SfP Bulletin Feb 18 1982

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin Feb 18 1982. A PDF edition is also available.

Annual General Meeting 2017

Science for Peace’s next AGM will take place 2:00-5:00pm on Saturday, June 24, 2017 in the Croft Chapter House, University College, 15 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto.

Reports from representatives

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)

The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was established in 1996 by representatives of national organizations that share the conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and should be abolished. Its member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace and women’s organizations. CNANW conducts seminars, consultations and meetings with the public, officials and politicians in Canada and abroad. The member organizations meet a couple of times a year in Ottawa. Metta Spencer and Rob Acheson serve as representatives of Science for Peace.

In May 2016 a lecture, organised by Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, was given by Mr. Kim Won-soo, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, on “Pursuing a world free of nuclear weapons: The Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament,” at the University of Ottawa. As well as the lecture, a highlight of the High Representative’s visit was a full official luncheon hosted by Stephane Dion to which several CNANW members were invited. It was a great opportunity to present our perspective to Foreign Affairs in a frank and open conversation.

On UN Disarmament Day, October 24th, 2016 a conference entitled “Building Momentum for Nuclear Disarmament” was held. Approximately 45 people attended including former diplomats, current and former officials from Foreign Affairs, academics and experts from within the NGO community. Officials from DND were invited but did not attend. Speakers provided their views on how to get NATO member states to adhere to the obligation to disarm set out in the NPT, how to encourage better relations with Russia to enable the process of disarmament to continue, what are the current diplomatic options before the international community, and actions that parliamentarians and those in civil society can take to encourage disarmament. It was an excellent program and some of the presentations (including one by Metta Spencer) are available at the CNANW website.

A Parliamentary Forum over breakfast was held by CNANW with Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) on October 25, 2016 to encourage new parliamentarians to become informed about, and join, PNND Canada. Dr. Hedy Fry’s office advertised it among all parliamentarians. Only two MPs participated in the meeting. Two former Ambassadors for Disarmament, Paul Meyer and Peggy Mason addressed the meeting. Paul spoke on recent progress on key resolutions before the First Committee and Peggy described her concerns with modernization of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, fearing this issue would arise for parliamentarians working in associations with European parliamentarians. Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator for PNND, provided (via skype) an update on PNND global activities.

Representatives of the CNANW member groups met later that same day to discuss next steps. A major point of discussion during the conference was Canada’s anticipated vote against the UN resolution to begin negotiations on a prohibition on nuclear weapons. Although the merits of a ban treaty are not agreed upon by all CNANW members, there was strong momentum for using it as the next step toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Ultimately Canada did vote against the resolution and CNANW has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs stating that Canada should, as a good UN member state, participate in those negotiations to ensure Canada’s views are reflected in the outcome.

— _Notes respectfully submitted by Rob Acheson _

United Nations Representative

I have been quite active at the UN and on UN peace issues since the last AGM (22 June 2016). Here is a list of selected activities, publications and presentations (with highlights in bold added for ease of scanning).

Major Activities

  • appointed as “Innovation and Protection Technology Expert” at UN headquarters, a 1-year position (starting Feb 2017) being held during a sabbatical and while teaching afterwards at Canadian Forces College. Attended negotiations at the UN for a nuclear weapons convention (ban).
  • visits to UN’‘’ field operations ‘’‘in Lebanon, and (in July) to Central African Republic, D.R. Congo and Mali.
  • providing advice to Under-Secretaries-General on improving peace operations using modern technology
  • serving as President of the World Federalists Movement – Canada

Major Publications

  • Smart Peacekeeping: Tech-Enabled UN Operations,” Providing for Peacekeeping No. 13, International Peace Institute, New York, July 2016. (IPI webpage, pdf, 1.4 MB)
  • “New Technology for Peace and Protection: Expanding the R2P Toolbox,” by ‘’‘Lloyd Axworthy ‘’‘and A. Walter Dorn, Daedalus (Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences), 145 (4) (Fall 2016).

Refereed Journals

  • “Eyes in the Sky for Peacekeeping: the Emergence of UAVs in UN Operations,” (by A. Walter Dorn and Stewart Webb) in Loch K. Johnson, “An INS Special Forum: Intelligence and Drones,” Intelligence and National Security, 32:4, 413-417 (June 2017). (T&F, html, pdf)

Papers and projects in progress (drafts available upon request):

  • Airships in UN Humanitarian and Peace Operations: Ready for Service?” (by A. Walter Dorn, Nicolas Baird and Robert Owen), Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, (submitted)
  • Cyberpeacekeeping: A New Role for the United Nations?”, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, (scheduled for publication December 2017).
  • “Eliminating Hidden Killers: Technology to the Rescue of Humanitarian Demining?” …. (Stability journal, under review)
  • Peacekeeping Gaming: Creating Games to Train for Peace,” (A. Walter Dorn and Sylvain Paquet) (to be submitted)

Other journals and Newspapers

  • “Canada dithers on its peacekeeping commitments – and loses credibility for it,” (by Fergus Watt and Walter Dorn), Ottawa Citizen, 21 March 2017 (link).
  • “Sikhism and War” (by Stephen Gucciardi and A. Walter Dorn) in War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict, 2017 (encyclopedia info).
  • “Canada keeping the peace once again,” opinion piece, The Hill Times, 30 August 2016, available online: The Hill Times, html.



  • Drones and Killer Robots: Canada’s Policy,” SfP lecture series, Croft Chapter House, University of Toronto, June 15. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP2zLWWnTWI, 10:20 to 26:15)
  • “A United Nations System to Prevent Armed Conflict and Protect Civilians,” World Social Forum, McGill University, Montreal, August 12.
  • “Critical technological innovations for UN Peace operations,” Peacekeeping & Logistics Africa, Midrand, South Africa, August 31. (by teleconference)
  • “The United Nations,” Lecture to the Joint Command and Staff Programme, CFC, Toronto, September 6.
  • “Back in the Game of UN Peacekeeping: Testimony to the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence,” Parliament Hill, Ottawa, September 19. Testimony quoted (pdf).
  • “Technology for UN peace operations: Show and Tell with Moderns Apps and Kid’s Toys,” 10th Annual TIDES Demonstration, National Defence University, Washington, DC. September 21.
  • “Armed Intervention: If, Why, When & How (the Just War approach),” Group of 78 Annual Conference, September 24.
  • “Global Governance: Nukes, Wars & Climate Change,” World Federalists Movement – Canada, Toronto, September 25.
  • “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” lecture in course on “Canada’s Role in Conflict Countries,” Ryerson University, Toronto, September 29.
  • “How can the Armed Forces Bridge Training Cultures and Local Contexts,” moderator and presenter, conference on “Peace First: Canada’s Role in Peace Operations,” Queen’s University, Kingston, October 20.
  • “New Contributors to Peacekeeping and Canada’s Role,” “panellist at conference on “New Treated in UN-led Peacekeeping: Canadian and Global Perspectives,” McGill University, Montreal, October 21.
  • “Progress in Science and Technology for UN Peacekeeping”, annual roundtable of the Canadian Pugwash Group, Ottawa, October 23.
  • “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” Glendon Colloquium, Glendon Campus, York University, Toronto, October 27.
  • “Introduction of Paul Myer,” Fawcett Forum, University of Toronto, October 27.
  • « Un retour vers les opérations de paix ? », L’Institut militaire de Québec, Quebec City, November 3.
  • “Protection through Connection: Tech-Enabled Peacekeeping,” Keynote address, UN Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping, Seoul, Korea, November 8.
  • “New Technology for Protection & Peacekeeping,” Canadian Red Cross conference, “Protection in Times of Conflict,” Glendon Campus, York University, November 17.
  • “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” Glendon Seminar, York University, November 25.
  • “World Religions on War and Peace,” course taught at Quest University, Squamish, BC, November 27 – December 21.


  • “UN Peace Operations: Challenges and Options for Canada,” Canadian Army Command and Staff College, Ft. Frontenac, January 18.
  • “Technologies for UN Peacekeeping,” University of Fiji, by Skype, January 24.
  • “Peace Tech eSeminar on Peacekeeping Technology,” Security Governance Group, Waterloo, February 1. (online)
  • “UN Peace Operations: Canadian and Danish Perspectives,” Centre for Military Studies, Copenhagen, February 7.
  • “Intelligence in UN Peacekeeping & Protection of Civilians,” lecture in series “Commandant’s Corner,” Norwegian Defence International Centre (NORDEFIC), Oslo, February 8.
  • “Roundtable on UN Peace Operations Reform Agenda,” Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, February 9.
  • “UN Peace Operations,” Future Force Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands, February 10.
  • “Official Dinner with guest of honour Dr. Walter Dorn,” Official Residence of the Ambassador to The Netherlands,‘ The Hague,’ February 10.
  • “UAVs in Peace Operations,” Organization Internationale de la Francophonie, New York City, March 22.
  • “Peace Support Operations,” JCSP 43, Toronto, March 23.
  • “Technology and Innovation in UN Operations,” UN Regional Force Commanders conference, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Naquora, Lebanon, May 3.
  • “Technology for UN Peacekeeping ,” PeaceTech Accelator, US Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, May 12.
  • “Tech Demo: Commercial Progress on Useful Tools for Peacekeeping (Part 1),” Field Mission Support Section, Department of Field Support, United Nations, New York, May 23.
  • “Tech Demo: Commercial Progress on Useful Tools for Peacekeeping (Part 2),” Field Mission Support Section, Department of Field Support, United Nations, New York, May 30.
  • “Desirability and Feasibility of a World Federation,” Canadian Peace Research Association, Toronto June 1.
  • “Time for More Positive Politics!” World Federalist Movement (Toronto Branch), Friends House, Toronto, June 2.
  • “Peacekeeping Tech Demo,” Geospatial Information Section, United Nations, New York, June 8.

Media Interviews

Africa Defense Forum (AFRICOM publication); Canadian Who’s Who 2017CBC: “Canada: A People’s History”(remake); CBC Radio (The Current); China Daily; CJBK (London) Newstalk; CPAC; CTV News Channel on Canada’s Defence Policy Review; Financial Times; Globe and Mail, Global News (TV); iPolitics; McGill Tribune; National Post; Ottawa Citizen; RCI ; CJME/CKOM Newstalk (Saskatoon)

Examples: Canada’s pledge to provide UN peacekeepers (CBC The National, Power and Politics, and News Network), Radio Canada International (RCI Online and RCI interview) and private radio stations (CKNW and CJBK); Global Online, and CTV News Channel; Globe and Mail; Canadian Press (on deployments, En and Fr.

President's Report

For the Science for Peace Annual General Meeting 2017

By Metta Spencer

The past year has been full and mostly gratifying. But before we consider the details, we should pause for a moment to remember five beloved allies who have left us this year. Some of you may have known them all, but I’ll say a bit about each one.

David Bell was a political scientist and environmentalist. He was dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York until he retired. He served on the National Round Table on Environment and Economy and, when it was abolished, became chair of an umbrella organization, Learning for a Sustainable Future. He had intended to initiate and co-chair our working group on climate change education but died prematurely a few months ago.

Robert Campbell was a lawyer in Toronto for 45 years. A kindly, quiet man of short stature, he had served as chair of the Civil Justice Sub-Section of the Canadian Bar Association. He had served on our board of directors in 2006-7. He died at the age of 100 in the Sunnybrook Veterans retirement home.

Ursula Franklin was well-known as metallurgist and Quaker pacifist. Her book, The Real World of Technology, was based on her Massey Lectures. She was a professor at U of T for more than 40 years and she kept an office at Massey College after retiring. She and her husband Fred lived at Christie Gardens, where it seems that most old Toronto peaceniks go to spend their last years together.

Calvin Gotlieb. Kelly, as he was known, was also sometimes called the “father of Canadian computing.” He was a professor in the department of computer science and lived to be 96. Just four or five years ago I heard him deliver an extremely effective lecture at Senior College. He had been active in the committee that developed the Toronto Resolution, an ethical code for scientists. After a lapse of some years, he re-joined Science for Peace a couple of years ago when I was hoping to re-establish an ethics committee. That did not happen but he enjoyed his renewed contact with us.

Douglas Scott was a lawyer in Hamilton who founded an organization called the Markland Group to study nuclear weapons-related issues. Until a couple of years ago he enjoyed coming to Toronto to plays. I’d pick him up at the Go bus and we’d have dinner and go to the theatre. He never married but after his death I learned that he had been active in Big Brothers, and had served as a dear surrogate father for the man who wrote his obituary in the Globe and Mail.

These five people were devoted to repairing the world, and they went about their tasks faithfully. Can we please stand for a moment of silent remembrance of their lives.

Now let’s get down to our own tasks and review our accomplishment and our prospects for the future. Although in numbers we have continued to diminish, we have greatly expanded the number and range of our activities. We now have twelve working groups, about half of which have developed a core of reliable and willing members.

The biggest news of our year was that we received a generous bequest from the estate of Edith Fowke, a Toronto broadcaster and folklorist who left a considerable amount of money to be divided among ten Canadian peace groups, which were chosen by Hanna Newcombe before her own death. We have received $150,000 of that money so far and expect to receive several thousand more after the legal proceedings are completed. The board of directors has decided never to spend the capital, but only the annual interest, which may come to about $10,000 per year.

We should subdue our fantasies, since, although the wonderful gift will help pay for our lively program, it will not go very far, as our treasurer will explain. We must undertake a fundraising campaign and a drive to revive our lagging levels of membership.

Working Groups Chairs
Climate Change Education Jose Etcheverry
Cold War II? Leon Kosals
Community Sustainability Lloyd Helferty
Cyber Security Jack Gemmell
Drones Michel Duguay
Freedom for Research Chandler Davis
Good Global Governance Helmut Burkhardt
Middle East Mohamad Tavakoli
Militarism Judy Deutsch
Nonviolence and Civil Society Ellie Kirzner
Nuclear Weapons Rob Acheson
Oceans Venilla Rajaguru

You can read the individual reports submitted by these groups, but I’ll offer my impressions too. I think seven have taken root and are functioning well, while five have not met regularly or attracted a consistent group of active participants, so we’ll need to build them up or else decide to let them go. These five less developed ones are:

Climate Change Education, which José took on single-handedly after David Bell’s passing. It has not attracted enough members yet, but we surely don’t want to let it go. Climate change is one of the two key issues that SfP must address, so we must find ways to make it succeed.

Cold War II? Leon Kosals chairs this group but he lives about half the year in Moscow, where he is a professor of economic sociology. The purpose of the group is to hold a video-conferencing conversation at each meeting with a well-informed person in Russia. We have to hold the meetings during our noon hour because of the eight- or nine-hour time difference. Sometimes there is good attendance but much can be improved if we find a co-chair and set a specific day of each month to meet. Regularity and predictability make a huge difference, and no single chairperson can always be present.

Cyber Security is a new working group that we will also need to maintain in response to the growing threat of computer hacking for seriously malevolent purposes. If we all pitch in, we can surely recruit some people who are interested in this problem. Fortunately, we have one distant but regular member: Paul Meyer, the former disarmament ambassador, who joins us by videoconferencing from Vancouver.

Drones is chaired by Michel Duguay and meets entirely by video­conferencing. I don’t think it has met regularly this year. Today Michel can outline his plans for the group’s future.

Middle East is chaired by Mohamad Tavakoli. Although it has met a couple of times during the noon hour, attendance has been sparse, which is surprising in view of the amount of public controversy about that region.

