Canada Announces New Nuclear Weapons Policy

 

The Government of Canada on April 19, 1999 issued a new nuclear weapons policy in response to a report  released by the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs' in December 1998.

The new policy:

  • Requests NATO to review the Alliance's nuclear policy and its relationship to proliferation, arms control and disarmament developments;
  • Calls on both Russia and the U.S. to negotiate to de-alert and de-mate their nuclear arsenals to increase the margin of safety against unauthorized or accidental use of nuclear weapons;
  • Pledges to work with the New Agenda Coalition in pursuing shared nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation objectives;
  • Stresses the necessity to devalue the political significance of nuclear weapons;
  • Calls for a new Statement of Principles and Objectives at the 2000 Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty;
  • Repeats its calls for an Ad Hoc Committee of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to undertake substantive discussions on nuclear disarmament issues;
  • Agrees to hold an annual meeting with Canadian non- governmental organizations.

At the same time, however, the Government did not accept certain recommendations made by the Committee. The Government did not, for example, support  negotiations on a nuclear weapons disarmament convention or reject the use of surplus weapons plutonium from the U.S. and Russia in Canadian nuclear reactors.

For the Government's new policy visit www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nucchallenge/menu-e.htm .

 

 

 

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