Advancing Disarmament in the Face of Great Power Reluctance: The Canadian Contribution

Hanson, Marianne (2001) Advancing Disarmament in the Face of Great Power Reluctance: The Canadian Contribution. Working Paper no. 37, Institute of International Relations, University of British Columbia.

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Author Hanson, Marianne
Title Advancing Disarmament in the Face of Great Power Reluctance: The Canadian Contribution
School, Department or Centre Institute of International Relations
Institution University of British Columbia
Open Access Status Other
Report Number Working Paper no. 37
Publication date 2001-06-01
Subject 360204 Defence Studies
Abstract/Summary A broad range of states and actors is seeking to influence the pace of nuclear disarmament and reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international security. The reasons for this upsurge of interest in advancing nuclear disarmament are (a) the humanitarian benefits of strengthening a non-nuclear norm, and (b) the opportunities offered to small and middle-sized states to participate in negotiating forums on issues once dominated by the great powers. Importantly, the "abolitionist upsurge" has been augmented by reports sponsored by key Western allies. These include the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the Tokyo Forum Report, and the Canadian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade report, "Canada and the Nuclear Challenge". This latter's Report's chief recommendations were that Canada work towards reducing the political legitimacy and value of nuclear weapons, in order to effect their eventual elimination, and that Canada explore ways of reducing the salience of nuclear weapons within the NATO alliance. The report provided a clear direction for Canadian policy on nuclear weapons (given that the vast majority of its recommendations were accepted by the Canadian Government), and allowed for the further involvement of civilian and NGO representatives in the policy debate. At the broader level, the Canadian report, like its Australian and Japanese counterparts, serves to reinforce the notion of a more inclusive international community in debates on security policy, and strengthens the normative case against the possession and use of nuclear weapons.
Keyword disarmament
nuclear weapons
arms control
nuclear policy

Document type: Department Technical Report
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Created: Fri, 12 Mar 2004, 10:00:00 EST