Where’s Canada? UN Nuclear Ban meeting in Vienna draws some NATO observers
Who could have ever imagined that when the countries that signed the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty decided to meet this year in Vienna for the very first time, that the world would find itself on the brink of a nuclear war?
The war in Ukraine is a dangerous proxy way between nuclear-armed countries, the U.S. and Russia, that risks becoming a direct confrontation, potentially involving nuclear weapons.
This week we received a note from our friends Marla and Kasha Slavner urging readers to take a few moments to send a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau to join the movement to ban nuclear weapons.
The UN Nuclear Ban Treaty, officially called The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force on 22 January 2021. The TPNW includes a comprehensive set of prohibitions related to nuclear weapons. These include undertakings not to develop, test, produce, acquire, possess, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.
Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Treaty specifies that “the first meeting of States Parties shall be convened by the Secretary- General of the United Nations within one year of the entry into force of this Treaty.” That first meeting was held from June 21 to 23 June 2022 in Vienna, Austria.
Unfortunately, Canada refused to attend – even as a mere observer, while some NATO members, Germany, Netherlands and Norway, joined the other countries in Austria.
Canadian survivor Setusko Thurlow was a child in Hiroshima when the U.S. detonated a nuclear bomb over the city on August 6, 1945. She delivered an impassioned plea to abolish nuclear weapons to everyone gathered in Vienna from her home in Toronto.
In Canada, Senator Marilou McPhedran, Green MP Elizabeth May, and NDP MP Heather McPherson spoke out regarding Canada’s continued refusal to engage in the deliberations, including the common practice of sending an Observer delegation to the international meeting.
Science for Peace, which is based at the University of Toronto, wrote an open letter on nuclear weapons and Canada’s failure to attend the first meeting of parties to the TPNW. It was posted on Counterpunch.org.
(Cover: Via Avaaz.org)