Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

unacto1The UNAC is among thirteen prominent organizations that have urged the Canadian government to cease objecting to and start working for a global law to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

In a letter to Canada’s new Foreign Minister, Rob Nicholson, the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons also warned that deteriorating relations between the major nuclear powers, the US and Russia, have heightened the risk of nuclear conflict. Those two states possess 95 percent of the world’s 16,300 nuclear weapons, which include a frightening number on high-alert status.

Citing the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences” of nuclear warfare, the letter called on Canada to: “Support the commencement of work on a Nuclear Weapons Convention in a forum not subject to veto and cease objecting to the negotiation of such a convention as being somehow incompatible with the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

The letter, emerging out a recent seminar held in Ottawa, appealed to the government to take action to protect the viability of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which will undergo a month-long review at the UN starting April 27. “Given the huge stake Canada has in the future viability of the NPT and the global nuclear governance based on it, we believe some focused efforts are warranted,” the letter said.

A Nuclear Weapons Convention, called for by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, would be a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The letter called on the government to publish a strategy paper setting out Canada’s priority aims and to revive Canada’s capacity for verification technology to ensure compliance with nuclear agreements. It also requested the government to host a meeting of like-minded states as called for by the Middle Powers Initiative. The government should also work more closely with civil society representatives.

To view a copy of the letter, click here: Letter to GOC re 2015 NPT (Final)

On The Neutron Trail – Positioning Change and Global Nuclear Disarmament

Olivia Fermi : On The Neutron Trail – Positioning Change and Global
Nuclear Disarmament
Presented Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at the Italian Cultural Institute
in Vancouver

Olivia Fermi brings to our attention a fascinating array of anecdotes
which make the history of the nuclear disarmament movement  come alive.
The presentation reflects Ms. Fermi’s research into the legacy of her
grandfather, Enrico Fermi, one of the greatest physicists of the 20th
Century and a father of the atomic bomb.

A successful photographer, process facilitator and now speaker in her
own right, it remains fitting for Ms. Fermi to present the story which
begins with her grandfather’s part in the discovery of nuclear fission,
the process by which nuclear energy is released. Enrico Fermi worked
directly under Robert Oppenheimer in the infamous and secret Manhattan
Project which created the first atomic bomb. Though her grandfather died
in 1955, the nuclear disarmament movement and the nuclear arms race was
just getting going.

Olivia Fermi and audience at recent UNA-Vancouver Public Lecture

 Scientists and some politicians were the first to begin to educate the
public on the dangers of nuclear warfare, that an atomic bomb can end
life on earth; the public was quick to realize that protest was one way
to influence government military policy and make change. Continue reading