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How Canada Can Regain Leadership In Nuclear Disarmament


By Douglas Roche and Tariq Rauf          

*   A new nuclear arms race has broken out and the nuclear disarmament architecture has collapsed with no prospects of early recovery.

*   Misrepresentation of the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion and disregard of nuclear disarmament obligations have led to heightened nuclear risks exacerbated by nuclear weapon modernization programs.

*   A movement on catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons produced the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which complements the Non-Proliferation Treaty.      

*   In examining the “complementarity” of the TPNW and NPT, Canada could restore its leadership in nuclear disarmament diplomacy.

*   A Canadian diplomatic initiative such as convening a high-level international meeting on reinvigorating nuclear disarmament could be a substantive contribution to the forthcoming U.N. Summit of the Future.

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Media Release May 17, 2024

Four Leading Canadian Nuclear Disarmament Groups

Urge Diplomatic Action to To Respond to “Grave Crisis”

          The four leading nuclear disarmament groups in Canada have called on the Government to launch a new diplomatic initiative to respond to the “grave crisis” of nuclear disarmament today. They urge Canada to convene a high-level international meeting, including civil society, to break the logjam caused by the nuclear weapon States’ refusal to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals.

          Examining the “complementarity” of the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  with the Non-Proliferation Treaty would reinvigorate nuclear diplomacy “This is the time for Canada to rediscover and reassert a leading role, as a middle power, to promote the cause of human security,” the paper said.

          Also, the initiative would be a contribution to the U.N. Summit of the Future, to be convened September 22-23. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the Summit “will be an important moment for the world to gather around concrete reforms to the global disarmament architecture.”

          The four groups — Canadian Pugwash Group, the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention and Project Ploughshares — jointly issued a paper, “How Canada Can Regain Leadership in Nuclear Disarmament,” authored by Douglas Roche, former Senator and former Ambassador for Disarmament, and Tariq Rauf, former Head of Verification and Security Policy at the International Atomic Energy Agency, 

          The paper also said Canada should work urgently with other middle powers for an end to nuclear sabre-rattling, taking nuclear weapons off alert status, and for the U.S. and Russia to resume negotiations on reductions of strategic weapons.

          The Canadian Pugwash Group is led by Cesar Jaramillo, who is also Executive Director of Project Ploughshares. Dr. Jonathan Down chairs the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Alex Neve chairs Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention.


For more information contact Bev Delong <>



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