The remaining seven working groups seem to be functioning well. They are: Community Sustainability; Freedom for Research; Good Global Governance; Militarism: Nonviolence and Civil Society; Nuclear Weapons; and Ocean Frontiers.

Unfortunately, Chandler Davis will not be able to continue chairing the Freedom for Research Group. Let’s thank him for his successful work in building that working group. I suggest that we ask Margrit Eichler succeed him. She founded a separate, non-charitable organization, Our Right to Know, during the Harper years, while there was risk of our losing charitable status if we engaged in political activism. The two groups have worked closely together and can hold most of their meetings jointly. Our Right to Know is incorporated and must maintain its own board and separate funds, but we think that most projects and meetings can be done together.

I want to congratulate Helmut Burkhardt for forming a working partnership with the new Toronto chapter of the World Federalists. The cooperation seems to be fruitful, as the two groups are meeting and working together.

Energizing working groups. Here are some practices that make working groups effective:

  1. Pick a co-chair, since no one person can always be present and when the chair is absent, the co-chair (or secretary) can fill the gap. The co-chair should ordinarily be a member of Science for Peace, and there should be a couple of other SfP members as well in each working group. Tell us the name of your co-chair today—or at least next week.
  2. Pick a certain day of the month for meetings (e.g. the third Thursday) at the beginning of the year, enter it into our calendar, and remain consistent. Everyone should be able to enter the dates for the whole year in their calendar. However, when picking recurring dates, note whether another SfP group has already picked that time slot, or whether one of your preferred dates falls on a holiday, election night, or some other unpromising occasion. Change it at the outset of the year, not later. Don’t schedule working group meetings on Wednesday evenings, for that is when the weekly lectures are scheduled.
    If you start skipping monthly meetings — even once during the summer — your participation rate will begin to decline, so try to be fanatically consistent. (You can add special public events, of course, but only add – don’t subtract.)
  3. Assign a task to each member of your working group. To make that possible, your group needs to be working on at least one clear project at all times. The main duty of the chairperson is to invent specific duties for each participant to carry out and make sure they get done. Some of the roles that are available consist of:
    1. Hosting weekly lectures, by proposing speakers who are expert in your topic; publicizing their lectures; bringing friends to hear their talks; and joining the speakers at supper in the nearby pub after the lecture.
    2. Reporting to the Bulletin. Every issue of The Bulletin should have an article (or at least a paragraph) about your group’s activities or possibly an article about your topic. Assign someone the duty of producing these articles for the editor.
    3. Updating your web page. Each working group is entitled to a page on the SfP web site, and you should keep it updated (ask the webmaster if you need assistance). Announce your future meetings there.
    4. Publicizing your events and lectures. The amount of publicity that can be done is infinite. One helpful routine is to join Twitter and Facebook groups. When an event is coming up, you can make a new event (click on the little box called “Create an Event”.) Be sure to put the name of the speaker and the date on the title line, for it may not be visible otherwise. Share this new posting with all of the groups you’ve joined. (I belong to about 50 Toronto groups and share most of our events to most of their Facebook newsfeeds.)
    5. Reaching out and inviting others to your working group. Joining a working group is the best route into full membership in Science for Peace. It costs nothing and is open to everyone. You can press all your regular participants to invite a friend or colleague to each meeting.
    6. Managing contacts with members who want to participate by Zoom. We have a video-conferencing tool that is superior to Skype, and we hope that all working group chairs and at least one other member of their group will learn to use it. Then you can make participation possible for people who live in Halifax or Nunavut—or just too far north of Bloor to make their attendance easy. Our office coordinator will gladly offer instruction in the use of Zoom, and we have all the computer equipment that you need in the office. It’s in a suitcase on wheels.
    7. Letter-writing and lobbying. My favorite way is to phone a member of parliament every weekday. It soon becomes a habit.

The Bulletin

This year Tom Davis and Mila Shutova were co-editors of our newsletter. However, both of them took new and demanding jobs, so there was only one issue of the Bulletin this year. Mila has found it necessary to give up her role, but Tom will continue as sole editor. However, he will certainly welcome any SfP member who wishes to assist him. Check the Members’ Directory for his coordinates and phone him to discuss it.

Weekly Lectures

The lecture series this year (almost all are available as videos on YouTube and Facebook):

September 14, 2016
Sam Lanfranco Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar (Economics), York U
“Digital Disruption and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”
September 21, 2016
Alex Belyakov The Roots Collaborative, Founding Member
“Sustainability: Are We Missing the Point?”
YouTube video: 2016-09-21 Alex Belyakov lecture
September 28, 2016
Mitu Sengupta Associate Professor of Political Science, Ryerson University
“Are the UN SDGs Worth the Cost and Effort?”
YouTube video: 2016-09-28 Mitu Sengupta lecture
October 5, 2016
Mark Winfield Professor of Environmental Studies, York University
“The Prospects for an Effective National Climate Change Strategy in Canada”
October 12, 2016
Martin Klein Professor Emeritus of History, University of Toronto
“What is Terror, Who are the Terrorists, and Why do they Use Terror?”
YouTube video: 2016-10-12 Martin Klein lecture
October 19, 2016
Genevieve Vaughan Semiotician and author based in Rome and Texas
“Women and the Gift Economy: The Alternative Paradigm”
YouTube video: 2016-10-19 Genevieve Vaughan lecture
October 26, 2016
Gail Russel Course Instructor, Canadian Studies program, U of T.
“IQ Policy and Development in Nunavut”
YouTube video: 2016-10-26 Gail Russel lecture
November 2, 2016
Alison Kemper Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Strategy, Ryerson U.
“The Overvaluation Trap”
YouTube video: 2016-11-02 Alison Kemper lecture
November 9, 2016
Richard Sandbrook Prof. Emeritus of Political Science, U of Toronto
“Towards This Generation’s New Left: Impediments and Possibilities”
YouTube video: 2016-11-09 Richard Sandbrook lecture
November 16, 2016
“Gandhian Village Movement in India: Women and Nonviolence”
Lyn Adamson nonviolence trainer and activist and Lee Ann McKenna trainer, facilitator, mediator, and author
YouTube video: 2016-11-16 Adamson/McKenna lecture
November 23, 2016
Stephen Bocking Professor of Environmental History, Trent University
“Cold Science: The Cold War and Environmental Science in the Canadian Arctic”
YouTube video: 2016-11-23 Stephen Bocking lecture
November 30, 2016
Mustafa Koc Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University
“Turkey’s Struggle for Democracy”
YouTube video: 2016-11-30 Mustafa Koc lecture
January 11, 2017
Joseph Carens Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
“The Ethics of Immigration”
YouTube video: 2017-01-11 Joseph Carens lecture
January 18, 2017
Fergus Watt Executive Director, World Federalist Movement of Canada
“Building a World Community: Principles, Strategy, Advocacy”
YouTube video: 2017-01-18 Fergus Watt lecture
January 25, 2017
Sandy Smith Professor of Forestry, University of Toronto
“Invasive species in our Forests”
YouTube video: 2017-01-25 Sandy Smith lecture
February 1, 2017
John McLaughlin Professor of Public Health, Dalla Lana School, University of Toronto
“Scientific Realism and Other Forces that Influence Research on Environment and Health”
YouTube video: 2017-02-01 John McLaughlin lecture
February 8, 2017
Olivia Ward Journalist and Filmmaker
“Truth, Lies and Democracy: Journalism after Trump”
YouTube video: 2017-02-08 Olivia Ward lecture
February 15, 2017
Blake Poland Associate Professor of Public Health, Dalla Lana School, University of Toronto
“Social Movements as Agents of Change”
YouTube video: 2017-02-15 Blake Poland lecture
March 1, 2017
Miloud Chennoufi Department of Defence Studies, Canadian Forces College
“Tragedy in Syria: Is There a Solution?”
YouTube video: 2017-03-01 Milloud Chennoufi lecture
March 8, 2017
Emmay Mah, coordinator, People’s Climate Movement; director, Enviromentum, a project of Tides Canada
“A Different Shade of Green: The New Face of the Climate Movement”
YouTube video: 2017-03-08 Emmay Mah lecture
March 15, 2017
Judith Teichman Professor of Political Science and International Development, University of Toronto
“The U.S. Election and the Implications for Mexico”
YouTube video: 2017-03-15 Judith Teichman lecture
March 22, 2017
Ernie Regehr Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation Vancouver
“Disarming Conflict: How Wars End”
YouTube video: 2017-02-22 Ernie Regehr lecture
March 29, 2017
Paul Kingston Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto
“Syria: Past, Present, Future”
April 5, 2017
Vanessa Oliver and the research team “Transformation Action Graffiti” Department of Youth Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford.
“Community Healing Art Mural: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Student Collaboration”
YouTube video: 2017-04-05 TAG lecture

Our practice is for the working groups chairs and the working group manager to participate in choosing an initial list of potential speakers. The weekly lecture manager then spends the summer contacting them and lining up dates. Unfortunately, we haven’t lately been assigned our preferred room at University College, but we manage. We videotape the lectures unless the speaker objects, and post them onto our web site and onto Facebook. We had fallen behind in editing and posting the videos, but we area almost caught up now. (Facebook users actually like to watch videos, offering us a fine way to spread the word about peace. Please share them onto your own newsfeed and the groups to which you belong. And post them to Twitter too.) We take each speaker out to supper in a pub after our Wednesday evening meetings and encourage people in the audience to join us. Usually four or five do so.

I wish the weekly lectures were popular occasions for SfP members to get together and share ideas. Regrettably, that is not the case. Many attendees are strangers who never become regular. Please bring a friend to at least one or two of the talks each term. Most of the talks are really excellent.

Lately we have been offering certificates to people who attend and participate in the discussions of eight of the 12 lectures per term. It seems that students love to collect certificates, so that is the main way we attract young people to the lectures. If you’re a professor, please announce to your students that they can receive certificates for attending.

Special Events

About once a month, on the average, SfP has held an additional public event of some kind. Here are the ones for which we engaged this year:

15-Jun-16 Drones and Killer Robots: a panel organized by the Drones working group. Video available
27-Jun-16 Maciej Bartkowski and David Last discussed the possibility of fighting ISIS with nonviolence. This was an after-dinner talk for about 50 persons at the Hot House Cafe Restaurant.
06-Aug-16 Hiroshima Day. Nathan Phillips Square. We distributed maybe 100,000 paper cranes that had been sent from Japan. (People there seem to spend all their spare time folding paper.)
10-Sep-16 Sustainable Development Day. We organized a day-long public event at the Bahen Center. Over 100 persons attended – many of them students. The Campus SfP Group managed the event and held their annual elections there.
24-Oct-16 Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons held its annual meeting in Ottawa and two SfP members attended: Rob Acheson and Metta Spencer, who delivered an invited talk there.
27-Oct-16 Eric Fawcett Day Lecture by Ambassador Paul Meyer on “Cyber Peace.” This event is produced on alternate years by Pugwash but it was our turn. We held a reception afterward, then took Meyer and his wife to dinner in a restaurant.
22-Apr-17 March for Science. We joined the demonstration at Nathan Phillips Square and marched to Queens Park with our new banner.
29-Mar-17 Screening of a film about Syrian refugees, organized with Professor Mustafa Koc of Ryerson University.
18-May-17 Five SfP members participated in a colloquium on nuclear weapons organized by Senior College
28-Apr-17 The Ocean Frontiers WG co-sponsored a one-day workshop on Oceans at York University, with support of a York Institute. About 20 participants were present.
24-May-17 Ocean Frontiers working group organized a panel at OISE that about 30 scholars attended.
11-Jun-17 The Militarism working groups held a public meeting at Friends House to plan a public vigil protesting Canada’s absence from the UN conference to develop a convention banning nuclear weapons.
17-Jun-17 The Militarism and Nuclear Weapons working groups, along with VOW organized a vigil outside the Foreign Minister’s riding office.
19-Jun-17 The Nonviolence WG hosts a potluck supper and panel discussion at OISE with four visiting Gandhian leaders from India.

Our Work with Other Groups

International Peace Bureau. As always, SfP has worked this year with a number of partner organizations. For example, we remain a member of the International Peace Bureau, and are represented there by Steven Staples.

Science for Peace Campus Group. Our affiliate organization, the Science for Peace Campus group, includes not only students but people from the community. Indeed, our position as a University of Toronto organization depends on our relationship to this Campus Group, which participated in sponsoring the Sustainable Development Day in September of 2016. The Campus Group’s AGM was held there and the current president, Kiruba Krishnaswamy, was elected. Later, Kiruba worked with a team of people from other campus groups who were planning to screen a film about the Congo on campus during April. In the end, they decided to delay that screening until next fall, since it will entail some significant expenditures. Kiruba also organized a poster-making party in preparation for our March for Science. She went out to the street and corralled passing students to come inside and make colorful posters.

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. This is an umbrella organization of Canadian organizations that work toward nuclear disarmament. There is normally at least one meeting per year for a day or two, and Rob Acheson and I have been attending it. This year has been exceptional, in that everyone has worked hard to persuade the Canadian government to attend and support the UN conferences where a legally binding treaty is being negotiated that will ban nuclear weapons from the planet permanently. We engaged in a letter-writing campaign to urge Prime Minister Trudeau to send a delegation to promote this effort; I personally spent about five hours almost every day throughout the summer, and I think we got 3,000 or more letters directed to the Prime Minister’s office, but he forwarded them all to Minister Dion and later Minister Chrystia Freeland, who both insisted incorrectly that, as a member of NATO, Canada cannot take a stand against those weapons. Our campaign on this matter will be a large part of SfP’s agenda next year and probably beyond.

Hiroshima Day Coalition. As usual, Science for Peace participated in the Hiroshima Day observances at Nathan Phillips Square, staffing a table there and speaking on the program. The coalition is now planning to lobby the Toronto City Councillors who are responsible for maintaining the public health of this city, and we will be represented in that delegation.

Public Health in a Nuclear Age

For several years I have been teaching a fourth year undergraduate course called “Public Health in a Nuclear Age” at University College. Usually my 15 or 16 students say they had known almost nothing about nuclear weapons until taking the course. At the end, they all are aware of the problem facing humankind. Their comments about the course are generally favorable.This year, after I had completed the winter-term course, I was informed that I will not be permitted to offer it again because the undergraduate faculty has decided not to allow anyone to teach a course without stipend henceforth. I don’t want to be paid. What disturbs me most is that I have not found any other course on nuclear weapons being offered at the University of Toronto. A graduate course at the Munk Centre on “Security” gives two or three lectures on nuclear weapons, but surely students should have access to this information in many different formats. Principal Ainslie suggests that I offer to give guest lectures in many different courses, but one lecture per course is inadequate. I have numerous Power Point documents, DVDs, and lecture notes for the course and gladly will share them with any Science for Peace member who has a good use for them.

New Tools for Activists

We have several new online tools that can make it easier for members and officers to perform well. I urge you all to try them out.

Our Email Listservs: Science for Peace maintains several listservs for specific purposes. We have recently re-named two listservs (“notices,” and “members” ) which were misleading titles. You can no longer use those. The new listservs are:

sfpdiscuss@listserv.physics.uroronto.ca (Use this for sharing any information or opinions with others.) But do not use:

sfpannounce@listserv.physics.utoronto.ca] , which is for the office to use.

On our website: There are two ways to access the tools that are on the website. If you just want to read one of those documents, you can go to our web site and click on the “members” button. This section of the web site is password controlled—but with a very memorable password: “science.” The username is simply “member.” No sensitive information is kept there.

