SfP Bulletin January 1994

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin January 1994. A PDF edition is also available.

Science for Peace: What kind of future?

The Soviet empire crumbled some years ago. The search for world peace has widened to include very specifically the struggle for justice and improvement of the environment. Justice includes economic justice. What are your ideas? Obviously Science for Peace must find a new focus, one that encompasses the aspirations and passions of all its members, not just the Old Guard that brought SIP into existence twelve years ago.

At the meeting of 5 March, you will set the agenda. We shall follow the process known as Open Space Technology. We shall have present a professional facilitator. At an Open Space meeting all are on an equal footing. The ideas are put forward by the participants, and are developed in workshops throughout the day.

None of us knows what the results will be. But we do know that it will be fun, and that the results will be important. We also know that your presence is essential.

We call upon all the members in the Toronto area to keep this day free. But we also want to attract people from out of town Ejust make the effort and come. If you have nowhere to stay, we will try to find someone to accommodate you.

A notice giving you the details will be sent out about four weeks from now. Enquiries will be handled from the SIP office, (416-978-3606, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays). It will help us if you let us know that you are intending to come.

Join us on 5 March and put your imprint on our discussions.

Derek Paul
President, Science for Peace

From the Editor

For a number of reasons we have decided to limit the material published in this Bulletin, to a large extent, to items dealing with Science for Peace. These will include reports on past activities and announcements of forthcoming meetings, such as are presented in the present issue. Items of more general interest and concern will appear in the space that we purchase in Peace Magazine. We again urge members of Science for Peace to subscribe to this excellent magazine if they are not already doing so, not only for our own material but for the many other valuable articles that appear in every issue.

Members are invited to submit contributions either to the Bulletin or to Peace Magazine.

We remind you that membership renewal notices were sent out in mid-December. If you have not yet responded, please do so as soon as you can.

We wish you all peace and happiness in 1994.

Meeting with Peace Magazine

The Bingo Committee of Science for Peace and the Board of Peace Magazine will hold a meeting at 11 Thornwood Road, 2 p.m. to discuss the future of the BINGO fundraising operation and the relationship between SP and Peace Magazine in this matter. In particular, it is known that Peace Magazine cannot survive at its present level of income, including the support it receives from the sale of space in its pages to SfP. Currently SP purchases eight pages per issue for its articles printed in the Magazine, the pages being earmarked with our Logo.

Members of the Board of Directors of SP are invited to attend. The meeting will make recommendations to the Board to be considered at the 19 March meeting.

Since there are some strong opinions held for and against BINGOs as a fundraising method, it would be useful to those attending the 5 February meeting to have such opinions available, in writing if the member concerned cannot attend. Opinions from members of SP who are not Board members will also be welcome. Write to The Bingo Committee, Science for Peace.

United Nations Reform

A Workshop on United Nations Reform was organized by Science for Peace at University College, University of Toronto, November 23 & 24, 1993. The express mandate of the Workshop was “to make recommendations on United Nations Reform relevant to the mandate of the Commission on Global Governance.”

The Commission, chaired by Ingvarr Carlsson and Shridath Ramphal, will report in good time for the 50^th^ anniversary of the United Nations in 1995, with proposals for United Nations reform. The recommendations from the Science for Peace workshop, which will be published in Peace Magazine, were transmitted to the Coimmission shortly after the workshop.

The invited papers presented by nine speakers at the workshop will form the basis of a book, with solicited contributions, to be published by Science for Peace and Dundurn Press in 1994.

Booksale

On 29 November 1993 Science for Peace held a sale of new and used books in the foyer of the Sidney Smith building at the University of Toronto. The sale began at 10 a.m. and continued until about 4:45 p.m. The foyer is a thoroughfare during the academic year as well a pleasant open area where people sit and rest, read or talk between classes. The sale was a success in the sense that we gained a good deal of exposure to people in the academic community who had not heard of us up to that time. I reported to the executive, and later to the Board, that the exposure was perhaps the main benefit of the exercise. As well, however, we netted $256 on the books sold, and those who took part in the exercise thoroughly enjoyed it. The books were donated by a dozen or so members and friends of SfP during the two week period prior to the sale. A big thank you to the donors of books.

Kelly Gotlieb, at the Board meeting 15 January, spoke enthusiastically in favour of having fairly regular book sales and said that this was the sort of activity that we should engage in twice a year on the St. George campus, but I wonder if this isn’t an activity that could equally well take place on very many campuses across Canada. So think about it, all you others who are not on the St. George campus of _U of T E_that means almost everyone in Canada. It is fun.

