Report from The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( CNANW )
by Macha MacKay
Two days of meetings with The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons ( CNANW ) were held in Ottawa in December. Updates were provided through a series of panel discussions.The keynote address was given by Randy Rydell, former Senior Policy Affairs Officer.,UN Office of Disarmament Affairs. He spoke of stalemates to the 2015 NPT, Non-Proliferation Treaty.
A lively discussion followed on possible outlook for the NPTReviewConference. The first panel presented discussion toward a Global Law on Nuclear Weapons. Chair The Hon. Douglas Roche, QC gave a brief overview of the topic and introduced the three panelists. Three Deputy Heads of Missions to Canada from Mexico. Austria and Ireland. Catherine Gribbin, Senior Legal Adviser, International Humanitarian Law, Canadian Red Cross gave a Canadian perspective. Questions followed and were answered by the panelists. A diplomat from Mexico spoke about the importance of bringing Civil Society to the table in his country. Informing citizens of our countries is of the utmost importance as a goal to educate governments.
The second panel involved a working lunch with members of Parliament representing four parties. Blaine Calkins, MP Conservative Party, Linda Duncan NDP Party, Joyce Murray for the Liberal Party. Although their task was to address their Party position on Nuclear Weapons, few presented much information on that subject. They did speak about environmental issues and party policies on various topics. Questions to the panel MP`s did provide some clarification.
The third panel in the afternoon focused on the NPT 2015 Review Conference and opportunities for State Action. Erica Simpson, Political Science Professor at University of Western Ontario, Sabine Nolke, Director General, Non-Proliferation and Security Threat Reduction Bureau, Julia Nolan, Head of Foreign Policy Team , British High Commission, Ottawa and Marius Grinius, former Ambassador for Disarmament, Canada were the speakers. A Roundup of Recommendations continued in the afternoon. There was much discussion among members of CNANW with regard to the work ahead for the network and its members. Bev Delong and others were thanked for the excellent organization of the panels.
The second day of meetings involved topics of importance to CNANW and members. Fergus Watt presented, by Skype, The World Federalists -Canada World Peace Award to Alyn Ware, who was currently in Bern, Switzerland. Members presented updates on Progress at First Committee. Doug Roche and Paul Meyer gave reports on the UN Ban proposal and on progress toward a Nuclear Weapons Convention. Cesar Jaramillo spoke about his recent meeting in Vienna with regards to preparations for the 2015 NPT. Adele Buckley spoke about her work with an Arctic Free Zone. Anna Jaikaran told of progress in Mayors for Peace. Debbie Grisdale spoke about the Lawsuit of the Marshall Islands lawsuit vs. Nuclear-armed States. An open discussion on proposed actions for upcoming work, discussion of goals and decisions for CNANW ended the afternoon.
These meetings, in my opinion, are valuable for our various groups to keep up-to-date on progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons. The members from our groups are well informed, some of them “experts” in a variety of disarmament, non-proliferation, anti-nuclear topics. I welcome the chance to be VOW representative on CNANW. If there are questions about the work or information that any VOW member requires, please contact me (Macha MacKay at Info@vowpeace.org) or look at the CNANW website http://www.web.net/~cnanw for valuable information.