(If you need to *write to one of these documents, you will need access to it through Google Drive. If you have a Google account (e.g. gmail) you can open Google Drive. On the left side you will see a list of files. Open the one called “Shared with me” to see most of these documents and alter them. Working Group Chairs will need to write things, but most other members and directors will not, so you can just go to the “members” section instead.)

Having opened the members’ section of our website, you will find the following documents:

  • Calendar of meetings and activities. Please consult this when planning any event so as to “de-conflict” your schedule with other existing plans. Enter your events on your chosen dates (entering future working group meeting dates at the time of the AGM each year), indicating what kind of room you will need and for how many persons. As the date approaches, the office coordinator will book a room for you and show the room number after it has been confirmed.
  • Common to-do list. So far, officers have not been using this much, though it would improve our coordination and save time if they do so. We should enter our chores and requests to other people and then show the date when each assignment has been completed. By checking it, we can see whether others are falling if so, what is delaying them. However, this works only if people habitually check the common to-do list almost daily.
  • Members’ Directory. Members of Science for Peace sometimes need other members’ email addresses and phone numbers. Instead of calling me, please look in the members’ directory. If the other member has not filled out the form, please remind him to do so ASAP.
  • How to Run Science for Peace. I have produced a 50-page-long online “user’s manual” for all members—especially officers. Please use it. It is alphabetical, like an encyclopedia.
  • Duties of Officers and Staff. If in doubt, this list will remind you briefly what your job involves. For greater detail, see the “How to Run” manual.
  • Working Groups. This is just a list of existing working groups. For details of any one group, see its separate page by clicking the button called “working groups.” (Such pages are open to the public without passwords.)
  • Internal documents: Science for Peace bylaws and Science for Peace policies (the latter document is not ready yet).

Re-allocation of Duties, Mandates of Committees

Science for Peace is accomplishing more work, but too much of it is done by a few people. With your consent, we intend to assign more duties.

The Executive Committee:

As our by-laws prescribe, we will continue to have a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and three members-at-large. However, several of these roles will be defined and given appropriate titles.

The president will be responsible for seeing “the big picture,” and for representing and steering our organization vis a vis the wider world.

The vice-president will be responsible for supervising the internal functioning of our organization.

The secretary and treasurer will continue in their customary roles.

One member-at-large will be the “working group manager,” supervising the functioning of all the working groups.

One member-at-large will be the “Academic peace research liaison,” keeping us in contact with scholars and academic organizations.

One member at large will be the “Events manager” who will chair the organizing committees formed to produce any special events. She will also liaise with most of our partner peace organizations.

In addition, there will be a “weekly lectures manager” who will not officially be a member of the executive committee and who will not vote, but who will attend meetings and help provide continuity, at least for a while. (With your consent I will continue performing that role.)

Other Committees:

We already have several committees, but these will be expanded. During the AGM every board member will be expected (or at least urged) to sign onto either a committee or one of the working groups, if they have not already done so. Most committees probably will require about 3-5 hours a month of their members’ time — though the amount will vary and is not very predictable. The Executive Committee will appoint chairpersons.

Blumenfeld Advertises grant possibilities, appraises and awards
Bulletin Assists the editor in preparing our newsletter
Endorsements Responds to requests for endorsements by other organizations
Events Works with Events Manager to produce special events.
Fundraising Applies for grants, organizes appeal for donations
Internships Determines useful roles for interns, hires, supervises them.
Investment Manages our funds
Membership Conducts annual membership drive to double our numbers
Nominations Seeks nominees for directors and officers, holds poll and election
Publication Arranges publication of papers and books, possibly in digital form
Publicity Informs public about SfP events, mainly through social media

Our Challenges and Opportunities

I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as your president and I’m delighted to pass my responsibilities on to outstanding successors. I expect to continue serving as weekly lecture manager, though I don’t want to hold any voting position on the Executive Committee.

During my lengthy two terms as president, I have learned a few things that I want to share as advice now. (Humor me, please!)

  1. People join SfP from a desire to do something useful, but they are busy, so few of them actually volunteer to do anything. We are tempted, therefore, either to reduce our activities or pile all the work onto those who are willing to do the jobs. Either response is a mistake. If we scale back our projects to match the number of proactive volunteers, we will run downhill and disappoint those reluctant volunteers themselves. Instead, let’s keep expanding, though this requires us to prod, as well as praise, each other.
  2. But please: Reply to your darned messages! The most serious obstacle to running Science for Peace is our prevailing slouchiness about responding to emails. Frankly, I discourage anyone from accepting a position as board member or executive officer unless they are willing to read and reply to their emails every day. Every Day! Otherwise, you’ll complicate the work of everyone else.
  3. We face three urgent challenges.
    1. We must hire a full time office coordinator. Our new president and vice-president are full-time professors with other public service commitments, so they cannot manage our multiple projects. But hiring a full-time, resourceful coordinator will be expensive.
    2. We must fundraise. Science for Peace is capable now of doing big things, but they’ll cost money. Our dues are insufficient and we are going to conserve our bequest money. We need a committee and let’s set ambitious goals.
    3. We must increase our membership, partly because attrition has continued for several years without any energetic recruitment campaign. We can’t afford a full-time coordinator without additional revenue from dues. We can easily double our membership in one year because our expanded activities have made us well known at the University of Toronto. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who is the only nominee to become president, is world-famous. He inspires people wherever he speaks, and I expect he will attract applicants to Science for Peace.
      There are good reasons for our by-law requiring that two-thirds of our members be scholars, scientists, engineers, or technologists. We need various kinds of expertise, so we have to be somewhat selective. However, everyone can join a working group or the campus group; no expertise is required, and not even any fees. So let’s welcome vast hordes of people to our campus and working groups, while also doubling the number of professionals and scientists in Science for Peace itself.
  4. Let’s hold a big conference this year. I have an idea that is not ready to bring up for approval. I will only allude to it briefly here. Science for Peace is blessed with numerous resources that enable us to undertake an extraordinarily ambitious project. This is partly because we are a “fox” organization.

Isaiah Berlin famously described two types of persons – foxes and hedgehogs: “A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one big thing.” There has often been a debate in Science for Peace as to whether we ought to be a hedgehog-type or a fox-type organization. I personally am a fox, knowing a little about a lot of topics. Science for Peace has the same tendency. Newcomers who advise us to focus exclusively on one big thing always are defeated. Although our members do focus on matters of existential importance to humankind, there are several such issues and as an organization we try to cover them all. That’s great!

Because our members have such a diversity of expertise, we are uniquely suited to develop a comprehensive platform of action involving all existential threats to human survival. And someone needs to do this. Others have compiled general and broad lists, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, which consist of 17 different vague but admirable goals, or the “Leap Manifesto,” ;which is not enumerated at all.

What would be more useful is a list of the absolutely essential challenges—of which there are about five, with global warming and nuclear weapons as the top two. For each one we should compile a “to-do” list of concrete, practical interventions that, if all performed adequately, may save humankind.

I hope our conference will consider the whole array of problems that have to be solved to save the world—but none other than the existential problems. Here are the five:

  • Climate change. (Let’s use Paul Hawken’s new book, Drawdown, which lists 100 practical interventions to reverse climate change.)
  • Nuclear Weapons;
  • Domination by “Big Money” and “Big States;
  • Techno-economic Loss of Jobs (impending);
  • Cyber Threats (mostly impending).

I suggest that we assign some of our working groups the task of appraising potential practical interventions to solve these problems. For this we need to team up with other groups and experts to prepare a major conference, which will produce a comprehensive “platform for survival.” Thereafter, we’ll need a strategy for promoting it to other civil society organizations, as well as political groups. Quite a project!

I expect this idea will be considered by our new Executive and, no doubt, amended. This was just your first peek at it.

Thanks for letting me be your president. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Now, onward!


What Can We Learn from Gandhi? Countering Polarized Politics Today

Lecture and Potluck

6:00pm, Monday, June 19th, OISE Nexus Lounge, 252 Bloor St W

Around the world today, political discourse is polarized.

  • What would Gandhi have suggested as an antidote?
  • As a man deeply wedded to nonviolence, he would have regarded fear and hatred as reactions to injustice, economic inequality, and social shaming.
  • He would have advised us to counter this not with reactivity, but with nonviolence, compassion, and a reasoned strategy.
  • What would that look like?

Joining us for a meal and discussion are four Gandhian visitors from India. Two are leading educators and two are social activists:


Dr Anamik Shah
Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith, one of the largest Gandhian Universities in India
William Baskaran
Professor of Gandhian Studies, Gandhi Gram University
Rajagopal P.V.
Founder of Ekta Parishad, one of the largest nonviolent land rights movments in India
Nicholas Barla
Indigenous Leader working against mining in indigenous regions of Orissa in eastern India


We will serve a potluck vegetarian meal at 6:00 pm, before the 7:00 panel discussion. If you are able to join Science for Peace and our other Indian guests for the dinner, please call Jill or Metta by Friday, June 16 for a reservation.

We will have a list of food options for you to choose to contribute. No charge, but we ask you to bring enough for five persons to share. Everyone is welcome.

Reservations are required for the potluck dinner

Jill Carr-Harris (647) 967-0962 | Metta Spencer (416) 789-2294

Download poster

Submission to the Consultation on Canada’s Approach to Cyber Security

Author: Jack Gemmell, member, Board of Directors of Science for Peace.

About Science for Peace

Science for Peace is a Canadian organization consisting of natural scientists, engineers, social scientists, scholars in the humanities and people from the wider community. We seek to understand and act against the forces that drive militarism, environmental destruction, and social injustice here and abroad. We aim to use our knowledge and expertise to inform and change public policy and to influence and educate society at large about these crucial problems.


Science for Peace recommends that the government of Canada:

  1. Advocate and promote an international treaty to ban the use of cyber warfare to attack or compromise the physical and information infrastructure of a state.
  2. Declare a moratorium on efforts to develop cyber capabilities for attacking or disrupting critical infrastructure and conduct a comprehensive review of cyber warfare activities and programs currently being sponsored or supported by Canadian governmental agencies either directly or indirectly through its Five Eyes partners, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
  3. Not compromise the fundamental Internet principles of openness, connectivity, net neutrality and freedom of expression in the name of cyber security.

1. An International Treaty on Cyber Warfare

As noted in the consultation document, foreign government agencies are developing and deploying advanced cyber tools to engage in governmental and commercial espionage and to disrupt computer systems and networks essential to the operation of critical infrastructure. Examples recently in the news include groups linked to the Russian government hacking the Democratic National Committee’s email system1 and the WADA database2 and groups linked to the Chinese government engaging in commercial and scientific espionage, including hacking into the computer systems at our National Research Council.3 The US government is suspected of being extensively involved in the development and distribution of malware, including the surveillance malware, Regin, and the Stuxnet worm which targeted programmable logic controllers used to operate the centrifuges used by Iran to enrich uranium.4 The full extent of the threat posed by these developments is unknown.

Recently, both John Adams, former head of the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSE), and Richard Fadden, former head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and former National Security Adviser for the Harper Government, have advocated that Canada should actively develop and if necessary use offensive cyber attacks including attacks on another country’s critical infrastructure.5 The rationale is a familiar one: the other countries are developing such capabilities so Canada must as well, either to launch a retaliatory attack or to support our troops in a military action.

The potential harm from cyber attacks on critical infrastructure is enormous. A major attack would cause serious economic damage and put the lives and safety of millions of people in jeopardy. Particularly sensitive targets are electrical generating and distribution systems, pipelines and traffic control systems. The continuing development and use of these software tools will lead to a wasteful and destructive cyber arms race, covert cyber warfare, endless cycles of retaliation, and unforeseen consequences as the malware spreads to unintended targets, becomes available to criminal organizations or is turned against its original user. The prospect is an escalation of real world tensions, the creation of pretexts for war and the heightened risk of actual wars placing the lives of millions in jeopardy.

Rather than engaging in a cyber arms race, we propose that Canada actively pursue an international treaty banning the development and use of cyber weapons targeting critical infrastructure. The Conventions against Chemical and Biological Weapons provide good models of the success of such an approach. This is not a new idea. In September 2011 Russia proposed a very broad Draft Convention on International Information Security that met little or no support from Western governments. The UN convened a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and in July 2015 the GGE issued a report6 identifying the use of cyber attacks against the critical infrastructure and associated information systems as posing a risk of harm that was both real and serious. A second GGE was commissioned with a report expected in 2017. In May 2016, the US State Department’s coordinator for cyber issues told a Senate hearing that it was too soon to contemplate a cyber arms treaty. Instead the US was committed to developing a set of norms, one of which was that a state should not engage in “online activity that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use of critical infrastructure to provide services to the public.”7 Unfortunately the US position is that cyber activities may in certain circumstances constitute a “Digital Act of War,” highlighting unintentionally the need for a treaty and a mechanism to deal with such issue short of war.8

A comprehensive international treaty on cyber security and cyber warfare is likely impossible to achieve in the short term. However, a more narrowly crafted treaty dealing with specific threats to critical infrastructure is doable.9 Such a treaty would not raise the thorny questions of network management, freedom of expression and the right to privacy that a broad treaty would.

This is an issue on which Canada with its long time expertise in multi-lateral treaties might provide leadership.

2. Get Canada out of the Cyber War Business

The Edward Snowden leaks point unequivocally to the government of Canada’s complicity with its Five Eyes Partners in the development and deployment of advanced cyber tools for the wide-spread illegal surveillance of civilian communications, penetration of computer systems and networks, conducting governmental and commercial espionage and the compromising of infrastructure and communication systems of target states or organizations.10 A leaked CSE presentation entitled “Cyber Activity Spectrum” included such cyber tool categories as “CNA [Computer Network Attack] Destroy Adversary Infrastructure,” “CNE [Computer Network Exploitation] Disruption Control Adversary Infrastructure,” and “CNE Disruption Disable Adversary Infrastructure.” The CSE also engaged in industrial espionage by hacking into Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry.11

It is difficult to take the government of Canada’s commitment to cyber security seriously when at least one of its agencies, if not more, is actively engaged in the subversion of cyber security both in Canada and the rest of the world. The development of offensive cyber weapons is counterproductive to cyber security. Today’s cyber weapon is tomorrow’s hacking tool. Intelligence agencies in their search for “zero day” exploits12 actively support the clandestine market for such cyber goods either directly or indirectly through cyber weapon dealers and suppliers.13 The agencies have an incentive not to report security flaws in order to prolong the useful life of their cyber weapons contrary to the clear public interest in exposing and correcting such flaws.14

Accordingly, we recommend that the government of Canada declare a moratorium on efforts to develop cyber capabilities for attacking or disrupting critical infrastructure and conduct a comprehensive review of cyber warfare activities and programs currently being sponsored or supported by Canadian governmental agencies either directly or indirectly through its Five Eyes partners, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. This will go a long way to show Canada’s commitment to solving these problems.

3. Maintain the fundamental Internet principles of openness, connectivity, transparency, privacy and freedom of expression.

Internationally accepted principles about the Internet should govern cyber security policy. Global Affairs Canada has developed a set of fundamental Internet principles which include:

  • Respect and protection for human rights, including freedom of expression and association and the right to privacy;
  • Universal and non-discriminatory access;
  • Transparent laws, regulations and policies based on the rule of law;
  • Open policy development incorporating all stakeholders including users, businesses, expert technical organizations and governments;
  • Maintaining the connectivity of the Internet as a single, interoperable network;
  • Promoting security for users; and
  • Preserving the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet.15

These principles should only be infringed upon or overridden for compelling reasons where the means used are proportionate to the objective sought and their effects do not exceed the benefits sought and where a clear legal framework exists to challenge actions taken.