To plan for a booksale of this kind, you need an available thoroughfare, otherwise you don’t get enough people. You also need at least two large tables in situ in your thoroughfare. You need to be collecting books for at least two weeks, and the announcement about collecting books must be done quite some time before that; the announcement also needs to backed up by telephone calls. You need about nine people (not necessarily nine different people) on the day, three to take the books in and set up in the morning, two on duty at any given time in a series of two-or three-hour relays, and two to pack away the unsold books afterwards and take them away to storage. It is wise to get your team together a long time in advance. We had about ten people altogether, two of whom made some preliminary arrangements but were not available on the day, the other eight fulfilling the roles described above. Another big thank you to the volunteer team.

Another aspect of this activity is pricing. This needs to be done before the sale begins, say the previous day, but does not take long. We found it convenient to maintain boxes of the cheaper paperbacks all at the same price which saved marking those books individually. Another important preparatory activity is making an attractive sign for display: “Science for Peace.”

The proceeds of such sales could be used directly to fund Science for Peace activities locally. If you decide to do it, it would be good to have a supply of our own books on display. Susan Krajnc can supply these from the SIP office, together with a price list. Write to us after the sale to let us know how it went.

Try it. I recommend it.

Fundraising Dinner

A pleasant evening was enjoyed by more than twenty people at 11 Thornwood Road on 10 December last, at a fundraising dinner. Leonard Farlinger’s new film Collateral Damage was shown (24 minutes), both as pre- and postprandial entertainment. The film (now strongly recommended) is a comment on the Gulf War, ingenious in its style and format, which asks some good questions and reminds us that modern wars seen on television hide the real horrors of war suffered by the victims.

Arrangements for the dinner were made entirely by voluntary effort, and the costs were partly borne by donated drink and victuals. Part of the income came from the cash bar, but the majority was from a $25 per person levy at the door. The net profit for Science for Peace was $768, Events of this type are not difficult to organize, but need good notice to members and friends of SfP, back-up by phoning, etc.

For anyone contemplating organizing a similar event, we hear that free food can be obtained from certain restaurant and catering outlets in exchange for advertising. Such outlets are worth knowing about. Tell us more about them!

INES: International Network of Engineers & Scientists

Science for Peace is a Member Organization of INES, which has organized several projects since our last report over a year ago (Bulletin Vol.12, No.1, December 1992).

INESCO: International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Conversion hosted a conference in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 1993, entitled: “Market, Industry, Energy: practical opportunities in Estonia and St. Petersburg for conversion of military industries”.

If you want to be on the mailing list for the INESCO Newsletter, contact:

SWENESCO, Research Park IDEON S-22370, Lund, Sweden.
Fax: 46-46-182372

INESAP: International Network of Engineers and Scientists against Proliferation constituted itself as a branch of INES at a conference in Muhlheim, Germany, in August, 1993.

Contact: Drs. Wolfgang Liebert & Jurgen Scheffran
IANUS, Technical University
D-64289, Darmstadt, Germany
Fax: 49-6151-164321
e-mail: df41@br3.hrz.th-darmstadt.de

INES Student Symposium was held in Berlin in September 1993, when a Student Network within INES was established, with Working Groups on Ecology (Riga-Moscow) and aid for Bosnian students in Croatia (Zagreb-Berlin).

INES Standing Committee on Ethical Questions held a very productive meeting in October, 1993. Contact: Dr. H. J. Fischbeck

Evangelische Akademie
D-45479, Muhlheim, Germany.
Fax: 49-208-5590660

Future Meetings:

  • In June 1994 in Dortmund, Germany, meetings will take place of the INES Council, the INES Standing Committee on Ethical Questions, and INES Student Network.
  • An International Workshop on “Science, Engineering and Development” is scheduled by INES for November 17 – 20, 1994, in Cairo, Egypt.

Science for Peace and INES:

Science for Peace became a Member Organization of INES in the Spring of 1992. We asked our members to contribute financially in order for SfP to become a member of INES. We suggested a contribution to INES of $50 to match the annual membership fee of Science for Peace. Very few members responded, perhaps because it was not clear at that time what INES could accomplish. We submit that INES now has a proven record of achievements and we want to support its initiatives.

