Nuclear Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation: A New Beginning for Canada

Canadian Consultation on Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament
Ottawa, 30 November 2015

Tariq Rauf

On 19th October this year, Canadians took a historic decision in rescuing their democracy and dignity. They charted a way forward that should lead to a restoration of Canada’s place in the world as a leader in promoting global and regional security and well-being in a world to be made free of nuclear weapons in our lifetime along with fewer other artefacts of death and destruction.

After a decade in the doldrums of diplomacy, bizarre interventions in international security fora, squandering of its well-earned reputation as a ‘helpful fixer’ and a ‘middle power’, hopes abound that Canada will arise phoenix-like from the ashes of near irrelevance on the international stage and reclaim its rightful place in the enlightened community of nations that seek a world without nuclear-armed alliances and without any nuclear weapons.

Incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s “sunny ways” approach. He would be wise to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious father, the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in setting out a “new foreign policy for Canadians” that puts “Canada First”; a Canada above out dated Cold War alliances and along the path to a new “strategy of suffocation” – that suffocates nuclear weapons and doctrines out of existence.

The newly renamed Department of Global Affairs (formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – no Canadian federal department has gone through more name changes, yet accomplished so little in the past decade), in recent years has sunk into mindless Facebook-like “follower” mentality under the defeated government. The department sorely needs revitalization, a new zeitgeist and self-confidence that firmly puts “Canada First” – it no longer should be burdened by the mediocrity and narrow self-serving interests of Washington, Brussels, London and Paris. This is not to advocate a go it alone approach but to stress the need and importance of renewed Canadian leadership based on its unique values of multilateralism, internationalism, multiculturalism, humility, justice and peace…

You can download a PDF with the full speech here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s