With this in mind, we oppose the current proposals by police and intelligence agencies to require networking and software companies to provide the means to defeat the encryption of data and communications as being contrary to these principles.16 Encryption is vital to Internet security.17 It enables the safe and secure transmission of the financial, commercial and personal information that is the foundation of the Internet’s economic benefits. Building in back doors will subvert this protection. It is illusory to think that the back door will remain secret with its legally authorized users. To begin with, once one police force or intelligence agency has access, all their allies will want and get access to these tools, increasing the risk of disclosure exponentially. The secret will be very valuable: someone will steal or sell it. The very knowledge that a back door exists will lead to its eventual independent discovery. Finally, it will only be a temporary fix. The bad actors will turn to the myriad of unregulated encryption software, leaving law-abiding users subject to risk without any off-setting benefit.

Encryption also protects privacy, both in actual communications and in the record of communications and related personal data stored in a cellphone, laptop or tablet. Communication surveillance should adhere to The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance18 and access to stored data must be subject to the right against unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. While the record of Canada’s police forces and national security agencies has been by no means perfect in this area, their actions are at least in theory accountable to the public through the media, elected representatives, and an independent judiciary. The same cannot be said for other countries where encryption may be the only viable protection against unfettered intrusions by state agents. Inevitably, encryption backdoors will end up in the hands of those agents by legal means or otherwise. A company like Apple selling its products in a country like China would find it virtually impossible to resist the legal and commercial pressure to turn over encryption backdoors, particularly once police forces and intelligence agencies in Canada and the U.S. have them. This will place human rights activists and dissidents further at risk.

Cyber security also engages a complex balancing of the fundamental principles of the Internet, including human rights, against the legitimate needs of law enforcement and national security agencies. It is very difficult to deal with these concepts in the abstract; specific proposals are needed. Thus, we finish with the obvious: this consultation is just the beginning and more specific consultations will be needed to address specific proposals to enhance cyber security in light of the need to maintain fundamental Internet principles.


1 DNC email hack: A look at the theory Russian operatives led attack to boost Trump’s bid www.cbc.ca/news/russians-donald-trump-email-dnc-hillary-clinton-1.3694219

2 Russian hackers publish more WADA athlete medical data www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/wada-russia-hackers-rio-game-records-1.3760221

3 Chinese cyberattack hits Canada’s National Research Council www.cbc.ca/news/politics/chinese-cyberattack-hits-canada-s-national-research-council-1.2721241; Iranian hackers charged in cyberattack on U.S. banks, dam www.cbc.ca/beta/news/technology/cyberattack-charges-1.3506026

4 Hacker Lexicon: What Are CNE and CNA? www.wired.com/2016/07/hacker-lexicon-cne-cna/

5 Canada and Cyber, John Adams, July, 2016, Canadian Global Affairs Institute, d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cdfai/pages/1085/attachments/original/1467750257/Canada_and_Cyber_-_John_Adams.pdf?1467750257; Former CSIS head says Canada should have its own cyber-warriors www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-cyber-wars-fadden-1.3648214

6 A/70/174: www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/174.

7 See Testimony of Christopher M. E. Painter, Senate Committee Hearing on “Cyber security: Setting the Rules for Responsible Global Behavior” May 14, 2015 www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/051415_Painter_Testimony.pdf.

8 Testimony of Christopher M. E. Painter, House Committee Hearing on “Digital Acts of War: Evolving the Cyber security Conversation” July 13, 2016 oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Painter-Statement-Digital-Acts-of-War-7-13.pdf.

9 There has been other action taken on the international level to bolster cyber security. Both the US and the UK have entered into bilateral accords with China to provide a measure of protection against the cyber theft of intellectual property and trade secrets and Canada is reportedly in discussions with China about a similar accord: Canada, China to discuss accord on cybersecurity, Colin Freeze, Globe and Mail, Sept. 27, 2016.

10 Communication Security Establishment’s cyberwarfare toolbox revealed www.cbc.ca/news/canada/communication-security-establishment-s-cyberwarfare-toolbox-revealed- 1.3002978, Documents Reveal Canada’s Secret Hacking Tactics theintercept.com/2015/03/23/canada-cse-hacking-cyberwar-secret-arsenal/, New Snowden docs show U.S. spied during G20 in Toronto www.cbc.ca/news/politics/new-snowden-docs-show-u-s-spied-during-g20-in-toronto-1.2442448, NSA hid spying software in hard drive firmware, report says www.cbc.ca/news/technology/nsa-hid-spying-software-in-hard-drive-firmware-report-says-1.2959252.

11 Canadian spies targeted Brazil’s mines ministry: report www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canadian-spies-targeted-brazil-s-mines-ministry-report-1.1927975

12 A “zero day” exploit takes advantage of a vulnerability that is not known to the software developer or network engineers and that hackers can use to adversely affect computer programs or apps, gain unauthorized access to data, smart phones or appliances, computers or computer networks, or exploit flaws in Internet or other communication protocols or systems. Because the affected users, software developers or network engineers are unaware of the vulnerability they have “zero days” (no time) in which to identify and fix the vulnerability or take steps to minimize or protect themselves against the danger posed by the exploit.

13 FBI paid more than $1.3 million to break into San Bernardino iPhone www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-encryption-fbi-idUSKCN0XI2IB; The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group’s iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender citizenlab.org/2016/08/million-dollar-dissident-iphone-zero-day-nso-group-uae/; Everything We Know About NSO Group: The Professional Spies Who Hacked iPhones With A Single Text www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2016/08/25/everything-we-know-about-nso-group-the-professional-spies-who-hacked-iphones-with-a-single-text/#10cb89a8e3d6 Attack on Hacking Team spills global cyber-spying secrets www.cbc.ca/news/technology/attack-on-hacking-team-spills-global-cyber-spying-secrets-1.3155981

14 Turning security flaws into cyberweapons endangers Canadians, experts warn www.cbc.ca/news/technology/security-flaws-cyberweapons-1.3742751; New leaks prove it: the NSA is putting us all at risk to be hacked www.vox.com/2016/8/24/12615258/nsa-security-breach-hoard

15 Global Affairs Canada: Internet foreign policy issues www.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/internet.aspx?lang=eng

16 WhatsApp privacy under threat as France and Germany push EU to allow states to break encryption www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/whatsapp-privacy-under-threat-as-france-and-germany-push-eu-to-allow-states-to-break-encryption-a7204961.html

17 See, for example, The Value of Encryption www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2016/04/the_value_of_encrypt.html

18 Necessary & Proportionate International Principles On the Application 0f Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, necessaryandproportionate.org/files/2016/03/04/en_principles_2014.pdf

Committee reports to the Science for Peace AGM 2017

Blumenfeld Fund committee

A grant of $1,000 was provided at the request of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace in support of their participation in the activities of the United Nations.

Eryl Court

Communications committee

During 2016, members expressed concern about member engagement, and proposed that there a Communications Committee be created. Tom Davis and I initiated reviews of the Science for Peace social media tools to improve the engagement of supporters and members with Science for Peace and in Science for Peace activities, as well as recruit new members. Science for Peace has a rich set of electronic tools, e.g., website, Facebook Page and Group, and YouTube, Skype, Google+, etc., that have been added to the more traditional tools of The Bulletin, email listservs, general publications and posters, and face-to-face meetings. These tools need to integrated to ensure consistency of access and use, as well as to encourage supporter and member engagement.

In 2016 the improvements were largely limited to fixing broken links, or incorrect or outdated information. Further improvements and enhancements will require a committee, which has the resources, to be more directly involved and time to be involved with building Science for Peace social media.

We are looking for ideas, suggestions, or examples of the types of communication tools, especially social media suggestions that you and your acquaintances would find more useful, and would help Science for Peace increase membership, viewers, and meeting attendance.

Also, if you are interested in actively participating in bringing these tools together or new tools to the members, or just critiquing what exists today, please contact Bill Browett.

Bill Browett

Endorsements committee

Endorsements 2016-2017
Seongju statement: Opposing THAAD Missile defence in South Korea
Contribution to IPB of $500: initiative on NATO military spending.
Greenpeace initiative: A Call for Public Safety: Addressing Nuclear Risks on the Great Lakes.
Letter from organizations re abolishing nuclear weapons: President Trump: “I want to do the right thing for the American people”
CNANW lessen risk of nuclear war.
Letter to Cdn Ambassador to Israel, Deborah Lyons, requesting support of Mordechai Vanunu.
Support 100% Renewables on twitter @100REOntario on Twitter
Letter from CNSC WATCH (liquid nuclear waste transport Trudeau and Obama
Elimination of irradiated weapons-grade uranium from Chalk River
Beyond Nuclear: Stop a new nuclear bomb
Endorse James Graff Memorial Lecture (Sabeel)
SfP Defence Policy Review
CNANW May 2016 statement on nuclear weapons abolition
World Beyond War … Resist US war crimes.
Protest NATO provocations against Russia (German foreign minister accuses NATO of warmongering against Russia)

For broader discussion: Montreal declaration against nuclear weapons and for phasing out all nuclear reactors (need more clarity about SfP position on nuclear reactors).

No action: SfP position on gender equality UN declaration

Publications committee

The publications committee has been re-structured. The committee as now structured consists of Jose Etcheverry, Martin Klein, Daniela Monaldi, Chandler Davis, and John Valleau. We have made a commitment to electronic publication and have made an arrangement to publish through the Library’s T-Space platform. Our contact person is Mariya Maistrovskaya in Roberts Library. Our goal is to produce several kinds of publications: research by members on peace-related subjects, particularly research in progress, publications based on the activities of working groups, and materials useful to teaching. Though members and the chairs of working groups have been informed of our intentions, we do not yet have any manuscripts. The one project we discussed was not in publishable form. Hopefully, in the coming year, we will be able to submit some projects to the new executive for its consideration.

Martin Klein

Working Group reports to the 2017 Science for Peace AGM

Working Group Co-ordinator’s Report

The following Working Groups are listed in our website:

Climate Change Education - José Etcheverry
Cold War II? - Leon Kosals
Community Sustainability - Lloyd Helferty
Cyber Security - Jack Gemmell
Drones _[meets by Skype] -_Michel Duguay
Freedom for Research - Chandler Davis
Global Governance - Helmut Burkhardt
Middle East - Mohamad Tavakoli
Militarism - Judy Deutsch
Nonviolence - Ellie Kirzner
Nuclear Weapons - Rob Acheson
Ocean Frontiers - Venilla Rajaguru

A meeting of Working Group leaders was held in UC Rm 44 on June 8, 2017.

The following were present:

The meeting noted the Message from the President: On June 4, Metta Spencer wrote to the Working Group Chairs concerning this meeting and the upcoming AGM. They were asked to do the following:

  1. Provide a report on their Groups activities in ’16-‘17 plus a proposal for continuing their Group in ’17-‘18.
  2. Suggest a member of the Group as co-chair or secretary.
  3. Pick one or two regular dates for monthly meetings.
  4. Submit names of 4-5 experts (on topics related to the group) as speakers for the SfP weekly lectures.
  5. Provide information on the Group for the SfP web site.
  6. Have a regular person or persons who will submit material to the SfP Bulletin for the group.
  7. Have Whatsapp installed on cell phone of WG Chair.
  8. Learn the use of “Zoom” (a videoconferencing app).
  9. Provide the SFP office with a list of email addresses for WG attenders.
  10. Know how to access the SfP calendar and the manual “How to Run SfP”.

Metta’s message included several pages from the “How to Run SfP” manual, describing the responsibilities of WG Chairs as well as a description of the position of the “Working Group Manager” to be appointed by the Executive Committee.

The Group leaders present (including by “Zoom”) presented reports on their activities leading to some fruitful discussion. Most of these and a few others have also submitted written reports.

Martin Muldoon

Community Sustainability Working Group [CoSWoG]

This year we had Community Sustainability (CoS) Working Group meetings in June 2016 but then took some time off before we had our next meeting in December 2016, after which we had a meeting in February, March and April of 2017. Our January event was a Lecture by Dr. Sandy Smith with the Title, “Invasive species in our Forests”, which took place on January 25th at the University of Toronto (University College, Room 144).

Our main sub-projects continue to be the “Musical Bio-filter” project — mostly led by Dr. Brad Bass, the “Rouge National Park” proposal and White Paper (RNUPP) — led by Harry Ha, and the “CSV Gardens” project — which is now being led mostly by FBSC (independently of Science for Peace). We are no longer talking about the Sustainable Ontario by 2050 (Medium-Term Sustainability in Ontario) sub-Project nor the “Sustainable Urbanization” sub-Project.

And while we had brought the idea of creating “SDG Clubs” in the GTA with the various Institutional partners [like UofT, Ryerson, York U and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council & “Food-by-Ward” campaign of Sustain Ontario etc.] — for the purpose of SDG Education & Entrepreneurial Training led by local youth-oriented groups who are interested in these issues — we are no longer working closely with the Climate Smart Ag Youth Network | CSAYN (Canada) to deliver these programmes.

We have now also launched a new “Climate Smart Food” campaign and programme, which would likely include developing such things as protocols and marketing materials that would define criteria for understanding how to monetize and market: 1. Measurable increases in soil carbon, 2. Support by all supply chain actors for the SDGs and 3. Focused campaigns for participants within entire supply chains (within various key sectors), along with protocols for verification and certification by related professional bodies, for ensuring transparency and accountability.

At our latest meeting on April 24th, Harry Ha also announced a new sub-sub-project of the ‘RNUP Project’ at the York University “Maloca Gardens”, where sustainable biochar systems will be introduced to the people (including students) who are involved in building, maintaining and coordinating these gardens.

Overall the CoS Working Group made less progress than we would have hoped for since the last SfP AGM, however we wish to continue our good work on the two [2] projects which are now attracting the most attention: RNUPP and the “Climate Smart Food” campaign / programme.

Lloyd Helferty

Cybersecurity Working Group

Description of the Working Group

The cybersecurity working group was formed in January 2017 to discuss public policies regarding cybersecurity: the protection of computers, cell phones, and other network-enabled devices or equipment, electronic data and communications, and computer networks including the Internet from unauthorized or unlawful access, interception, interference, exploitation, disruption, damage or attack.

This topic touches on many important areas including:

  1. Cyber warfare and the cyber arms race.
  2. Mass surveillance.
  3. Industrial and state espionage.
  4. Counter-terrorism.
  5. Encryption.
  6. Big Data.
  7. The Internet of Things.
  8. Governance of the Internet.
  9. Government regulation of the Internet.
  10. Privacy and freedom of speech.
  11. Cyber crime.
  12. Software and communication protocols standards and design.
  13. Civil and regulatory liability.
  14. Cyber treaties.


The committee originally had two co-chairs, Sam Lanfranco and Jack Gemmell. Sam has begged off being a co-chair due to time constraints. Volunteers?


The committee had its genesis in November 2016 when Science for Peace made a submission to the Federal government’s consultation on cyber security urging that Canada work toward the development of a treaty to prohibit cyber attacks on critical civilian infrastructure.

The committee has held two meetings since its establishment. Paul Meyer, the former Ambassador of Canada to the UN and author of “Give Cyber Peace a Chance” based on his Eric Fawcett Memorial Lecture (Peace Magazine, Jan-Mar 2017), has attended by Skype.


