Category SfP Bulletin December 1992

Thanks to the Retiring Editor

This is an opportunity to thank Alan Weatherley, the past editor of the Bulletin. Alan, of the Life Sciences Dept. (Biology) shouldered the considerable burden of editing the Bulletin (as well as much of the writing) between June 1989 and November 1991. He was assisted on the production end by Charles Dyer of Astronomy.

Those who have worked over the years with Alan and Bobby Weatherley know that their involvement with and commitment to Science for Peace, both as Board members, Alan as Editor of the Bulletin, and Bobby as Treasurer, have made a significant contribution to our ongoing quest for peace.

Alan is planning to retire in 1993 and is fully occupied getting many things completed before that time. Bobby is sorting out a family estate in New Brunswick. Science for Peace misses their contribution, and hopes that they will find time to be active in this major cause in the future.

Welcome Bob Baxter as the new editor of the _Bulletin_

From the New Editor

Robert M. Baxter

My professional background can be summarized as follows: B.Sc. (Chemistry), Mount Allison, 1947; Ph.D. (Biochemistry), McGill 1953. Research Officer, National Research Council, Ottawa, 1952- 61; Associate Professor and Professor, Dept. of Chemistry, Haile Selassie University, Addis Ababa, 1961-73; Research Scientist, Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Burlington, 1973-92; retired, 1992.

Much of my research has been concerned in one way or another with the application of biochemistry to environmental questions. In Ottawa I studied biochemical mechanisms of adaptation of certain organisms to extreme environments. In Ethiopia I was interested in the chemical limnology of tropical lakes. In Burlington I investigated biochemical pathways in the degradation of environmental contaminants. I have also been interested in the environmental effects of dams and impoundments.

I have had no experience of war.

If the Bulletin is to be anything more than a calendar of coming events, it will require the support of the members. You are therefore urged to submit anything that you feel might be interesting and suitable. Contributions might include the following:

References to articles or books on topics relevant to the concerns of the Society. These could include a brief summary or a more extensive review.

Short articles on matters of general or topical interest, especially in areas where the author has particular knowledge, either professional or personal (e.g. as a result of having lived in or visited a particular country). From time to time we may solicit articles from members who have volunteered to assist with research or education.

Letters to the Editor, and replies to previous letters. Comments on the role of the B_ulletin_ would be useful. You can reach me through the Science for Peace office, or at my home phone (416) 335-9677.

CWC Nears Ratification

The nations of the world are on the verge of ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which provides for the most comprehensive and intrusive verification system of any global treaty in history. It includes challenge Inspections, anytime, anywhere, without the right of refusal, To implement the treaty, it establishes the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The OPCW would be responsible for overseeing and verifying both the prohibition against producing chemical weapons and the destruction of existing stocks. It would also have the power to declare non-compliance and recommend action against violators, a significant advance in arms control.

The implementation of the CWC will require more parliamentary action than any other arms control treaty in history. Parliaments must 1) ratify the convention, 2) enact penal legislation, 3) provide funds for a new international authority (the OPCW), 4) establish a National Authority to communicate with the OPCW and 5) review relevant export controls. MPs must also appropriate funds for the destruction of the stockpiles and production, facilities in those states possessing chemical weapons.

ThE CWC will be a model for future arms control treaties. As such, it must be implemented so as to provide a standard for the development of meaningful and effective arms control and international organisations in the post-Cold War world.

Reproduced from the Newsletter of Parliamentarians for Global Action.

Canada and Biological and Chemical Weapons Research

On 1 June 1992 members of SfP met with the Biological and Chemical Defence Review Committee of the Department of National Defence to discuss areas of concern with respect to the kinds of research being done by the government relating to chemical and biological warfare, the secrecy surrounding the publication of such research and agreements with other nations not subject to public scrutiny.

We were concerned lest the biological warfare research planned for Dugway Proving grounds in the U.S. (which was stopped by citizen action) might be transferred to Canada at Suffield. We were told that the level of containment at Suffield was too low to develop biological warfare agents and that no higher level containment facilities were planned.

We were also concerned that research might be aimed at offensive rather than defensive objectives. We were told that a major thrust of the work by the Defense Research Establishment at Suffield (DRES) was to improve detection of others’ weapons and in fact some of the products of this research were used in the Gulf War.

We also asked if U.S. or other foreign nationals did research at DRES. The answer was no. Industrial users are being attracted to the facilities and some of them may be foreign.

The discussion of our concerns over secrecy was less satisfying. Some of the research done by DRES is published and some is not. There are classified international agreements to which the public has no access which the military claim are under the Jurisdiction of Foreign Affairs. It appears that Canada is less forthcoming with declassifying such agreements than is the U.S.

