For so long Canada enjoyed and deserved, as a world middle power among the nations, an enviable reputation with regard to its records in human rights, and in its respect for peaceful solutions to international problems and its role in helping to solve them — the model of an “honest broker” in world affairs. That reputation has somewhat dimmed in recent years. However, it is reassuring to read (Globe and Mail, October 9) that a statement by the Canadian Pugwash Group has been sent to Prime Minister Mulroney which “calls for the abolition of cruise missile testing in Canada, Canadian support for a comprehensive nuclear test ban, a greater role for the Canadian Forces in the United Nations, and greater Canadian involvement in both conventional and nuclear disarmament.”
Dr. John Polanyi, of the Canadian Pugwash Group was reported as saying that he “was confident the Prime Minister would heed the group’s message even though it was, in many ways, contrary to current Canadian foreign policy and might bring the country into conflict with its NATO allies.”
Initiatives such as this are enormously important, not because they necessarily produce immediate results, but because they keep governments informed of what a group of responsible and intelligent people, whose number includes some who are greatly experienced in diplomacy and international relations, are currently thinking about our country’s long-term responsibilities in matters of international peace and security.