New Concepts of Security

A Science for Peace Round Table on New Concepts of Security was held January 15, 2002, 14:30 to 17:30, Croft Chapter House, University College, University of Toronto. This round table was organized in preparation for the Interdisciplinary Conference on Evolution of World Order, and in response to the recent report To Secure a Nation by the Council for Canadian Security in the 21 Century advocates the opposite. The report recommends to the Canadian government an increase in Canada’s contributions to NATO, the military alliance, and a thorough examination of the effectiveness of Canada’s efforts in the international peacekeeping operations of the UN. (CCS Report 01-11-09: )

SfP members and at least 100 Nobel Laureates disagree with the concept of security based on strength. Weapons of mass destruction are no longer a solution to security, but represent a serious threat to local, national, and global security. Not only do the declared nuclear powers have them, but rogue nations, rogue corporations, and terrorist groups have the means to access the deadly weapons, and deliver them anywhere on the globe.

Dispersion, and the enormous destructive power of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, together with the vulnerability of our technological civilization render security through military strength impossible. Maginot lines in the sky are useless since the threat may come from inside a nation, as the events of September 11 2001 have shown. Given this state of the world, the only rational security policy is the establishment, and the enforcement of the rule of law by the global community of nations. The only hope for the future lies in co-operative international action, legitimized by democracy. It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. (Quote from The Next 100 Years Statement signed by some 100 Nobel Laureates in December 2001; John Polanyi is one of the signatories.

Some 30 people contributed their ideas to the Round Table on New Concepts of Security, and the result was the formation of a SfP task group on security, which will aim at presenting a ┬┤Green Paper’ on Security to the Canadian Government by April. John Valleau volunteered to coordinate this effort. On Thursday May 30, 2002, 7:30 pm at Oakham House, Ryerson University, there will be a public forum on security issues in connection with the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order.