MPI Event Report
June 12-13, 2006
By Matt Werner
Summary: On June 12-13, 2006, the Middle Powers Initiative successfully sent its fifth high-level delegation to the government of Canada since 1998. Members of the delegation were received by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Foreign Minister, the National Defence Minister and were presented a MPI Briefing Paper prepared especially for the government of Canada. In addition, the delegation formally testified before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (link to testimony).
The delegation was led by Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada and included MPI Chairman Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., Bipartisan Security Group Chairman Ambassador Thomas Graham, and Global Security Institute President Jonathan Granoff. This was the second time Prime Minister Campbell led an MPI delegation to Ottawa.
The purpose of the delegation was to encourage the newly elected government of Canada to take a leadership role to reinvigorate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). MPI presented a substantive briefing paper prepared especially for the government, which offered specific recommendations on the areas of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, de-alerting, negative security assurances, and verification. Below is the summary of the report's recommendations, which were powerfully advanced during the delegation's numerous meetings and media presentations. The MPI briefing paper can be found here.
On June 12th, the delegation was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Peter Harder and other senior staff at the Foreign Affairs building. The delegation was later received by Hon. Gordon O'Connor, Minister for National Defence, along with his senior staff members. In an afternoon panel session, the delegation addressed a group of approximately 25 leading Canadian NGOs. In the evening, the delegation hosted a dinner with approximately 20 Canadian parliamentarians, which included Alexa McDonough, M.P., Chair of the Canadian branch of PNND and Kevin Sorensen, M.P., Chair of the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development.
On June 13th, the MPI delegation held several morning interviews with the media as well as a formal press conference on Parliament Hill, which was broadcast nationally. Throughout the day the delegation received substantial media coverage with outlets including CBC, CTV, CPAC, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Press, and Embassy Magazine. Links to relevant articles are found below.
In an afternoon briefing, the MPI delegation formally testified before the House of Commons Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. Foreign Minister Peter McKay attended the presentation. The delegation was well received, and the Committee Members expressed a strong interest in participating in the upcoming Article VI Forum event in Ottawa on September 28-29. The delegation's testimony can be found here.
During the delegation's visit to Ottawa, Ms. Campbell met privately with Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper, the new Prime Minster of Canada, and presented him with a copy of MPI's brief. On each delegation to Canada since 1998, MPI has been received by the Prime Minister.
Summary Section of MPI Brief Presented to Government of Canada
The Second Nuclear Age has begun and the danger of the use of a nuclear weapon is growing. The only guarantee against use is the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons. Though such a goal seems far off, the security architecture for a nuclear weapons-free world must be built. Both non-proliferation and disarmament must be addressed to effect a balanced implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). At the core of MPI's mission is the belief that the safety and moral integrity of present and future generations depends upon initiating, achieving, and sustaining the universal elimination of nuclear weapons.
The Middle Powers Initiative urges the Government of Canada to re-commit itself to multilateral diplomacy in dealing with the present crises in the nuclear disarmament agenda. On June 1, 2006 at the United Nations, The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission chaired by Hans Blix released its final report, Weapons of Terror: Freeing the World of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms. The report states: "There is an urgent need to revive meaningful negotiations, through all available intergovernmental mechanisms, on the three main objectives of reducing the danger of present arsenals, preventing proliferation, and outlawing all weapons of mass destruction once and for all." Canada, which has long upheld the integrity of the NPT and developed a well-earned reputation for verification expertise, should instruct the appropriate Canadian diplomats to work closely with like-minded states in advancing practical proposals.
This Brief outlines five priority measures: a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty; verification of reduction and elimination of nuclear arsenals; reduction of the operational status of nuclear forces; the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty; and strengthening assurances of non-use of nuclear weapons against non-weapon states. These measures would decrease risks of use, diminish the access of terrorists to catastrophic weapons and materials to build them, raise barriers to acquisition by additional states, and generate support for strengthening the non-proliferation side of the regime and resolving regional crises. They would make for a safer world now and create the pre-conditions for elimination of nuclear arms.
Photo 1: Amb. Thomas Graham, Hon. Douglas Roche, Dep. Foreign Minister Peter Harder, Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Mr. Jonathan Granoff, Asst. Dep. Minister James Wright, and Mr. Ron Stansfield
Photo 2: Delegation meeting with National Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor
Photo 3: Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Amb. Thomas Graham, Ms. Alexa McDonough, MP, Mr. Jonathan Granoff, and Hon. Douglas Roche
MPI Briefing Paper Presented to the Government of Canada
MPI Formal Testimony to House of Common Foreign Affairs Committee
Article about Rt. Hon. Kim Campbelle in Brooks Bulletin
"Nuclear Non-Proliferation is Not a Partisan Issue," by Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C. in Embassy Magazine
Article about Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell in Embassy Magazine
"Kim Campbell Lobbies for Nuclear Controls" in the Globe and Mail
"The World According to Kim Campbell" in the Globe and Mail
Editorial about Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell in the Globe and Mail
"Kim Campbell, Lobby Group Seek End of Nuclear Weapons" in the London Free Press
Op-Ed on Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell and Stephen Hawking in the London Free Press