Why Won’t Canada Back a Nuclear Weapons Ban?
Bianca Mugyenyi directs the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute. She writes in The Tyee that Canada needs to be challenged to get on the right side of history and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Why Won’t Canada Back a Nuclear Weapons’ Ban?
Mexico and New Zealand, an ally with Canada in the Five Eyes security network, as well as European Union members Ireland and Austria have ratified the treaty. On Saturday, [October 24,] Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify it, which means it will enter into force in 90 days.
Bianca Mugyenyi is an author and former co-executive director of The Leap. She currently directs the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.
For countries that have ratified the treaty, nuclear weapons will become illegal. It requires ratifying nations to “never under any circumstances… develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”
It also bans transferring nuclear weapons, stationing them in another country or threatening to use them, while requiring participants to promote the treaty with other UN member states. The treaty includes provisions around requiring any nuclear weapons-holding country that joins to dispose of its arsenal. When it enters into force at the end of January, ratifying nations will be bound by the treaty.
On Nov. 19 the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute and the Toronto Hiroshima Nagasaki Day Coalition are hosting a webinar titled “Why hasn’t Canada signed the UN nuclear ban treaty?” Hiroshima survivor Thurlow will be joined by Green MP Elizabeth May, NDP deputy foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson, Bloc Québécois MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe and Liberal MP Hedy Fry (Register for the webinar on Nov 19).
Nuclear weapons will soon be banned under international law. The government needs to be challenged to get on the right side of history and sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Only then can Canadians proudly celebrate the critical effort under way to protect the future of humanity.
- Read the full article in The Tyee.