Create a web page on SfP for the work group with links to the abundance of material in this area.
Possible speakers suggested include:

  • Michael Walma, Canada’s expert at the last instance of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber Security and director of foreign policy planning at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, where he leads on Internet foreign policy issues.
  • Ronald Diebert, Christopher Parsons or other person from The Citizens Law
  • Deepa Kundur, Engineering Science, U of T
  • John Adams, former head of CSE
  • Edward Snowden (?!)

Possible topics:

  • Working towards cyber peace.
  • Bill C-59 and Canada’s use of offensive cyber attacks.
  • The new National Defence cyberwar policies.

— Jack Gemmell

Working group on Drones

Evolving towards legal non-lethal drones

Newspaper articles have been reporting lately on strikes by armed drones and  on the destruction of airborne  drones by fighter planes and other means. These reports confirm what had been predicted by several recent books on armed drones (also referred to as UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles), and by the Stimson Center April 2015 report on US drone strike policy, namely that drone warfare is now part of armed conflicts.

US drone strike policy is partly secret, but its results, thousands of casualties in several countries, some of them innocent civilians, have come to the fore. The US targeted killing policy set in motion by George Bush, Jr., and continued by Barrack Obama, has become controversial everywhere, including in the U.S. It seems that Donald Trump is pursuing the same policy.

Very soon the accuracy of armed drones will reach into the millimeter range so that a drone operator, member of the military or some police force, could choose to shoot a small-caliber projectile into the arms or legs of a person and only minimally injure him/her.  The projectile could carry an electromagnetic emitter that would allow military or police forces to locate him/her for later questioning and possible detention. The idea is that drone technology could be used to help settle conflicts, or maintain law and order in cities, without killing people.

Within the larger scope addressed by Metta Spencer in her 10 June 2017 article “Toward a Platform for Survival”, legal non-lethal drones could contribute to the basic humanitarian goals of saving lives while also protecting the public in every country.

Michel  Duguay, Laval University, Dept. of electrical and computer engineering (418-802-2740)

Freedom for Research Working Group

Concerns of this group are especially the restrictions on the scientific enterprise imposed by governments and employers, and the distortion of research effort and literature resulting from pressure of corporate sponsors and lobbies.

Ongoing work on these issues has been reported to the Group. A campaign was conducted to urge Canadian response to offset the new attack on science in the USA. An open letter was sent to the federal government from hundreds of scientists and supporters, mostly from the Toronto area. Note that this was billed as an activity of Our Right to Know (Margrit Eichler, President), the organization formed as an offshoot of this Working Group to conduct campaigns of advocacy, as Science for Peace is defined as primarily an educational organization. Following on this we hoped to get interviews with ministers, but so far only Catherine McKenna has responded with interest and even this has not led to an interview. However, the open letter got helpful mention in an article by Olivia Ward in the Star.

We are due for a spring meeting to lay out plans for the coming year. Unfortunately this has not yet been scheduled.

Chandler Davis

Good Global Governance Working Group

Activities report 2016 – 2017

This working group was created at the 2014 SfP AGM. It has now eight members:

Helmut Burkhardt (chair), Norman Dyson, Rose Dyson, Brydon Gombay, Julia Morton-Marr, Tom Simunovic, Peter Venton, Adnan Zuberi

Group Website: www.goodglobalgovernance.org,

Public input: goodglobalgovernance@yahoogroups.ca

The group has monthly meetings together with the Toronto Chapter of the World Federalist Movement – Canada. The meetings are on Sundays 2 pm to 4 pm at Metro Hall Toronto, 55 John St. They are open meetings usually with a guest speaker, everybody is welcome.


  1. A ‘Facebook’ group was created called Toronto Peace Network (TPN).
    The address is: www.facebook.com/groups/1790225331207146/events/ The purpose is to announce events to all members of the Toronto area peace groups
  2. Paradigm Shift.
    Global governance was a term accepted by social and political scientists, while global government was a taboo. This is changing. A group of leading social and political scientists now advocates claims Global Governance in various domains needs to be coordinated by a Global Government. wgresearch.org/workshop-the-practical-politics-of-global-integration/ , wgresearch.org/why-a-world-state-is-democratically-necessary/, wgresearch.org/global-governance-against-world-government/. Our group has accepted this Paradigm shift. We do work towards the creation of a world government, particularly one in form of a World Federation of Nations.
  3. Reviving a Toronto Branch of the World Federalist Movement – Canada. (WFMC Toronto)
    It turns out that the objectives of our SfP Working Group on Good Global Governance were similar to the objectives of the World Federalist Movement. We contacted Fergus Watt, the Executive Director of the WFM – C, and he supported the creation of a Toronto Chapter of the WFM-C. In October the Toronto chapter was officially established, and since then the SfP Working Group on Good Global Governance has monthly meetings jointly with the WFMC Toronto Chapter.
  4. Canadian Peace Research Association (CPRA) Conference Panel
    The CPRA Conference is part of the 2017 Congress of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Helmut Burkhardt proposed a panel discussion on the topic: “Desirability and Feasibility of a World Federation”. The CPRA accepted this proposal and the panel is scheduled for Thursday, June 1, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm in Room 387, Kerr Hall West, Ryerson University, 379 Victoria Street, at the Corner of Gould Street. The speakers on the panel will be: Helmut Burkhardt: “Priorities for a Culturally Unbiased World Federation”, Peter Venton: “Peace Dividend of a World Federation”, Walter Dorn: “World Federalism and more Technologically-enabled United Nations”, John Trent: Getting There”, Shreesh Juyal: The Non-Aligned Foreign Policy Determinants of India”, and Danny Goldstick: “A Case Against”.
  5. CPRA Conference individual presentation
    Helmut Burkhardt will present at the CPRA conference on: “Surprising Synergy Between Globalism and Localism”. This is scheduled for Friday, June 2, 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm in Room 387, Kerr Hall West, Ryerson University, 379 Victoria Street.
  6. Co-hosting the AGM of the World Federalist Movement – Canada
    On June 2 and 3 our SFP Working Group on Good Global Governance will help the WFMC Toronto Branch organizing space and events for the National WFM – C.

Helmut Burkhardt, 2017-05-05, helmut.burkhardt@bell.net

Militarism Working Group

The Militarism Working group is very small, so small that it does not make sense at this time to have various officers. We communicate easily with each other by email, and one member attends our meetings via Skype. We only began meeting several months ago, and while there was interest and support from by a number of people, only four or five people attend meetings. There is agreement to focus particularly on militarism and especially its salience in terms of climate change. We hope to reach out to other groups and to collaborate on political and educational activities. We have already organized the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending and collaborated with Voice of Women to bring Dr. Gretchen Roedde to Toronto. As a physician with MSF, she has worked in over thirty countries and spoke about women and war. The talk was filmed and is hopefully up on SfP website. Unfortunately there was low attendance.

We also organized a protest against Canada’s non-participation in the nuclear weapons talks in New York, June 15-July 7. We sponsored a panel on June 11 that featured Erin Hunt, Steven Staples, and myself, and the talks are on you-tube. As a result of the discussion that evening, we initiated a vigil at Chrystia Freeland’s office on June 17th in collaboration with Voice of Women, Independent Jewish Voices, Centre for Social Justice, Quaker Peace and Social Action, Physicians for Global Survival. A professional filmmaker took videos and it should soon go up on Facebook.

We are in the process of thinking through how to bring public attention to nuclear weapons and are collaborating with other groups. My article on Canada and nuclear weapons is in NOW magazine which has a large circulation. As we are such a small group, and we want to be as effective as possible, The focus is on individual initiatives, so one member will be able to give a talk for the Vital Discussions series, another member is especially interested in petitions and public statements, and another will cultivate connections with news media like the Real News. The GDAMS talks are always poorly attended though we’ve had excellent speakers. I find that at present, the back-up help from an office coordinator is a real drawback; it has been difficult to publicize this event and today the SfP website is down. Generally, there are no announcements of these talks on the website and I’ve had to set up the facebook event site myself —- and it is not circulating to SfP members. To make SfP more effective, it would be helpful to better promote events and articles. Also, it would be desirable to clarify a budget for working groups.

Lastly, there are constraints on everyone’s time so individual initiative is important as well as keeping up communication outside of face-to-face meetings.

Judith Deutsch

Non-Violence and Civil Society Working Group

The Non-Violence and Civil Society Working Group was established in 2015 to explore the research on non-violent resistance, in order to gain insight into current movements of change, and to, where possible, provide them assistance.

We’ve met four times since January, and our subject matter has included:

  • discussion of a TED talk by Erica Chenoweth, co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works, the key text empirically demonstrating that unarmed movements are twice as likely to succeed as armed ones
  • a presentation by Greenwood Secondary high school teacher and WG member, Linda Kalafatides on her amazing one-of-a-kind anti-violence curriculum, a participatory course researching the history of violence, the relationship between empathy, self-regulation and the brain, and the use of non-violence in social action and community engagement.
  • a superb and detailed lecture by political scientist and WG member Richard Sandbrook on the rise of contemporary populism using the model developed by Karl Polanyi in his The Great Transformation. Today’s right-wing populism, Sandbrook argued, doesn’t meet the criterion for fascism, though it has fascistic aspects. In the Polanyi thesis, fascist movements grow when markets fail to function, not quite the situation today, but potentially a scenario for tomorrow, Sandbook emphasized, as he pointed out the variety of trends that might make it possible.
  • an insightful précis prepared by Linda Kalafatides on the book Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World, co-authored by Srdja Popovic, leader of Otpor. The book includes critical lessons from the upsurge that overthrew Milosevic in Serbia – the importance of branding, of identifying and targeting the pillars of power, of playfulness, fun, and the refusal to be provoked into violence.

WG discussions are revealing a certain frustration. Members feel that in the current political emergency, the group should not only continue its exploration of civil resistance theory and best practices, but ought to be more in touch with the burgeoning movement against Trump-ism, as it expresses itself here in Canada, as well as the broader social change constituency. Conversation has recently turned to exploring the potential, with the approval of the SfP executive, of serving as a sort of activist flank, representing the organization in broader political activities. There will, no doubt, be more reflection on this. The group is also considering a fall meeting with proponents of the LEAP Manifesto and/or hosting an activist panel. More talk needed; more work to be done.

Ellie Kirzner

Nuclear Weapons Working Group

A world without nuclear weapons is not only possible, but a necessity to our survival. Humanity has the right to live with dignity, free from the fear and threat of nuclear annihilation. The possession, use, or threat of use of nuclear weapons is abhorrent to morality and the principles of civilization. Any nuclear detonation-whether accidental or intentional-will create a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

The Science for Peace Nuclear Weapons Working Group exists to inform citizens and political leaders of the continued existential threat from nuclear weapons. We engage with other organizations to stay abreast of international developments and initiatives, and through visits, letters and emails ensure that Members of Parliament are kept up to date on these issues. In collaboration with the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons we strive to influence government policy and decisions relating to nuclear weapons.

This is an exciting and historic time. Between March 2013 and December 2014, over 100 states, along with international organizations and civil society met in Norway, Mexico and Austria to discuss the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, through a diplomatic process known as the Humanitarian Initiative. Remarkably, these conferences were the first time the international community had discussed the humanitarian harm caused by nuclear weapons and examine our capacity to respond should nuclear weapons be detonated again.

The result was Resolution L.41 adopted by the United Nations to convene negotiations in 2017 on “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” The resolution was approved despite aggressive opposition from the permanent members of the UN Security Council and will place nuclear weapons on the same legal footing as other weapons of mass destruction, which have long been outlawed.
The first round of negotiations was held from March 27 to 31, 2017 in a conference attended by 132 states. Ambassador Elayne Whyte of Costa Rica, the president of the conference, is now developing a draft of the treaty that will be circulated in May or early June. The hope is that the treaty will be concluded by the end of the second round of negotiations taking place from June 15th to July 7th, 2017. Much of the preparatory work has already been done by the UN working group on nuclear disarmament that met in Geneva last year.

Once the treaty has been concluded, it will be opened for signature by all states. After signing the treaty, it will be ratified, enter into force, and become part of international law. No nation has the power to block the negotiations. The treaty is not subject to approval by the UN Security Council, where five nuclear-armed nations wield a veto.

Although 132 states joined the talks, more than 40 states, those with nuclear weapons and their allies (including Canada), have boycotted the negotiations, saying that they are futile. However, the ban treaty is an interim but important step towards a world free of nuclear weapons. It will create the political space to stigmatise nuclear weapons and those who have them will come to realize that these weapons are immoral and a detriment to global progress.

The aim of the ban treaty is not to force nuclear-armed states to give up their nuclear weapons but to create an atmosphere in which they themselves understand that there is no prestige, security or power in having these weapons. It will strengthen the taboo that has kept states from using nuclear weapons since 1945 and challenge the entrenched doctrine of deterrence by which states justify the existence of these weapons.

This treaty is not an end in itself. There is a long way to go before nuclear weapons are eliminated from our world. We are, however, greatly encouraged by what is being accomplished and have reason to hope. Our Nuclear Weapons Working Group will continue to advocate that Canada rethink its position and become a signatory to the treaty in keeping with its legacy on disarmament issues.

We thank the members of the Nuclear Weapons Working Group for their commitment to this vital work and the Board of Science for Peace for its support.

Rob Acheson

Ocean Frontiers Research-Working Group

Report 2016-17

There are four broad categories of activities under the Ocean Frontiers Working Group:

  1. Peace Research Lecture Series: under this series, a guest lecture on a peace and security theme related to the maritime domain is organized once every month, in the Fall-Winter terms of the academic year. This maritime peace research lecture series was launched in September 2016 at York University. Since then there have been six guest lectures under this series, engaging Science for Peace members and other significant scholars across Canada. These lectures were largely attended by undergraduate and post graduate students interested in ocean ecologies as well as faculty members researching on ocean space governance and maritime security matters.
  2. Annual Spring Round-Table: an annual workshop (structured as a round-table) engaging scholars, government officials and non-governmental heads was launched on April 28 th 2017 – but the planning for this event started in Summer 2016. This was organized as a collaborative effort with administrative support and financial assistance from the Robarts Center for Canadian Studies and York Center for Asian Research. Hon. Mdm. Peggy Mason, the former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and the Current President of the Rideau Institute delivered the Keynote. The Deputy Director of the Oceans Law Division at Global Affairs Canada, Allison Stewart opened the series of paper presentations. Prof. Ted McDorman from Univ. of Victoria, formerly seconded to the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and currently seconded to UN Ocean conferences chaired a plenary session of papers on Arctic governance. Other scholars who straddle the government and academic sectors spoke on various threats and opportunities in the trans-pacific frontiers of our world. Since this first Round-Table was deemed an engaging platform across multiple sectors to discuss maritime security, governance and policy issues, it was consensually decided to organize a second one in Spring 2018. This future Round-Table is again poised to be a collaborative one with various research centers of Ontario-based Universities. The theme of every year’s round-table would vary though maritime domain would be the framework within which multiple security issues would be discussed. In 2017, the theme was, “The Geotechnical Politics of Ocean Frontiers: the Canadian North and the Indo-Pacific”. For 2018, the major consensus is on the topic, “Exploring Comprehensive Security across Ocean Frontiers”. Participation of scholars and officials in this round-table is largely on invitation basis. The papers to be presented at the Spring 2018 Round-Table will also be published posthumously in a special edition of a journal by end next year.
  3. Guest Lectures, as part of the Annual Lecture Series on Human Security: these lectures are organized by inviting leading scholars to talk on ecological and political disasters affecting human health, livelihoods and the environment. Since there is scope for two guest lectures in this annual series at University College, two scholars were invited to analyze the interconnectivity between climate change, ocean science and maritime security. Dr. Mark Winsfield, a renowned climate protection advocate, environmentalist, and a Professor with York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies delivered his talk in Oct 2016 on Ontario’s climate policy. The second guest lecture was by a renowned scholar connected to the Ocean Frontiers Research-Working Group: Dr. Stephen Bocking, former Chair of the Environmental Studies Dept at Trent University and well known Arctic Security Scholar talked on Cold War Science and its relation to international security at University College in November 2016.
  4. Ocean Frontiers Panel Discussion: this was a collaborative effort with the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York, but organized as a public forum at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). This public series was organized May 24 th in contradistinction to the Round-Table that was by invitation basis only. Dr. Philip Steinberg (Univ. of Durham, UK), Dr. Cindy van Dover (Duke University, U.S.) and Dr. Catherine Coumons (Mining Watch Canada, Ottawa) were the main speakers. One of the main preoccupations of this discussion was on answering two major sets of questions: i) what are ocean frontiers, and how are they are imagined, divided, controlled and governed? ii) Furthermore, how is the deep seabed as a new resource frontier being commercialised and exploited in synergy with the environment? or is deep seabed mining regime disregarding the environment?
    This public event was followed by a two-day workshop engaging scholars on science policy, and governance of borders and boundaries. While the April Round Table (first in the series) focussed on transboundary maritime security at regional and global levels due to militarization and arms race, the May workshop (within a month’s gap) focussed on the interface between science policy, international governance of ocean space and emerging environmental threats from increased industrialization.

