Canadian Pugwash Group Urges MacKay to Repudiate NATO's Nuclear Weapon Policies

    OTTAWA, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - A retired Canadian Forces general and a
distinguished group of Canadian experts have raised objections to NATO's
nuclear policies and urged the Canadian Government to advocate the alliance to
get rid of its nuclear weapons by negotiating a step-by-step path to nuclear
disarmament. This would relieve the world of the threat of a nuclear disaster.
    "Despite the lack of a military threat, NATO still insists that nuclear
weapons are needed for its security," said Major-General Leonard Johnson
(ret.), the former Commandant of the National Defence College in Kingston.
"Canada is still an associate nuclear power, and we want our government to
lead the charge against nuclear weapons in NATO."
    Along with General Johnson, members of the influential Canadian Pugwash
Group are calling on Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to raise the need
step by step nuclear disarmament with his counterparts in all NATO countries.
The Canadian Pugwash Group has urged him to act immediately so this issue can
be discussed at the next high-level NATO meeting on April 26 and 27 in Oslo,
    In a letter to Minister MacKay, the scientists' group pointed out that
Canada is legally bound by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which
commits the 188 signing nations to a step-by-step process of nuclear
disarmament. On the other hand, Canada also abides by NATO's Strategic Concept
which declares nuclear weapons to be "essential." The letter argues that NATO
"must reexamine the incoherence of...the NPT and NATO nuclear weapon policy."
    "We are asking Minister MacKay to put a discussion of NATO's outdated and
provocative nuclear weapons policies on NATO's agenda," said Dr. Adele
Buckley, a physicist, aerospace engineer and environmental scientist who also
serves as the Canadian Pugwash Group's chairperson.
    The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs was founded 50 years
ago, at the height of the cold war, when Canadian industrialist Cyrus Eaton,
inspired by the 1955 manifesto of Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell,
brought scientists from East and West together at his summer home in the
village of Pugwash, Nova Scotia in 1957. In 1995, the Pugwash movement and its
founder, Sir Joseph Rotblat, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their
significant contributions toward the goal of nuclear disarmament.

For further information:

For further information: Maj.-Gen. Leonard V. Johnson (ret), r. (613)
273-3000, e.; Adele Buckley, Canadian Pugwash Group, r.
(416) 491-9307, e.; Steven Staples, Rideau Institute
on International Affairs, o. (613) 565-4994, c. (613) 290-2695, e.

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Rideau Institute on International Affairs

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