Our general feeling is that Canada is not violating international treaties in letter or spirit, that our research is indeed aimed at detection and decontamination rather than at developing offensive biological and chemical weapons. We did make it clear that, particularly with the end of the Cold War, the need for secrecy is greatly reduced and that refusal to allow the public access to government documents merely fuels fear about what they contain.

New Concerns Over Biological Weaponry

This is the title of an article by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg in the September 1992 issue of The Ploughshares Monitor. She points out that a Biological Weapons Convention has been in existence since 1972; this was the first treaty to ban an entire class of weapons. It has now been ratified by 118 nations. Three Review Conferences have been held, the most recent in 1991.

At the time the Convention was negotiated was generally considered that biological weapons were of little practical military importance, so it was relatively easy to obtain general agreement among the nations, and it did not appear necessary to include legally-binding measures for verification. However biotechnological procedures that have been developed during the past 20 years for medical and industrial purposes could be readily adapted to the production of pathogenic organisms in large quantitites, and genetic engineering could in principle be used to produce new strains of organisms with properties rendering them Particularly suitable for military use.

Political developments have raised other problems. With the great diminution of the risk of conflict between East and West, the major concern. now is with the possibility of the development of biological weapons by the Third World. It is known that Iraq. had a biological weapons development project before the Gulf War. Since biological weapons are relatively cheap and easy to produce, they are likely to be tempting to countries with limited resources.

There is now an urgent need for a democratic verification regime which would give equal rights to all nations and permit intrusion only by an international imspectorate. In the absence of this, the only procedure for verification will continue to be unilateral forceful intrusion, as in Iraq following the Gulf War. Unfortunately the introduction of such a democratic verification regime has been opposed by a number of countries, notably the United States.

Report on UNCED

In June of this year I attended the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. As the SfP representative to UNCED I worked with other NG0s to raise the issue of militarism, which was not on the agenda. I was involved with three organizations, including the Canadian Participatory Committee for UNCED (CPCU), the NGO Forum, and the Working Group for Militarism and Disarmament.

The CPCU consisted of most, if not all, Canadian NGO’s attending the official conference. It was set up by the Canadian government in order to better coordinate the actions of NGOs, without interfering with them. Through this group daily meetings were held with the Minister of the Environment. These meetings provided information to NGOs about Canadian actions and an opportunity for NGOs to express their views to the government.

The NGO Forum was a subset of the Global Forum, the parallel conefernce for NGOs at Flamengo Park in Rio. In addition to providing a means of coordinating the actions of NGOs in general, a specific action of the NGO Forum was the creation of NGO Treaties which covered the main subject areas of the UN discussions and some areas, such as militarism, that were not being discussed. These treaties were envisioned to be a common set of principles and actions that the global NGO community could unite around. I was specifically involved with the Treaty on Militarism as one of its several authors.

The Working Group on Militarism and Disarmament was a much: smaller group of NGOs. Our goal was to raise the issue of militarism and disarmament through public discussion.

We sponsored two events: a morning seesien with addresses by Wangari Maathal of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, Lopetti Senitulu of Tonga, and Jerry Brown, former Govenor of the state of California. The other event was a press conference held in conjunction, with the release of the NGO Treaty on Militarism. This press conference included Maj-Britt Theorin, MP from Sweden, who led a UN inquiry into economic conversion of the military and myself who presented Science for Peace’s report, Taking Stock: The Impact of Militarism on the Environment.

While, I hope, the actions I participated in had some success in raising public awareness on the issue of militarism and its many aspects I believe the more important accomplishment was in meeting NGOs from around the world: people who share similar interests with Science for Peace. By working together we have access to more information and a sharing of ideas. I hope to strengthen some of the connections when I return to the UN in September.

Congratulations to Rigoberta Menchu on winning the Nobel Prize for Peace! We wish her every success in her continued struggle for peace and justice in Guatemala and the world.

International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility

Rapid changes in the environment and our society have forced us to become more conscious of our role in the world. Science and technology are instruments in the worldwide competition for military and economic power. We have entered a phase in which global developments may conflict with the basic requirements for human survival.

The end of the cold war and the progress towards democracy and national self-determination in many regions provide im portant opportunities to resolve long-standing threats to international security. However, the alarming number of regional and local conflicts, the undi minished over-exploitation of limited common resources, and the heavily unbalanced distri bution of wealth still under mine military, economic, social and environmental security.

Developments in science and technology have helped to create global interdependence and to make us more profoundly aware of the planet’s condition. Many engineers and scientists play key roles in both the processes that threaten international security and those that provide hope for the future.