Concluding Remarks

It has been a busy year engaging institutions and institutional heads, scholars, governmental and non-governmental officials in workshops and guest lecture series. The next year is set to be similar in terms of research and educational activities. One major on-going effort – in addition to the integration of working group meetings with the guest lecture sessions and workshops – is to organize the working group’s research papers into annual publication/s that can serve as educational resource material for all concerned. These publications are envisioned now as a body of online resource material, to be accessed through the main website of Science for Peace. Alternatively, a special annual edition would be produced through collaboration with a major journal such as that on maritime affairs or international affairs. The publication effort is a work in progress.

Venilla Rajaguru

2017 Annual General Meeting: Agenda

Science for Peace
Annual General Meeting
June 24, 2017, from 2-5 pm

Croft Chapter House, University College 183
15 King’s College Circle


  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Business arising
  4. President’s Report (Metta Spencer)
  5. Treasurer’s Report (Bill Browett)
    1. Overall picture
    2. Budget for 2017 for approval
  6. Reports of Committees:
    1. Blumenfeld Committee (Eryl Court) — see attached report
    2. Communications Committee (Bill Browett) — see attached report
    3. Publications Committee (Martin Klein) — see attached report
    4. Report of Endorsement Committee (Judy Deutsch) — see attached report
    5. Report of Nominations and Election Committee (Paul Hamel)
  7. Proposal to create new committees:
    1. Digital Communications
    2. Financial management
    3. Fundraising
    4. Internships
    5. Membership
  8. Election of Board members
  9. Appointment of new Nominations and Election Committee
  10. Reports of Working Groups:
    1. Cold War II? (Leon Kosals)
    2. Community Sustainability WG (Lloyd Helferty) — see attached report
    3. Cyber Security (Jack Gemmell) — see attached report
    4. Drones (Michel Duguay) — see attached report
    5. Freedom for Research (Chandler Davis) — see attached report
    6. Global Governance (Helmut Burkhardt) — see attached report
    7. Militarism (Judith Deutsch) — see attached report
    8. Non-violence (Ellie Kirzner) — see attached report
    9. Nuclear Weapons (Rob Acheson) — see attached report
    10. Ocean Frontiers (Venilla Rajaguru) — see attached report
    11. Report of WG Coordinator (Martin Muldoon) — see attached report
  11. Reports of Reps:
    1. UN Rep (Walter Dorn) — see attached report
    2. CNANW Reps (Rob Acheson) — see attached report
  12. Other business
  13. Discussion of SfP stance towards NATO
    1. Summary of results of NATO survey (Bill Browett)
    2. Open discussion (Creighton/Browett paper re NATO)
  14. Science for Peace action re increased military spending
  15. Other business

There will be a party for everyone after the meeting.

The new board will have a short board meeting right after the AGM.

Time for Action: Canada Backs the Bomb!

With Erin Hunt, Steven Staples, Judith Deutsch
Moderated by Lyn Adamson

Sunday June 11th 4:00pm-8:00pm at Friends House 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto.

Science for Peace, Voice of Women, PSAC, Independent Jewish Voices,

$10 or pay what you can

  • Did you know that all nuclear weapons could have been dismantled and that greenhouse gas emissions could have been kept at the safe level of 350ppm at the end of the Cold War in 1990?
  • Did you know that militarized economic power and sheer dishonesty have taken the world in the opposite direction, to the brink of human extinction, accelerating greenhouse gas emissions and nuclear weapons proliferation?
  • Did you know that right now the majority of the world’s nations are meeting at the U.N. to develop a plan to eliminate nuclear weapons and to finally address the humanitarian consequences of nuclear war?
  • And did you know that Canada voted against this resolution and even refuses to take part in the meeting?

You might not know because the media is silent. There was no reporting in Canadian major media of the 2014 Vienna meeting leading to the humanitarian pledge to abolish these weapons, the 2015 Non-Proliferation month-long meeting, the 2015 Quebec meeting on uranium, the 2015 New York meeting on nuclear weapons, and the March 2017 meeting in New York.

You might not know about nuclear weapons if you went to university after the end of the Cold War.

The nine nuclear states together possess a total of approximately 15,395 nuclear weapons, with the United States and Russia accounting for more than 93%. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, just two small sized nuclear bombs, killed 250,000 people in Hiroshima and an estimated 70,000 people in Nagasak. The explosive force of the Hiroshima bomb was 15-16 kilotons of TNT, whereas today’s bombs are in the range of 100 Kt to 550Kt of TNT (6 to 34 times the Hiroshima force). By comparison, the blast yield of the largest non-nuclear bomb, the MOAB just dropped on Afghanistan, is 0.011 kilotons. Even a small-scale nuclear war involving one hundred Hiroshima-type nuclear bombs between two countries such as India and Pakistan, would lead to “nuclear winter” and likely human extinction.

Hear about the negotiations on a new treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, a cause that has taken on a new urgency.

And hear about the politics of the nine nuclear states and about the politics of the majority world insisting on nuclear abolition.

Let’s discuss together what to do here in Canada.

Erin Hunt has participated in the Humanitarian Initiative on Nuclear Weapons since 2013 and has spoken at the United Nations on the need for victim rights and victim assistance provisions in the new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. Erin brings the lessons from her work on the Ottawa Treaty and other humanitarian disarmament treaties to the nuclear ban treaty negotiations. Erin has a master’s degree in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University.

Steven Staples has long been committed to peace and disarmament. He founded Ceasefire in Ottawa, is a member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, the Group of 78 and the international network of anti-nuclear groups, Abolition 2000. He has written extensively about missile defense, nuclear weapons, and the Cold War. He was recently appointed Acting Publisher of Rabble.ca.

Judith Deutsch is a psychoanalyst and currently chairs the Militarism Group (Science for Peace), is active in Independent Jewish Voices and in the Centre for Social Justice. She has written about nuclear weapons and climate change for Canadian Dimension Magazine and for Counterpunch.

Biographies of nominees to the Science for Peace board, 2017-2019

Biography for Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp in Gaza. He is the first Palestinian doctor to receive an appointment at an Israeli hospital. He has experienced firsthand the impacts of conflict in Palestine, Egypt, Israel, Uganda, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia. He considers doctors well-suited to serve as peace-makers. As a practitioner and peace advocate, he mobilizes health as a tool for peace.

Dr. Abuelaish has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty, violence, and the horrific tragedy of his three daughters’ and niece’s deaths in the 2009 Gaza War. Having been nominated five times for Nobel Peace Prize, he has spoken at the Canadian House of Commons, the American Congress, the Chilean Parliament, the European Parliament in Brussels, the State Department, Forum 2000 in Prague, and many more.

His autobiography, I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity, was published in 2010 and is currently available in 23 different languages. It was inspired by the loss of his three daughters Bessan, Mayar, and Aya and their cousin Noor to Israeli shelling on January 16th, 2009.

He has founded Daughters for Life, a Canadian charity for womens empowerment, in memory of his daughters. Daughters for Life enables young women to pursue higher education.

Dr. Abuelaish lives with his five children in Toronto where he is an associate professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He remains committed to humanitarian activism in addition to his roles as a charity leader and educator.

Biography for Rob Acheson

Rob Acheson is the Operations Manager at Shipmaster Containers in Markham, Ontario, where he has worked for 45 years. He was co-chair of the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative for several years and currently chairs the Nuclear Weapons Working Group of Science for Peace.

Biography for Lyn Adamson

A long time peace and environmental activist, Lyn is currently Co-Chair of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. Lyn is a mediator and trainer in conflict resolution and dedicated to building a more peaceful future. Lyn works on climate action at federal, provincial, and municipal levels. Lyn worked with Peace Brigades International and Nonviolent Peaceforce (1999—2007), offering peacebuilding training in Indonesia, Kenya, and Europe as NP’s training co-ordinator (2006-2007). Lyn initiated a training program in peacebuilding called ‘PeaceWorks’ through the Toronto Quaker meeting. Lyn is a parent and grandparent, and has served on many volunteer boards.

Biography for Janis Alton

Janis Alton’s first training was in public health nursing. Now with a MA in political science and international relations, she is immersed in the peace movement, nationally and internationally.

Janis is focused on the delegitimization of war, demilitarization, and the inclusion of women directly in all the decision-making processes of peacebuilding, from conflict prevention to reconstruction. She has conducted more than 30 study/consultation/lobbying tours for women to United Nations sites, initiated and coordinated many national women and peace conferences, and international workshops.

Currently, Janis is Co-Chair of Canadian Voice of Women for Peace; a twice elected Council member of the International Peace Bureau based in Geneva; Board member of Science for Peace and member of the Group of 78, a foreign policy think tank.

A highlight in 2015 was the peace trip to North and South Korea as part of a ground-breaking 30-member international, feminist peace activist team.

Biography for William Browett

With thanks to my nominators.

Having been on the Board or Executive since 2011, I can help both the Science for Peace Board and Executive by continuing to bring institutional knowledge and administrative expertise to the Board and Executive. Specifically, I have offered to continue on as Treasurer, if the members and Board of Directors, agree. However, having filled the role of Treasurer, remotely from London, for the last 2 years, I feel strongly that Science for Peace benefit from having a local Treasurer who can directly assist the Executive and Coordinator in administering the Science for Peace finances. If someone is willing to take on this Executive position, I will assist in the transition of duties.

By way of background in activist organizations, I have spent years combining social and political activism with evidence based scientific decision making to educate the public on issues of public policy. This activism has included becoming a member of Science for Peace in the late 1980’s. My current interests focus especially on the equality, peace, and justice issues of Climate Change and Climate Change mitigation. I have been extensively involved in peace, disarmament, and social groups since the 1970’s, including providing technical advice on nuclear weapons and nuclear power to London Safe Energy Coalition and Ploughshares London (London, Ontario). My experience in social and political organizations extends to governance of several food cooperatives, e.g., in the early 1990’s as Treasurer, then President of the Ontario Natural Food Cooperative (OFNC). I have also filled several executive roles on NDP Riding Associations in Mississauga and London. This activism has also been combined with professional scientific interests in the pharmaceutical industry, biological chemistry, chemometrics, and laboratory automation.

Biography for Kari Brozowski

I am an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Health Studies. My research and teaching focus on social justice issues which are aligned with the mandate for Science for Peace. More recently, I have had the privilege of working on a team youth mural art research project that focuses on peace and allyship between Six Nations and the city of Brantford. As a member of the Science for Peace board since 2006, and an Executive member in 2013/14, I have participated in changes that Science for Peace has undertaken and anticipate there will be further changes that will allow the organization to thrive. If elected, I look forward to continuing to serve on the Science for Peace Board.

Biography for David Burman

David grew up in Torontos west end and attended the University of Toronto completing his dental degree in 1968, during which time he spent a summer in Iqaluit, Nunavut, learning about the dental needs of the Inuit people. After graduation he interned at Mt. Sinai Hospital, after which the next four years were spent providing dental treatment in various remote, largely Aboriginal, Northern Ontario communities. Then an abrupt change to London, UK, where he did a 6 month stint learning general anesthesia and a year in Geneva, where he was a clinical instructor and researcher in the dental school there. Returning to Canada, he further developed his interest in doctor-patient relationships, which eventually led him back to graduate school from whence he obtained his PhD in community health from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Completed in 1989, his research focused on an exploration of how dentists self-acceptance related to their ability to accept negative feelings in patients.

David has long been active in the peace and environmental movements, was a candidate for the Green Party in four elections, and helped start Toronto’s first local currency system (LETS). He is an active member of Ecologos and Transition Toronto and has served on the boards of directors of ICA Canada, a community development organization and the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition as well as Science for Peace.

Since 2009 David has been a trained facilitator of the Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium and Generation Waking Up though the Pachamama Alliance. This program is a complement to his teaching at U of T — Indigenous Issues in Health and Healing bringing Indigenous holistic world views to the industrial world. He is an amateur potter and is married with 2 cats.


Biography for Jill Carr-Harris

Jill began her peace work in 1982 for nuclear disarmament. Appreciated by some UN friends for her enthusiasm for world peace, she was hired by the United Nations Development Program in 1993 to start a Tree Planting project for International Youth Year (1985), which she carried out over the next five years. As part of this work, Jill had the opportunity to travel to India in 1986. She was enthusiastic about the work of civil society in India, that after completing the Tree Project, Jill returned to India, giving up future opportunities with the UN to start her own NGO.

Jill set up South-South Solidarity, an organization that exchanged development expertise across southern countries to reduce the dependencies on northern aid agencies. Thereafter, Jill tried to bring this learning to the various international assignments that she took up. In between her paid assignments and volunteering for the womens wing of grassroots organization, Ekta Parishad, Jill worked on a doctoral degree related to Gandhi, nonviolence and education.

Jill was part of Ekta Parishad’s big marches in 2007, 2012 and 2014. When the organization was successful in advocating for a land reform agenda, Jill felt the need to take the lessons of Indian social movements and Gandhi’s nonviolence to other countries. Between 2013-2016 she traveled to more than 11 countries and trained on Gandhian nonviolence.

In 2016 Jill joined the International Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and Peace as a Director, and in this capacity she organized numerous programs related to local and global peace.

Biography for Miloud Chennoufi

Miloud Chennoufi teaches international relations and Middle-Eastern politics at the Canadian Forces College (Toronto). He is a visiting fellow at the School of Public and International Affairs at Glendon College (York University), and a senior researcher at the Lab for Global Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He is the author of Great Powers and Islamism (in French).

Miloud Chennoufi holds a Ph.D in political science from the University of Montreal, a Masters is management science from the cole des Hautes Commerciales (Montréal), and B.A. in economics from the University of Algiers.