For a copy of INES Newsletter, December 1993, or for information on how to make your membership contribution to INES, contact:

Eric Fawcett, Physics Department, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 1A7

Fax: 416-978-7606 e-mail: fawcett@physics.utoronto.ca

In Memoriam: James Gareth Endicott, 1898 - 1993

James Endicott was an important figure in the peace movement in Canada for almost half a century. He was a leader during the 1940s and 1950s, when the cause of peace enjoyed less popular support than it does today, and he remained active for the rest of his life. He was uncompromising in his devotion to his cause, and remained faithful to his principles at considerable professional and personal cost. He was an inspiring leader and earned the respect and affection of those who worked with him. Science for Peace extends its deepest sympathy to his family.

An obituary appeared in the Globe and Mail on November 29.

Update on the World Court Project (WCP)

Some 14,000 Canadians have signed declarations of conscience against nuclear weapons. When the 110 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) states presented a WCP resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this past autumn Science for Peace (Toronto Chapter) wrote to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Minister of Foreign Affairs Andre Ouellet in November asking the government to instruct Canada’s UNGA representative to vote for it. That resolution requested an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. But the western nuclear powers (the U.S., the U.K., and France), reacting with “hysteria,” according to Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament at the UN, Peggy Mason, applied incredible pressure to discourage the NAM states, including threats of aid withdrawal and trade sanctions. The resolution was withdrawn, though the NAM reserves the right to bring the proposal to a vote in 1994.

Since Mr. Chretien, as Liberal party leader, wrote a letter to president Ms. Bev Delong of Lawyers for Social Responsibility (a key WCP sponsor) that endorsed the WCP “in principal,” we should continue to urge him to support it. Canada must show leadership in this struggle to move step by step to eliminate the threat of nuclear war. Recently the western nuclear powers reportedly put pressure to get the World Health Organization (WHO) to withdraw the WCP resolution it passed in May and to stop the ICJ from hearing the case. SfP (Toronto Chapter) and SfP national thus both wrote to ask Mr. Chretien and Mr. Ouellet to instruct Dr. J. Lariviere, Canada’s delegate to the WHO Executive Board, which met in mid January, to resist any attempts to force the withdrawal or postponement of this legal action.

We have urged that Canadian citizens expect their government to make every effort to move the great powers in the only direction that will lead to enhanced world security, and insist that Canada belongs with the nations committed to taking all possible steps towards nuclear disarmament. Along with the sponsoring bodies, SfP (Toronto Chapter) also asked Mr Chretien and Mr Ouellet to prepare a legal brief for Canada to submit to the ICJ in support of the position that nuclear weapons should be considered illegal under international law.

Letters to the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien and the Hon. Andre Ouellet can be sent to the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., KlA 0A6 — no postage required. The SfP office has copies of the Declaration of Conscience and CPPNW is still collecting them, so you can still approach colleagues to send one in. A phone call, letter, or visit to your new MP to provide information about the WCP and seek support for it would also be useful.

WCP Letter

The following letter was sent by the Chair of the Toronto Chapter of Science for Peace to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

7 January 1994

Dear Mr. Chretien,

I write to express an urgent concern of the Toronto Chapter of Science for Peace and request immediate attention. In mid January the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) — on which Canada has a seat — will meet. Organizations backing the World Court Project (WCP), about which we wrote to you on 23 Nov. 1993, are worried that the major nuclear powers, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, will seek then to convince the Board not to proceed at the International Court of Justice with its legal case concerning nuclear weapons. That case, which was set in motion by a resolution passed at the 46^th^ World Health Assembly last May, seeks an advisory opinion on a vital question: “In view of the health and environmental effects, would the use of nuclear weapons by a State in war or other armed conflict be a breach of its obligations under international law including the WHO constitution?”

We ask you now to instruct Canada’s delegate to the WHO Executive Board to resist any attempts to force the withdrawal or postponement of this legal action. Canada has an honourable history of refusal to have nuclear weapons, which is solidly based on Canadians’ realistic appraisal of the horrors of nuclear war as well as humanitarian moral revulsion. We look to your government to give voice to this stance.

Canada’s support for the WHO WCP case is needed. Pressure from the U.S., the U.K., resulted, in November, in the deferral and then withdrawal by the Non-aligned Movement nations of their WCP motion at the United Nations General Assembly. It would be tragic if this ill-conceived, destructive pressure were to cut short the WHO initiative. We reiterate the claim we made in our November letter to you: Canadian citizens expect their government to make every effort to move the great powers in the only direction that will lead to enhanced world security. Canada belongs with the nations committed to take all possible steps towards nuclear disarmament.