INES was founded in November 1991 as a multidisciplinary international network for the purposes of encouraging inter national communication among engineers and scientists, seeking to promote international peace and security, justice and sustainable development, and working for a responsible use of science and technology.

Network projects were started to promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research under the following headings:

  • Conversion
  • Biological and Chemical Weapons
  • The Universities’ Role in Peace and Global Ethics
  • The Proliferation Project
  • Inquiry into the 1992 Global Forum in Rio
  • Scientists, Engineers, and Ethical Responsibility
  • International Seminar on Migration

We are convinced that it is our continuous task to reflect on values and standards of behavior; we hope that the synergy of different approaches will facilitate steps from vision toward action.

Membership in the Network is open to non-governmental organizations and individual engineers and scientists. Members now include 36 organizations from 18 countries.

Further information and registration forms can be obtained from the INES office:
LOHBROGGERSTRASSE 20, 2057 REINBEK/HAMBURG, GERMANY
Tel. +49-40-722 06 78, Fax +49-40-722 05 79

Science for Peace and INES

Science for Peace became a Member Organization of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) in the Spring of 1992. It was decided that instead of making a financial contribution as an organization, Science for Peace. would encourage its individual members to make an annual personal donation to INES.

Financial Donations to INES

either mail to the office of Science for Peace, your cheque being made out to Science for Peace, but clearly identified as a donation to INES or transfer the sum directly through your bank to Postgiro Hamburg, Reiner Braun, Andrea Bonertz, No. 1672-50-209, Bank code 200 100 20. We suggest your annual donation to INES should match the annual Science for Peace membership fee of $50 ($10 for student or underemployed and $15 for retired). We expect the work of Science for Peace increasingly to be coordinated with the Network Projects of INES, so that your contribution to INES indirectly helps Science for Peace.

Update on the International Peace Bureau

Science for Peace became a member of the International Peace Bureau in 1991 when IPB’s annual conference was held in Toronto. At its 1992 General Assembly, held 29-30 August in Helsinki, IPB elected as its president Maj-Britt Theorin, a parliamentarian who has been Sweden’s Ambassador for Disarmament to the United Nations. In Toronto recently for the ECO-ED Conference, she met on 17 October with a small group of SIP and Voice of Women members. We had a lively discussion on her pragmatic proposal, presented in a recent UN study and at the Earth Summit in June, for diversion of military resources and forces to environmental clean up, notably in a proposed UN Green Beret force. The validity of such pragmatism was challenged by Prof. Ursula Franklin on grounds that the hierarchical, authoritarian nature of the military makes the proposal unsound—we must get rid of the military altogether, she insists.

Amongst the newly elected IPB vice-presidents are Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung, who has spoken in Toronto several times; Palestinian Mubarak-Awad, who addressed the Toronto IPB conference, and Cora Weiss of Sane/Freeze, New York. In honour of the 100th anniversary, in 1993, of IPB — the oldest continuous peace organization in the world — eight people were appointed Centenary’ Consultants for a two-year period, including two SIP nominees, Prof. Jules Dufour of the Universitg du Quebec at Chicoutimi and SfP’s secretary Phyllis Creighton. (Steve Dankowich of ACT for Disarmament and Montrealer Ann Gertler are also consultants to IPB.) Canadian peace organizations listed as newly accepted into IPB include the Canadian Peace Alliance, the Markland Group, and Project Ploughshares.

At the Assembly IPB took up an Important Canadian issue, the Innus’ fight for their homeland and against militarism. IPB agreed to sponsor an international day of action, 3 April 1993, to support the Innu in their struggle to stop NATO low. level. flights over Nitassinan (Labrador-Quebec) for fighter-bomber training.

IPB Members are to organize actions at Canadian embassies, and put pressure on the Canadian government to cease these military exercises.

IPB also decided to promote an international day of action in support of East Timor and the goals of peace talks and a ban on arms sales to Indonesia. Actions were undertaken on 12 November, the anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre of up to 200 -unarmed Timorese. In Canada an ad with many sponsors was placed in the Ottawa Citizen and a Victoria paper, and a demonstration was organized in front of the Indonesian consulate in Toronto.

The assembly- issued two major statements as well. The one on Somalia noted that the mass starvation now killing tens of thousands people stems from the superpowers’ dumping of vast quantities of weapons in the area in the 1970s and 1980s during the Cold War, the resulting explosion of local conflicts and breakdown of society, and the international neglect of the past- several years. IPB called for the UN, as a priority, to intervene and secure an immediate stop to all fighting; feeding of all the people; and a start to planning and negotiations for a peaceful development of the area. It urged that Somalia should receive substantial development aid under a UN scheme to transfer resources currently used for military purposes.