Before moving to Canada 20 years ago, he served as a journalist in his native Algeria. Miloud Chennoufi is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

Biography for Chandler Davis

Chandler Davis is a mathematician and retired Professor at the University of Toronto. He is a long-time member of Science for Peace, and has participated in several of its activities, in particular serving several terms on the Board. He is currently coordinating the Working Group on Freedom for Research.

Biography for Thomas Davis

Thomas Davis is a former licensed nuclear power plant operator, who now does consulting in education and nuclear power plant operation. He completed a B.Sc in computer science and physics, and an M.Ed in Education and Digital Technology.

A long-time member of SfP, over the years he has served as Vice-President, Board Member, Bulletin Editor, UN Representative (alternate) (including attending the UN Conference on Environment and Development), and SfP representative to Mines Action Canada, where he also served on the board for six years.

Thomas is currently interested in drones, artificial intelligence, nuclear weapons, and the nature of violence.

Biography for Walter Dorn

Walter Dorn is Professor of Defence Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and the Canadian Forces College (CFC). He teaches officers from the rank of major to brigadier-general from Canada and about 20 other countries. He specializes in arms control, peace operations, just war theory, international criminal law, international verification and enforcement, and the United Nations. As an “operational professor” he participates in field missions and assists international organizations. For instance, he was a UN Electoral Officer for the 1999 referendum in East Timor and a Visiting Professional with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2010. He also served as a consultant with the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations, including on the Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping. In 2017, Dr. Dorn took up an appointment with the United Nations as “Innovation and Protection Technology Expert” to help select technologies for testing, piloting and employing in UN peace operations. His two most recent books are Air Power in UN Operations: Wings for Peace (Ashgate, 2014) and Keeping Watch: Monitoring, Technology, and Innovation in UN Peace Operations (UNU Press, 2011). He has served as the UN Representative of Science for Peace since 1983.

Biography for Michel Duguay

Michel A. Duguay studied physics at the Université de Montréal where he was granted a Bachelor of Science degree in 1961. He was then accepted in the doctoral program in physics at Yale University and he chose nuclear physics as his area of research. Having obtained the Ph.D. in physics from Yale in 1966, Duguay joined the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He carried out research work at Bell Labs in the Solid State Electronics Research department; his concentration being laser research.

In 1974, Michel Duguay was invited to work on an X-ray laser research project at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After one unsuccessful year on this project Duguay switched his activities to a solar optics project that quickly met with success. Duguay returned to AT&T Bell Labs in 1977 in the area of telecommunications research. In Holmdel, New Jersey, he worked in the area of semiconductor lasers and photonics until 1987.

Since March 1988 Michel Duguay has been a professor in the Département de génie électrique et de génie informatique at Laval University. He has been active in research in optical communications, in special relativity (the so-called diachronic time approach) and quantum optics, and on solar electric boats. Michel Duguay is the holder or co-holder of 30 US patents.

In the period 2006-2013 Duguay coordinated the Mouvement Sortons le Québec du nucléaire (MSQN). The MSQN in collaboration with 172 persons and 400 municipalities succeeded in convincing the government to shut down the Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor permanently, thereby saving more than six billion dollars.

In the 2013-2017 period Duguay has been active in the nuclear disarmament movement. He believes that drones could be used in warfare to save lives on both sides of a conflict. He has argued that the fast progress in the science of genetics and genomics could move humankind away from what author Elizabeth Crouch Zelman has described as tribalism, the idea that one’s kin group always knows best and deserves ones unquestioned adherence. Zelman’s 2015 book is entitled Our Beleagured Species, Beyond Tribalism.

Biography for John Duncan

John Duncan completed his PhD in the interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University in 1998, immediately after which he joined the faculty at the University of Kings College in Halifax. In 2002 he founded the international bilingual society for the study of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture (EPTC) and served as its president until May 2009. During a 200405 sabbatical leave he was Ashley Fellow at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, a year in which he co-founded PhaenEx, EPTC’s interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. He remained a PhaenEx executive editor until the summer of 2012 when he co-edited a 400-page issue in commemoration of EPTCs ten-year anniversary (PhaenEx 7.1., spring/summer, 2012). In the summer of 2005 he was appointed assistant professor and director of the Ethics, Society, and Law (E-S-and-L) program at Trinity, as well as an instructor in the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program in public policy, ethics, international relations, and health science, for which he served as director from July 2012 to August 2014. From 2006 to 2011 he was an executive member of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics, for which he organized the October 2011 Public Issues Forum: On the very idea of a good war:

Afghanistan ten years in. Beginning at Trinity in 2007 and continuing in partnership with Victoria College in the University of Toronto (where he is an associate) from 2010, he co-founded the Humanities for Humanity engagement/outreach program and remains its academic director. Starting from the 2011-12 year he has led Victoria Colleges Culture, Conflict, and the Media seminar, and served as the academic director for its Theatre for Thought engagement/outreach program, both of which are part of Victoria’s Ideas for the World program. In January 2014 he became the first holder of the appointment of Faculty Adviser for the Ideas for the World program at Victoria. In September 2013 he founded Trinity’s Humanities for Humanity.2 (H4H.2) engagement/outreach program. He served from June 2013 to June 2015 as Vice President of the Canadian Peace Research Association (CPRA), and beginning in June 2015 as both the CPRA National Editor and as a Board Member for Science for Peace at the University of Toronto. He has co-edited a volume on the thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as issues of PhaenEx, written chapters, articles, reviews and opinion pieces on the history of philosophy, continental philosophy, and politics, and given talks on the same subjects. His feature article on close air support and civilian casualties in Afghanistan, Death from Above, first published in This Magazine, March/April, 2010, was re-published in Tightrope Books The Best Canadian Essays: 2011. He published a chapter in October 2013 on the virtue of deep dissent, and is currently working on a book on the war in Afghanistan.

Biography for Margrit Eichler

I am professor emerita from OISE/UT, Sociology and Equity Studies in Education. I have been a member and Secretary of Science for Peace for eight years. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge represented by members of this organization. I started a working group on muzzling science, which has now morphed into the organization Our Right to Know, which works in close cooperation with the working group on freedom for research. Muzzling of scientists remains an area of concern to me and I hope to stay involved in future efforts to address this issue. We have jointly participated in the recent march for science in downtown Toronto. I am happy to continue serving as Secretary.

Biography for Linda Kalafatides

Linda Kalafatides is a secondary school educator, who has dedicated the last ten years to anti-violence education. Inspired by, and working with her students, she created and taught a full credit curricular, grade 11 Interdisciplinary course on anti-violence education. The TDSB course addresses the everyday presence of violence in our personal lives and our global community. Students are empowered by learning practical skills for creating a safer, more peaceful world.

Linda is a member of several working groups including nuclear disarmament, public health and gender-based violence prevention. She has several years of experience working in women’s clinics, supporting victims of domestic violence and engaging in violence-prevention training. Linda continues initiatives to help youth develop healthier relationships with their peers, their family, their community and their planet.

Biography for Ellie Kirzner

I would be pleased and honoured, if elected, to serve on the board of Science for Peace.

For over three decades I was a writer and senior editor for NOW Magazine. There I reported on, and directed others to report on, issues of war, peace and pacifism, foreign policy, human and environment rights and social justice, as well as the activism that addressed these concerns. One of the first things I did upon retiring a few years ago was to ask to join Science for Peace, an organization I had long admired. My chief interest today lies in the resolution of conflict without weapons, and the science and practice of non-violent resistance. Currently, I co-chair the Working Group on Non-Violence and Civil Society.

Biography for Nivedita Das Kundu

Nivedita Das Kundu, MA & PhD, in International Studies. Post Doctorate in Security Studies. Associated with York University, Toronto. Her research expertise focuses on International Relations covering geopolitics, foreign policy, conflict resolution, and on the strategic dimensions of security. She also works on issues related to borders, forced migration and on WMD. Her Research area also focuses on womens issues and concerns. Her research publications include: research articles, occasional papers, op-ed articles, books and monographs. Her selected published books include: Russia and its Near Abroad: Strategic Dynamics and Implications; Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Rail-roads: Iron Ground for the Silk Road; Role of Russia in SCO: Possibilities and Challenges; Russia-India-China: Evolution of Geopolitical Strategic Trends; India-Russia Strategic Partnership: Challenges and Prospects; and India-Azerbaijan: The Silk Route Connection. Her very recent books are: India’s Emerging Partnerships with Eurasia: Challenges of New Regionalism, China’s One Belt One Road: Initiatives, Challenges and Prospects, and Developments in Central Asia: India-Kyrgyzstan Relations. She has taught in universities, and worked with prestigious government Think Tanks, and Institutes in different countries, as a faculty member. She is a member of OPCW (United Nations, Hague), Valdai discussion Club (Russia), Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Center, Association for Borderland Studies (USA). She is a recipient of the State Award Pushkin Medal. Fluent in English, Russian, Bengali and Hindi.

Biography for Margot Mandy

Margot Mandy was a graduate student with John Dove when Science for Peace was formed, and has been involved ever since. As a founding faculty member of the University of Northern British Columbia, she moved from Toronto to Prince George in 1994. As a professor of chemistry, she teaches physical and environmental chemistry in the context of place affected by climate change and impacted by resource development activities.

Biography for Gordon McBean

Professor Gordon McBean is President of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Co-Chair of the Governing Council for Future Earth: Research for Global Sustainability, Professor Emeritus of Geography at Western University, London, Canada, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and on other international and national committees. He was Professor at Western (2000-2015), Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada (1994-2000) responsible for weather, climate and air quality sciences and services, Professor, Atmospheric-Oceanic Sciences, University of British Columbia (1988-94) and Senior Scientist in Environment Canada. He has been very active in international and national scientific programs: Chair (1988-94), World Climate Research Programme (1988-94); Chair, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk Program (2005-11); President, START International (environmental science capacity enhancement in Africa and Asia)(2009-15); Member, UNISDR S&T Committee (2008-12); Lead Author, IPCC Assessments (1990,1995, 2007, 2012); Lead investigator in ArcticNet (2004-11) and MEOPAR (2011) and President, Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (2000-2011) and Chair, Canadian Climate Forum (2011-14). He is a Member of the Orders of Canada and of Ontario; shares the Nobel Peace Prize (2008) as a major contributor to IPCC; Fellow: Royal Society of Canada; American Geophysical Union; American Meteorological Society; International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and others; and awarded, in 2015: University of British Columbia Alumni Award of Distinction; American Geophysical Union Ambassador Award; and American Meteorological Society Cleveland Abbe Prize.

Biography for Martin Muldoon

Martin Muldoon is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at York University. In the 1980s he was involved in the organization of conferences by the Calumet College Peace Committee. He has given talks to high school students on “Peace, War and Mathematics”. In the mid-90s, he was webmaster for Science for Peace and has served on the Board (2013-2017), on the nominating committee in 2015, and as an at-large member of the Executive committee (2015-2017).

Biography for Julie Nguyen

Dr. Julie Nguyen holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours Economics from Concordia University, a Masters in Economics, and a PhD (2004) in Interdisciplinary Studies and Asian Research both from the University of British Columbia. She was a consultant for the United Nations in Hanoi in 1997, conducted research on womens entrepreneurship in Vietnam, funded by the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada in 1998, and worked on international development projects in Vietnam funded by CIDA, IDRC and SSHRC (1996-2006).

Julie was a research associate at the Centre for Southeast Asia Research at the University of British Columbia (1996-99), conducted her postdoctoral research at the Munk School of Global Affairs (2004-06), and taught courses in Political Science, Asia-Pacific Studies, and Womens Studies at the University of Toronto and UTSC (200510). She is the author of two books on Ho Chi Minh, both written in English and Vietnamese, published in 2010 and 2013, both received bronze award from Vietnam Writers Association.

Julie is currently a Professor and Program Coordinator in International Business at Centennial College. She is a cofounder and director of the Canada Vietnam Trade Council, a non-profit organization that promotes trade and investment between the two countries. She is a board member of the Canada Vietnam Society; the Organization of Women in International Trade, Toronto Chapter; and the McCormick Playground Arena, City of Toronto.

Contact: j.nguyen@utoronto.ca

Biography for Sorpong Peou

BA (University of Waterloo, Canada); MA and PhD (York University, Canada). Currently, Professor and Chair, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Formerly Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Winnipeg (Manitoba); Chair of the Advisory and Recruitment Committee for The Manitoba Chair of Global Governance Studies a joint program between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba. Prior to these academic appointments, Professor of International Security at Sophia University in Tokyo (Japan); Canada-ASEAN Fellow, as well as Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore). Academic fields of expertise: security and democracy studies, with regional focus on the Asia-Pacific. Major books: Human Security Studies: Theories, Methods and Themes (World Scientific and Imperial College Press, 2014); Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific (Praeger 2010), Human Security in East Asia: Challenges for Collaborative Action, ed. (Routledge 2008), International Democracy Assistance for Peacebuilding: Cambodia and Beyond (Palgrave Macmillan 2007), Intervention and Change in Cambodia: Toward Democracy (St. Martins Press, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Silkworms, 2001) & Conflict Neutralization in the Cambodia War: From Battlefield to Ballot-box (Oxford University Press, 1997). Service: Editorial boards of Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies (Palgrave Macmillan) and the peerreviewed journal Asian Politics & Policy (Wiley-Blackwell); regional editor of a peer-reviewed journal—The Asian Journal of Peacebuilding (Seoul National University Press, South Korea). Appointed Member of the Eminent Persons Group at the Asian Political and International Student Association; Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Peace and Cooperation (Cambodia’s largest government institute), Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Cambodian Development Research Institute; and member of an International Country Experts Network on UN Peacekeeping.

Biography for Olga Puzanova

Olga came to Canada from Stavropol, Russia. She got her Masters in International Humanitarian Law in 2007 when she was already a practicing lawyer. Immediately upon graduation Olga moved to St. Petersburg to launch her career as a corporate lawyer. She practiced law across the country, until moving to Canada four years ago.

Olga used to work in very diverse and challenging environments, including: private enterprises, government and juridical bodies. It gave her a broad perspective on Russian legislation and mechanisms of cooperation between various types of organizations on different levels. Olga obtained a postgraduate certificate in Government Relations in Toronto, and currently works in Public Affairs at a regulatory organization.

Biography for Richard Sandbrook

Richard Sandbrook is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. I am currently interested in understanding how the left can maintain its values while adapting to the hard realities of the 21st century. This concern informs my posts on the Progressive Futures Blog

Before recently shifting my focus to the West, I studied the democratic lefts experience in the Global South, counter-hegemonic globalization and the thinking of Karl Polanyi. I have taught in Kenya and Denmark, as well as Canada, and have been a visiting research fellow at the IDS, Sussex and the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen. Africa has been the major site of my field work; I have also travelled widely in Latin America and Asia. My most recent books include Reinventing the Left in the Global South: The Politics of the Possible (CUP 2014), Civilizing Globalization: A Survival Guide (co-editor and co-author, SUNY Press, 2014), and Social Democracy in the Global Periphery: Origins, Challenges, Prospects (co-author, CUP, 2007).

Biography for Metta Spencer

I am an emeritus professor of sociology at University of Toronto, where I retired twenty years ago, after running a program in peace and conflict studies for thirteen years. I am editor of Peace Magazine, and retiring president of Science for Peace, where I have served two terms, plus some additional time as interim president. I have authored and edited numerous books, the most important of which are Foundations of Modern Sociology (an introductory sociology textbook that had ten editions), Two Aspirins and a Comedy, and The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy. I expect to continue managing the weekly lectures so long as my service is useful and will continue to participate in various working groups, especially the ones on nonviolence and nuclear weapons.

