Three cheers for Bill Graham! On March 19, Canada's new Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva, reminding them of their huge unfinished agenda concerning nuclear weapons. Few of Peace's readers need to be informed that this bracing pep talk will surely prompt grumblings from the United States government. Now is a good time to encourage the minister - and indeed, the whole government - for delivering this courageous and timely message. Let us hope that the CD responds appropriately.
In general, Canadian peace activists are encouraged by the appointment of Mr. Graham, who has already shown integrity by displaying an even-handed approach to the Middle Eastern conflict in his speeches. He is a worthy successor to Lloyd Axworthy, whose innovative work is still bearing fruition. Two examples appeared this week.
A joint Pugwash-Science for Peace meeting discussed the report "Responsibility to Protect," recently issued by an international commission that Mr. Axworthy established to examine military intervention in foreign situations abroad for humanitarian purposes. The issue that is most fraught, impeding consensus about such intervention, is the potential threat to national sovereignty. Yet the commission was able reach agreement by indicating that national sovereignty carries with it some duties - especially the duty to protect the people living within a given state. It is only when this responsibility has been violated that intervention may be considered - and then, of course, only under very limited circumstances. The Security Council will be examining the report at an upcoming policy retreat. It deserves close consideration.
The second initiative of Mr. Axworthy to which I refer is his commissioning a book on sanctions by David Cortright and George Lopez. You will find John Bacher's favorable review of the study in this issue.