In its statement on the former Yugoslavia, IPB recommended that the UN-initiated peace process involve anti-war group representatives as well as leaders of the warring factions; neighbouring states commit themselves not to intervene or to allow their territories to be used to facilitate aggression; radio frequencies in the area be under UN authority and provide factual information, not propaganda; and a UN peacekeeping presence be installed in areas where armed conflict has not yet broken out. IPB stressed that this conflict again highlights the importance of UN control and reduction of arms production and transfers, and that greater allocations to the UN and regional security bodies (e.g. Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe) to develop mediation and other conflict prevention mechanisms could reduce the likelihood of future similar conflicts.

Other decisions taken include IPB support for:

  • actions with the goal of military-free regions and continents and of strengthening the UN, especially democratization of its structures
  • an international fasting campaign against nuclear weapons, 6-9 Aug. 1993
  • a proposed NCO Forum in Britain in 1993 on key issues ignored in Agenda 21 (e.g. military pollution; the arms trade; debt and the role of transnational corporations)
  • a day of action on 6 August (Hiroshima day) against military destruction of the environment.

As its main ongoing project for the next two to three years, IPB will focus on nuclear weapons proliferation. Key elements include: coordination of international peace movement activity; a joint platform for political work related to the 1995 Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference and preparatory events; and continuing work on the World Court Project (which seeks to get nuclear weapons explicitly outlawed) by dissemination of materials and collection of citizens’ declarations of conscience against such weapons. Plans are being developed for how member organizations can best be involved in the project, IPB to provide networking through a proposed quarterly newsletter. Japanese participants emphasized that abolition of nuclear weapons is the goal, not just curbing proliferation.SfP gets an agenda for action out of its international link with IPB

In Memoriam: Petra K. Kelly (1948-92)

When we attempt to get rld of such things as racism or sexism or poverty, we must also look at their structural underpinning — a system of deeply rooted patriarchy which ls prevalent ln all countries, whether capitalist or state socialist societies; Patriarchy is a hierarchical system of dom1natlon, suppressive to women and restrictive to men. Patriarchy, centralism, hierarchy and deterrent thinking shows themselves in all areas of our lives, our daily work, in our political, economic and social structures … I believe that norms of human behaviour can and do change, and that together we can change these patterns of domination as well, applying the patterns of hollstlc thinking to one another, disarming our hearts and our minds! *

* Excerpt from the introduction of The Roots of Conflict

Local Action for Global Change in the 90s

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War North (IPPNW) American Regional Student Conference, February 10 -14, 1993, 519 Church Street Community Centre, Toronto

Anybody with an interest in the environment / development / disarmanent triad is invited — with a particular appeal to North American health care and development students.

Three full days are devoted to each facet of the triad; each day will feature two plenary speakers followed in turn by workshops.

  • Thursday Feb 11: environment
  • Friday, Feb 12: development
  • Saturday, Feb 13: disarmament

For details, please contact Lori Hasulo and Sandro Galea, Canadian Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (Toronto), Room 534, Banting Institute, 100 College Street, Toronto, ON M5G 1L5 (416) 599-3523.

Peace: An Idea whose Time has Come

This is a summary of a paper which Dr. Anatol Rapoport presented at the SWIIS Conference in September 1992.

It is now widely recognized that war is no longer an acceptable means of resolving disputes. Although there will undoubtedly continue to be violent conflicts, the notion of war as a normal and noble activity is no longer acceptable.

The survival of the human race is threatened by three dangers. These are: sudden death in a war of destruction; irreversible environmental degradation, due in part to the military establishment which is the greatest single source of environmental degradation) and chronic terrorism, due in large’ part to the great disparity between the affluent and the destitute. Attempts to deal with these problems are met with resistance, partly due to lack of awareness of the seriousness of the danger and partly to opposition by vested interests.

Concern about the threat to the environment is Widespread, and measures are being taken to combat it at many levels. It is proving more difficult to organize effective action to Combat the threat of wax and to reduce the disparity between the rich and the poor.

With the collapse of Communism In Europe, the danger of global -war has been :greatly reduced, yet efforts to reduce the military establishment in the west have met with opposition. This is because new rationales have been devised for its existence, and because it has enormous political influence, partly on account of its role in providing short-term prosperity.

The task of rendering resource distribution more equitable Is even more difficult. The problem has no direct impact on the affluent populations of the more developed countries, who if anything feel it is in their interests to maintain the disparity.