Biography for Adnan Zuberi

Adnan Zuberi is a Canadian educator, citizen diplomat, and documentarian. While working as a teacher of mathematical sciences, computer technology, and civics at Toronto Prep School with a B.Math in Hon. Mathematical Physics from the University of Waterloo and a B. Ed from OISE, University of Toronto, he is also the Director of International Channels for Diplomacy (ICDiplomacy.com), an NGO he co-founded with North American diplomats to deescalate conflict and has directed panels with NATO, Russian, and Ukrainian government advisors and academics. Adnan’s current activities are focused on directing dialogues between NATO NGOs and Russia. His diplomatic work has been published by Carleton University’s foreign affairs hub (www.iaffairscanada.com/author/adnanz”). As a documentarian, he is the Director and Producer of the documentary, 9/11 in the Academic Community, which examines impairments in professional inquiry and the larger academic community’s treatment of critical perspectives of 9/11. The film was awarded for Documentary Achievement at the University of Toronto Film Festival and was endorsed by the former presidents/heads of McMaster University, State University of New York, NATOs research unit on Catastrophic Terrorism, the White House Terrorism Task Force, and the CBC, and is in the libraries and curriculum of several universities (www.911inacademia.com/. After assisting SfP activities, with the encouragement of Professors Robert Korol and John McMurtry, he became a member of SfP and intends to assist its executive functions as a representative of the younger generation with a wide variety of skills and a vocational dedication to scientific understanding to resolve crises and prevent war.

India and Pakistan’s Long-Awaited Full Membership to SCO Becomes Reality

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has played a significant role in the region for past sixteen years. This year SCO Summit took place on 8-9 June 2017, in Astana. Expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization became inevitable due to its growing profile and significance. It was argued for many years that SCO is not ready for the expansion, however, during the SCO summit, held at Ufa (Russia), in July 2015, India & Pakistan was officially conferred full membership of the SCO. This decision indicated that SCO had considered expansion as a necessary aspect in SCO’s agenda. India shared with SCO common positions on many politico-security issues and concerns of the region. India and Pakistan has for long been trying to become full-member of SCO. The SCO’s decision to give full membership to India and Pakistan involves regional integration processes and add to SCO’s decisive role and efficiency. It is expected that SCO’s full-membership will enable both India and Pakistan to play more effective role in bringing stability in the region.

Russia has been a strong supporter of bringing both India and Iran as full members. However, for the time being only India and Pakistan were given full membership. As both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers with a history of conflict, there were concerns about their full membership. Some argued that these new members might bring their disputes to SCO making it less effective. However, the counter-argument is such that there have been disputes existed between few present SCO full members too, but that has not hampered the efficiency of the organization. According to SCO Charter, both India and Pakistan have met the criteria mentioned in SCO’s legal documents, hence, got full membership during Astana Summit. This historical decision by SCO will elevate the profile of the organisation and significantly strengthen its capabilities in various directions.

Relevance for India & Pakistan

India has maintained good relationship with all SCO members; hence, prospects for future cooperation are very bright. India’s inclusion as full member will be a significant step. India has been constantly showing its desire to play much more constructive and meaningful role in SCO. India’s economic growth, potential young demographic profile and its growing political impudence in the region can become an asset for the growth of SCO. The SCO is gradually realising its ambitious economic integration agenda, including formation of a free-trade zone and setting-up rules for the free movement of goods, services and technologies within the SCO member states. India expects to enter into the Eurasia integration path by seeking an early entry to a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which would enable flow of goods, raw-materials, capital and technology to the regional countries easily and quickly. The International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which was commissioned recently, will also be helpful for India to have smooth trade and economic cooperation with the regional SCO member States. It is also expected that the proposed Chabahar project would enable Indian goods to gain better access to the Central Asian region along with South Caucasus and Russia. Thus, a strong India-SCO relationship would bring major trade and investment opportunities in the region.

The SCO and India both share a common interest in disrupting terrorist networks in and around Afghanistan. India as well as, other SCO member states views Afghanistan as a crucial strategic challenge. India has shown keenness on sharing security concerns of the region with SCO and also work closely with other SCO members in Afghanistan. As most of the SCO members states shares the common border with Afghanistan, it becomes essential for SCO to maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan. Moreover, India is a major donor for the reconstruction and assistance programmes in Afghanistan. Hence, in this regard SCO appreciates India’s cooperation.

India could work jointly with SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS). This is SCO’s most important institution after the secretariat. RATS work includes exchange of information and co-ordination of operations with regard to terrorist training camps and funding agencies. The RATS staffs include officials from all the SCO member states. The funding of this is shared between all the member-states including Russia and China. Over the past few years, RATS has expanded its role. It is now working for the harmonization of anti-terrorist legislation in the member-states & to fight against the terrorists and tracking the funding agencies of the terrorist bodies. India could jointly work with RATS for getting key intelligence information on the terror outfits, on the cyber security threats and also on the regional terror networks. RATS place its reports to various international forums including United Nations. Through RATS, SCO is trying to find a common position to fight against various terrorist organizations within the region. India can also maintain good relation with both Russia and China the two main pillars of SCO by becoming the full member of SCO.
Pakistan became an SCO Observer in the year 2005, along with India and Iran. Pakistan’s full membership to SCO will enable it to get easy access with the Eurasian states and with the Eurasian Economic Union and also to get connected with the Eurasian Silk Route linkages. SCO’s full membership will also enable Pakistan to get into the energy club of SCO and ensure energy security.


The SCO, over the years has become a dynamic, influential and ambitious organisation, stretching across a large part of the Asian continent. Today, SCO’s approach is to emphasize on consolidation, long-term planning and avoid marginalisation. SCO member states can cooperate with each other to fight regional as well as, global threats and concerns related to climate change, environment security and food security concerns. The SCO is expected to offer solutions to emerging security and politico-economic challenges in the region. Moreover, growing cooperation among the regional countries through SCO will also strengthen the regional mechanism.

Nivedita Das Kundu, Ph.D, in International Relations. Followed developments on SCO being part of various SCO Forums and Meetings.

Meeting of Working Group Leaders

The meeting of SfP Working Group leaders has been scheduled for Thursday, June 8, 6:30 to 9:30 pm in room 044, University College. Members of the Executive Committee are welcome to attend.

Ocean Frontiers plenary

Please join us for a panel discussion at OISE 252 Bloor Street West, Room 2286, 5:00-7:00pm, 24 May.

Distinguished speakers will address how current practices in marine zones are transforming the physical features of oceans and (geo)political access to marine spaces.


  • Dr. Cindy Van Dover (Duke University)
  • Dr. Phil Steinberg (Durham University)
  • Dr. Catherine Coumans (MiningWatch Canada)

Sponsored by Science for Peace, with support from UNC Department of Geography and the Center for Global Initiatives

Geopolitics of Northern Sea Route: Russia-China-India's Growing Interest in Arctic

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded mostly by land and governed by the United Nations Conventions under the laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). The debate and discussions on Arctic has opened up many opportunities in the economic and commercial sectors of the Arctic members and the observer states. Arctic is known to possess one-quarter of the world’s undiscovered energy resources. The Arctic melting opened up transportation opportunities through the northern sea passage providing easy access for shipping. Melting of ice also enabled exploration of the vast energy resources and get access to the huge fish stocks in the Arctic region.

Presently, the opportunities for accessing huge fish reserves, shortening of shipping routes and exploring energy resources have made Arctic a most favored destination. However, in near future the inter-continental transit of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) would depend not only on continued climate change but also on the politico-security situation of the region. The discussions on the ownership of the Arctic, mainly who shall extract energy resources when the ice thins down or even disappears or on the “delimitation” issues, i.e. how the marine lines will be drawn and who will control the new sea route, all these concerns could be addressed as per the geopolitical decisions.

NSR which is also known as Severnyy morskoy putch by Russia, is a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Kara Sea to the Pacific Ocean, specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from Kara Gates strait between the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait. NSR gives Russia enormous strategic latitude and commercial gains. The NSR has number of alternative passages and routes between Novaya Zemlya (new land) and the Bering Strait. Oflate, Russian government has also described Russia as the Northern Country, emphasising on the energy and economic significance of the Arctic.

Russia has also been projecting its power on the Arctic region through various political and economic means. The geopolitics of NSR refers broadly on the aspects of politics and the territorial demarcations related to this route. The northern sea route is expected to give Russia enormous strategic and commercial benefits. Shipping through the northern sea route, as compared to the Suez Canal route, is estimated to reduce the distance by almost 2,800 nautical miles or 22 per cent (between Rotterdam and Shanghai), this route is also likely to reduce the transportation cost by 30 to 40 per cent.

The Northern sea route’s accessibility and the possibility of shortening the distance and time for transportation have greatly influenced China. China is energy deficient country, hence, Arctic’s energy resources is also clearly part of its interest for fulfilling its energy needs. China for last many years has been engaging itself with the energy rich regions, hence, it is well aware of the competitive advantages. Beijing has also interestingly, started propagating on the ‘commons’ position, i.e. they are trying to emphasize that no single Nation has sovereignty over the Arctic and on its resources, thus these resources are for all to exploit and use. Though the Arctic 5 has not yet agreed on such proposition made by China but China continues its effort to popularize this idea.

China would like to get access to NSR, more so, because Russia has shown its willingness to support China. China’s efficient ship building and transport network could provide China faster access to the European markets as well as, to USA’s east coast through NSR. These commercial interests have political objectives too and China has got the potential to significantly re-order the balance of power in Arctic. It will be interesting to observe how Russia balances its equation with China for facilitating large-scale investments in China’s shipbuilding and transportation industry by providing it easy access through NSR. Russia could also develop warm ties with the western Arctic Nations, at the same time, could counter balance China’s rise in the Arctic.

For India, contemporary developments in the Arctic region presents an opportunity to speak out for ecological protection, this position is contrary to the resource scramble and promotes resource use and conservation, in view of the warming of the Arctic. India by becoming observer enables to take part in various activities related to Arctic. As far as, the Arctic is concerned, India is a signatory to the “1925 Treaty”, concerning the Archipelago of Spitsbergen of the ‘Svalbard Treaty’. India is among the 10 countries that has a Research Centre in the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic for studying warming and ice melting effects.

In the conclusion, would like to mention that Arctic issues and concerns are becoming complicated over the period of time. Hence, it is the responsibility of the Arctic council members and observers to manage Arctic resources carefully. The competition for getting easy access to the Northern Sea Route for international trade and commerce is increasing over the years. However, there is a need to address the security concerns related to piracy and terrorism that has also been increasing along with the prospect for the increased commercial activities and transportation facilities.

Nivedita Das Kundu, Ph.D, works on Arctic Governance and Member of Borealis Council (Arctic Studies) at York University, Toronto

India-China Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific Region: The 'Samudra Manthan'

The phrase ‘Indo-Pacific’ has been drawing significant attention, due to number of reasons. In addition to being a geographical construct, the Indo-Pacific can also be seen as a changing network of Nations for strategic and security issues and concerns.

The word Samudra Manthan, taken from the Indian Mythology means “churning of the Ocean”, aptly depicts the present situation in the Indo-Pacific region, where like the mythological epic the kings and demons fought to receive the amrita (precious things from the sea), similarly, today there is a constant competition and rivalry going on between the Nations in the Indo-Pacific region. The present situation also depicts that ‘the churning of the Ocean’ is inevitable as the maritime interests of both India and China converges in the large expanse of the waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans i.e. the Indo-Pacific Region.

The discourse is such that, the strategic interplays between the maritime powers in the Indo-Pacific will determine the future course of security in the region. It is expected that India’s and United States interests in the Indo-Pacific region will match with each other. However, the present relationships between China-United States of America and India-China will determine the balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Nowadays, the majority of trade transactions are being implemented through the sea, making the present and future maritime threats severe in the Indo-Pacific region and making it more evident. India has also till date not agreed to join China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, arguing it as a strategy by China to move ahead with the expansionist and self-motivated approach. Till date the 1962 war between India and China was restricted to the land frontiers only,however, its overarching impact in the minds of India’s defense sectors continues to be a defining issue in formulating the bi-lateral relationships. Both India and China, continues to debate over the land boundary issues and above that the growing dependency on seaborne trade at a staggering approximately 90 per cent for both emerging powers has brought the oceans to the forefront of the bilateral relationships.

It is expected that by 2020, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is going to be the second largest Navy in the world, as it is undertaking massive changes and development activities. By 2022, the Indian Navy (IN) is also expected to have 160-ship navy, pulling it to the league of ‘Big Five’. The impetus that both the Nations are giving to their naval sector is evident from these developments. Even their growing forays into each other’s traditional maritime spheres of influence indicate their desire to become ‘blue-water’ navies, serving their national maritime interests beyond their immediate frontiers. The policy makers believe that due to lack of trust there is a possibility of heightening tension between the two Nations on the maritime borders. There is a clash of interests which looks inevitable between the two Nations. India considers China’s ‘string of pearls’ as a strategy and looks into that with suspicion and considers the development of the ports by China in its immediate neighbourhood as a sensitive issue. China has also been considering the Indian Naval presence in the South China Sea, an area that it terms as its ‘core interest’ in a suspicious manner. Thus it is evident that Indo-Pacific region is gaining traction now and what roles are envisaged for India and China in it is worth following in the coming time.

1 Nivedita Das Kundu, Ph.D. in International Relations, her research specialization includes geo-strategic, geo-politics and foreign policy issues and concerns. Her area of research focuses on India and China.

Women, Children and War

Guest speakers Dr. Gretchen Roedde and and Dr. Reeju Ray headline this event organized by Science for Peace and Voice of Women for the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending (GDAMS).
Friends House, 60 Lowther Ave, Toronto, 7:00-9:00pm.
All are welcome!

Toronto March for Science

Opening speakers and march from Nathan Phillips Square, 11am; speakers at Queens Park 12 noon onwards.
Endorsers include Science for Peace; Our Right to Know; U of T Faculty Association; Canadian Federation of Students; U of T Graduate Student Association; and others.
Email sciencemarchto@gmail.com; website sciencemarchto.ca

Cold War II? Working Group meeting

Room 44, University College, 12pm. Contact Leon Kosals leon.kosals@gmail.com. At our last meeting, there was a scheduling mix-up with our colleagues in Moscow, but this time we will be video-conferencing with Leonid Grigoriev, Professor in the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and principal adviser to the head of the Analytical Centre under the Government of the Russian Federation. Topic: “Russian History, Mentality and Reactions to Wars, Hot or Cold.” Contact Leon Kosals leon.kosals@gmail.com

Community Healing Art Mural: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Student Colllaboration

Please join us for a free public lecture on April 5, 2017 from 7-9pm in Room UC 152 of University College ( 15 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 3H7 ) at the University of Toronto’s St George campus:

Community Healing Art Mural: Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Student Colllaboration


Vanessa Oliver and the research team “Transformation Action Graffiti”

Department of Youth Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford.

This event is part of a weekly series of talks entitled: Vital Discussions of Human Security .

Please see www.scienceforpeace.ca/events for details on all of our upcoming events. Please see our YouTube channel for videos from past events: www.youtube.com/science4peace .

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Science for Peace Bulletin | ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)