledge for reconstitution of a nuclear threat. Certainly getting rid of existing nuclear weapons is a necessary step but may be impractical in the near term. An overriding need is a new global ethic regarding nuclear weapons to deal with this reality.
This ethic must certainly deal with the treaties, prohibitions, control and verification regimes, safeguards and global pressure, but in parallel, we have to deal with the nature of conflict, the evolution of national and global identities, the responsible use of power, and the mimetic structures that pass on cultures and values of hate, violence, or conflict from generation to generation. Structures that often fuelled by poverty, corruption or extremist politics. We must transcend our identities, live beyond national interest, beyond differences, to the level of global citizen, to that of human being. We are one family. We must change the language of conflict from “war and enemies and anger”, to a language of “peacemaking, humanitarian operations, reconciliation, of stopping violence and relieving suffering”.
We need to acknowledge the truth that under no interpretations of the laws of armed conflict is the use of nuclear weapons either legal or acceptable in any way.
We also need to consider a new global ethic regarding responses to conflict in the global community to reduce, such as the usage risk of nuclear weapons. We need to codify and consolidate a body of law and convention obligating robust peace operations as a precursor to military intervention, and make military intervention a truly last resort. We need to fund and resource such a capacity.
Whereas, we believe that nuclear weapons are unusable within the laws of armed conflict.
Whereas, we believe that the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons defines the best of human existence for all mankind.
Whereas, in the interim, we believe in the strongest verification regime possible for all nuclear weapons states.
It is therefore recommended that Canada formally adopts a principle of non indifference regarding nuclear weapons. Canada cannot remain indifferent to the threat that nuclear weapons represents to mankind. Canada should not refuse to do what Canada can do.
- Canada support and seek leadership of UN forums working towards the verification and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Canada lead a “renewal initiative” for nuclear weapons treaty verification, adherence and enforcement strengthening to all existing treaties and conventions regarding nuclear weapons, such as involving the NPT.
- Canada leads a “renewal initiative” involving the development of relational meta environment approaches to address state security needs for nuclear weapons and to build integrity for the primacy of peaceful human values and global human security.
- Canada create institutions capable of peace operations what can support field verification operations, ideally within a department of peace.
- Canada lead an initiative to codify “laws for peace operations” in pre, during and post conflict phases, as a strict precursor to invoking “laws of armed conflict” and military intervention.
- Canada may also consider mandating DND to develop training and expertise, and create deployable units to support verification requirements.
- Canada consider declaring itself a nuclear weapons free zone.
- Canada endorse and recognize cities joining Mayors for Peace (Mayors for Peace is a network of over 5500 cities. The organization was founded in 1991 by the then Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It calls upon cities to stand together for nuclear abolition and world peace. The leadership provided by the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is an important reminder that these are not abstract threats, but a matter of life and death for cities.)
Paul Maillet Colonel retired