The responsibility of scientists has traditionally been thought to be limited to areas of their own specific expertise. However, science functions in a specific social milieu which may be more or less conducive to it. Consequently, it is the right and responsibility of scientists to advocate policies to create a social milieu favorable to science.

Science is widely seen as a source of power because it has given rise to technology which can be used to exercise power over people and nature. Because this power is often abused, science has come to be seen as a source of evil rather than good. This in turn has led to a great increase in superstitions of all kinds and widespread rejection of rational thought. The social role of science as a source of enlightenment is much less widely recognized. The enlightening function of science is greatly hampered by the existence of military establishments and their adjuncts. Global enlightenment is impossible as long as half the human race lives on the verge of starvation, often under despotic regimes.

Prof. Rapoport ends the presentation with the following words: “In sum, the enlightening function of science can be served only if organizations of scientists dedicated to calling attention to and searching for solutions of cardinal global problems fully recognize the importance of open political struggle against institutions that stand in the way of creating conditions conducive to enlightenment, global integration, and global mobilization of effort to insure the survival of the human race.”

Psychologists' Petition Against Preparation tor War

This petition has been endorsed by Albert Ellis, Naom Chomsky, and Anatol Rapaport and is sponsored by Science for Peace. It concludes as follows:

We, the undersigned psychologists, petition our regional, national and international professional associations to renounce weapons development and ergonomics, psychological and psycho-pharmaceutical warfare, and all research projects and funding intended to enhance war capabilities. Military support of so-called “pure” research should be seen as misplaced and wasteful at best, deceptive and corrupting at worst. Professional codes of ethics need to be composed, understood — and promoted towards the goal of discouraging military research and development by psychologists. Our associations need to assist those psychologists now working and researching towards preparation for war to move to activities and sponsors that serve the welfare of humanity. Our associations should communicate these concerns to other professional associations and academic communities.Anyone wishing to endorse this petition may write to: Floyd Rudmin, Faculty of Law, Queens University, Kingston,Ontario, K7L 3N6 or Craig Summers, Dept. of Psychology, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6. We hope to publish the next issue of the Bulletin in the spring. Whether you are a member or not, your contribution will be welcome.

New Books from Science for Peace/Samuel Stevens

September 1992

Unarmed Forces: Nonviolent Action in Central America and the Middle East, edited by Graeme MacQueen, 129pp.

“ .. the theme of this book is that injustice is a form of violence that injures and kills more people than die or are wounded in formal military warfare. It includes some of the best chapters I have ever read on the potential but insufficiently developed and used powers of nonviolent force to bring justice and peace to a dehumanizing world.”
— David Dellinger

Arctic Alternatives: Civility or Militarism in the Circumpolar North, edited by Franklyn Griffiths, 311 pp.

This major scientific collection is the proceedings of a conference of arctic specialists. Topics range from political science and milita rization of the Arctic to ocean and arctic science, international cooperation, confidence-building measures, ethnic peoples of the Arctic, Inuit culture, public health, the physical and biological environment, in dustry, oil exploitation, and marine transportation.

Hopes and Fears: The Human Future, edited by Hanna Newcombe, 195pp.

This book is divided into five sections: Future Scenarios for Europe, War Prevention, Global Decision-Making, Values and Coop eration, Ecological Issues. Authors (articles) include: Bjørn Møller (A Common Security for Europe?), Dietrich Fischer (Components of an active Peace Policy), Finn Seyersted (Binding Authority for the UN and Other International Organizations …), Hanna Newcombe (Reform of the UN Security Council), Erika Erdman (Values needed for Survival), Charlotte Waterlow (Climatic Crisis), Ruth Gunnarsen (International Legislation for the Environment), and many others. Readers will find plenty that is new in this volume.

Also published in 1992

Canada and the World: Agenda for the Last Decade of the Millenivm by Anatol Rapoport and Anthony Rapoport, 133pp.

“This book is a concise and yet comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities in Canada’s foreign and defence policies in the 1990s, a primer for every citizen concerned with the security and well being of Canadians as we approach the Third Millenium.” Leonard Johnson

Also new is Controlling the Global Arms Threat, the proceedings of a workshop sponsored jointly by Science for Peace and IEEE Canada, and published by the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament (Aurora Paper #12), editors Peter Brogden and Walter Dorn, 102pp.

This volume is devoted to verification of compliance with arms control and disarmament agreements, specifically:. Canada’s role in verification research, the role of industry, verification from satellites and aircraft, undersea detection, nuclear non-proliferation in the Middle East, seismic verification of nuclear test bans, and detection of materials that could be intended for chemical weapons.

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin December 1992. A PDF edition is also available.

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