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
ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)