You yourself expressed some support for the WCP before the election. Canada could usefully present a brief to the ICJ in support of the position that nuclear weapons should be considered illegal under international law. SfP further urges you to set the process in motion to develop such a brief.

Sincerely,

Phyllis Creighton
Chair, Science for Peace,
(Toronto Chapter).

Forthcoming Publication: Arms Control in the 1990s

Aurora paper No.22

Proceedings of a workshop on chemical weapons, nuclear weapons and arms control in outer space.

Edited by Peter Brogden.

Published by the Canadian Centre for Global Security. Available in February.

U of T Withdraws from Telescope Project

The University of Toronto announced in early January that it has withdrawn from the Columbus telescope project on Mount Graham, Arizona. Most readers are probably familiar with this project, which has been surrounded with controversy from its inception. A major concern is that the mountain is regarded as sacred by the Apache people, who view the construction as an act of desecration and a threat to their cultural survival. There has also been concern about the possible ecological impact, for example, on the endangered Mount Graham Red Squirrel. The University stated that its decision to withdraw is based primarily on financial considerations, although it agreed that the project is very controversial and there were mounting protests from human rights and environmental activists on campus. More than 20 other institutions in North America have withdrawn from the project.

Peace Studies at the European Peace University

Last fall, Shirley Farlinger and myself of the Toronto Chapter spent a rewarding three-month semester at the new European Peace University. It’s tucked away in a bucolic corner of central Europe in a tiny Austrian village, Stadtschlaining, better known for its 700-year-old castle than for its innovative training programmes for peace research and education mainly for post-graduate students. The University is the academic arm of the older, non-governmental Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution and exists with generous financial support from the Austrian government and UNESCO sponsorship. Grants covering all expenses are available for students from “developing” countries.

Thirty students from 24 nations, mostly Second and Third World countries, pursued our fall semester’s theme of peace and development through a choice of short, intensive seminar courses led by visiting international faculty including Johan Galtung now of France; Ruth Rosen, a professor of history at U.C. Davis; and Hakan Wilberg, Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Research in Copenhagen. A beautifully restored synagogue in the centre of town houses the University’s vast peace literature collection. As if this wasn’t enough, through well-planned academic excursions to Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Vienna our whole group met scores of peace researchers and activists.

Little Stadtschlaining where locals greet you with “Grus Gott” and church bells ring out every 15 minutes has become a truly international centre for parallel to our course were two even more pioneering training programmes. In one, 25 men and women from 15 countries were being trained for four weeks to become civilian peacekeepers. In the other, parliamentarians, UN secretariat and government representatives received UN-hosted training in the art of negotiation and non-violent conflict resolution.

To enquire about these programmes contact EPU Secretariat, A-7461 Stadtschlaining/Burg, Austria. Tel 43-3355-2498; Fax 43-3355-2662.

In Appreciation

Who is Eric Fawcett? Some think he is the founding president of Science for Peace, others say he created SPIN, the Science for Peace International Network. Or you’ll hear it said that within Science for Peace he started the Working Group on Ethical Considerations in Scholarship and Science. All these are true, but since exhaustive lists of his deeds are not available, we in the Greater Toronto area will focus our appreciation for a moment on a single local manifestation of his energy: his production of the University College Lectures in Peace Studies, or in casual parlance, “the lecture series”.

Eric handles the selection of events and speakers, the funding and the publicity, with all attendant correspondence; he invokes a little artful delegation, but works for the most part single-handedly.

The results? Well, take a look at this Bulletin, Vol.13, No.3, November ’93 (page 10): the November 11th panel “Non-Violent Action — in Defence of Canada?”, the November 23-24th Workshop on United Nations Reform, and the December 1st Pugwash Panel “Ethnic Conflicts; Can Scientists Help?” A stellar three weeks!

O Eric F., we stand in awe of thee!
10n thanks, (n exceeding 3).

Working for a Nuclear Free World

Science for Peace at its January 15th board meeting agreed to join the new International Coalition for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The coalition was founded by five international peace organizations — IPB (International Peace Bureau), INES (International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility), IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), and IALANA (International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms). In December 1993 they issued a founding declaration to provide the basis for intensified joint work in the period leading to three important events in 1995: the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Extension conference, the commemoration of the founding of the United Nations, and the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They are now inviting peace organizations to sign on and get to work.

The full text of the declaration is available through the SfP office. Please read Phyllis Creighton’s article on the declaration in the 1994 issue of Peace Magazine – in the Science for Peace section.

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