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84.03 The Peace Initiative

Science for Peace responded to Prime Minister Trudeau’s Peace Initiative with the following proposals, which were prepared by an Ad Hoc Committee for the Third Rail Canadian Peace Initiative and transmitted to his Taskforce on December 6, 1983, before the Throne Speech:

  1. The establishment of a Crisis Alert Centre, whose purpose would be to detect events that might lead to an international crisis and to alert those who would become involved, especially the superpowers. It would have to have access to the most modern means of gathering information and of rapid communications so that this information could be used. The Centre might be established in Canada, possibly with an international staff.

  2. The International Satellite Monitoring Agency, which has been proposed by France, could be tied in to this Crisis Alert Centre. Now more than ever, it deserves Canada’s support.

  3. The newly established Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament should be supported by the government since its objectives include both public education through the dissemination of information, and research into arms control issues. It should be a vehicle for more effective dialogue between the government and the public.

  4. The creation of a Peace Bank whose responsibility would be the collection and analysis of proposals from non-governmental organizations and individuals. This Bank could be housed at an existing organization, such as a peace research institute.

  5. The restoration of the Exchange Agreements between Canada and the Soviet Union, or the negotiation of new ones in the cultural and academic fields. We Believe this should be only a first step and that these exchanges should be expanded (to include young people, possibly during the International Year of the Youth in 1985, for example, or churchmen) because personal contact is an important foundation for improving international understanding.

  6. We are attracted by the concept of Twinning. This has been done in the past as a means of establishing contact between cities, as one example. It might become the basis for a co-operative effort between Canada and a member of the Warsaw Pact (Poland or Hungary, perhaps), in an effort to find ways of positive co-operation and confidence-building between the two alliances.

  7. Peace research and concomitant instruction should be encouraged and securely established in Canadian institutions of higher learning. Federal grants to support these activities would signify Canada’s determination to deal with the problem of world peace in a fundamental way, and should be promptly announced.

The most important features of the Throne Speech for Science for Peace are the renewed commitments to an arms control and disarmament verification program utilizing expertise available inside and outside the Government; and the establishment of a centre for promoting peace activities, whose precise form and role have not yet been decided.

Each of these programs will be based in the Department of External Affairs. We enclose an application form for free publications so that members of Science for Peace can keep themselves directly informed about activities and programs of this Department; the Disarmament Bulletin is especially useful. (EF)

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