Freeze Facts

Technology has created an interdependence between nations which we seem not yet willing or able to re­cognize. Summitry in Geneva is all very well, but we who are not nucle­ar weapons powers feel Lilliputians when we ponder our inability to in­fluence the policies of the US and the USSR.

The FREEZE campaign offers a first step to all countries to press for a halt to the madness of the seemingly endless pursuit of nuclear superiority by the two superpowers.

Public opinion in both the US and the UK, for example, speaks out clearly in its support. Norway, which voted against the Indian and Soviet Freeze drafts before the UN General Assembly in 1983, abstained on both these and on the Mexican-Swedish draft in 1984 because of public support for the Freeze in Norway. Australia, which abstained on the three resolutions in 1983, voted in favour of the Mexican-Swedish draft in 1984 as a result of pressure from its Nuclear Disarma­ment Party.

The Five-Continent peace initia­tive of 1984, which called for a nu­clear Freeze as a first step, was reaffirmed in 1985 by the leaders of Argentina, Greece, India, Mexico, Sweden and Tanzania.

The Canadian government is sus­ceptible to the influence of public opinion. Its position on SDI surely reflects that. There is no reason to believe that our failure to sup­port last year’s Freeze resolution at the UN is etched in stone.

Gordon Thompson, in his briefing sheet on the Implementation of a nuclear weapons Freeze which was distributed at the pre-NPT Review Conference in Geneva, writes:

“The Freeze concept is seen by some as primarily a vehicle to ex­press popular support for an end to the arms race… (but) …a Freeze would also serve national and inter­national security functions in the same manner as more “traditional” arms control measures. Indeed, a good freeze-reduction package could serve these functions better than any likely alternative.

“A Freeze would be a small but very positive step towards a stronger framework of international security and the ultimate goal of global disarmament. Accordingly,the Freeze process should establish pre­cedents which will be useful in more mature-stages Of world organization. This argues for the adoption, wher­ever possible, of multilateral or international measures of oversight and verification, rather than bi­lateral measures.”

— Brydon Gombay