In April the United Nations, in a historic achievement, completed negotiations to limit the trade in weapons around the world.
However, Canada has not signed this treaty. On the contrary, the Harper government has set out to make Canada a major weapons exporter. In one scheme, the government plans to spend $1 billion on tanks that the Army does not even want.
In December Angela Kane, a high-ranking UN official came to Canada to urge Canada to promote peace. She pointed out that Canada is being noticed for not signing it. The Ottawa-based organization Ceasefire is campaigning for the government to sign the treaty.
Source: Steven Staples. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tons of uranium dioxide are being processed into pellets for use as nuclear fuel in a residential neighborhood of Toronto. The GE-Hitachi plant is at 1025 Lansdowne, north of Dupont, right by the railroad tracks that carried the tank cars that eventually exploded in Lac-Mégantic. This was a disaster waiting to happen. Fifty-three percent of Canada’s uranium dioxide powder for use as nuclear fuel passes over Toronto’s streets to and from the plant.
The UN’s Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) submitted its consensus report to the General Assembly in September. It had elevated the issue of nuclear disarmament and introduced some innovative proposals, including the “building blocks” approach, without however taking any decisions.
Then on September 26 the first ever UN High Level Meeting on nuclear disarmament was held.
Next, in November, the UN’s First Committee (on Disarmament and International Security) adopted a motion by the Non-Aligned Movement calling for immediate negotiations to begin on a nuclear weapons convention, to be held at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva.
For this to succeed, the CD will have to overcome its 17-year deadlock. It has established an informal working group to do so. The resolution calls for additional reviews and a progress report to the General Assembly in 2014.
Furthermore, there will be a UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in 2018, and September 26 has been designated as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
A super-majority of UN members voted for Resolution L34 calling for an evaluation at the 2014 General Assembly as to whether further work should be undertaken by the OEWG in 2015.
Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2014, page 2. Some rights reserved.
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