Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW)
The Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) was established in 1996 by representatives of national organizations that share the conviction that nuclear weapons are immoral and should be abolished. Its member organizations include faith communities, professional groups, peace and women’s organizations. CNANW conducts seminars, consultations and meetings with the public, officials and politicians in Canada and abroad. The member organizations meet a couple of times a year in Ottawa. Metta Spencer and Rob Acheson serve as representatives of Science for Peace.
In May 2016 a lecture, organised by Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, was given by Mr. Kim Won-soo, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, on “Pursuing a world free of nuclear weapons: The Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal on Nuclear Disarmament,” at the University of Ottawa. As well as the lecture, a highlight of the High Representative’s visit was a full official luncheon hosted by Stephane Dion to which several CNANW members were invited. It was a great opportunity to present our perspective to Foreign Affairs in a frank and open conversation.
On UN Disarmament Day, October 24th, 2016 a conference entitled “Building Momentum for Nuclear Disarmament” was held. Approximately 45 people attended including former diplomats, current and former officials from Foreign Affairs, academics and experts from within the NGO community. Officials from DND were invited but did not attend. Speakers provided their views on how to get NATO member states to adhere to the obligation to disarm set out in the NPT, how to encourage better relations with Russia to enable the process of disarmament to continue, what are the current diplomatic options before the international community, and actions that parliamentarians and those in civil society can take to encourage disarmament. It was an excellent program and some of the presentations (including one by Metta Spencer) are available at the CNANW website.
A Parliamentary Forum over breakfast was held by CNANW with Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) on October 25, 2016 to encourage new parliamentarians to become informed about, and join, PNND Canada. Dr. Hedy Fry’s office advertised it among all parliamentarians. Only two MPs participated in the meeting. Two former Ambassadors for Disarmament, Paul Meyer and Peggy Mason addressed the meeting. Paul spoke on recent progress on key resolutions before the First Committee and Peggy described her concerns with modernization of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, fearing this issue would arise for parliamentarians working in associations with European parliamentarians. Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator for PNND, provided (via skype) an update on PNND global activities.
Representatives of the CNANW member groups met later that same day to discuss next steps. A major point of discussion during the conference was Canada’s anticipated vote against the UN resolution to begin negotiations on a prohibition on nuclear weapons. Although the merits of a ban treaty are not agreed upon by all CNANW members, there was strong momentum for using it as the next step toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. Ultimately Canada did vote against the resolution and CNANW has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs stating that Canada should, as a good UN member state, participate in those negotiations to ensure Canada’s views are reflected in the outcome.
— _Notes respectfully submitted by Rob Acheson _
United Nations Representative
I have been quite active at the UN and on UN peace issues since the last AGM (22 June 2016). Here is a list of selected activities, publications and presentations (with highlights in bold added for ease of scanning).
- appointed as “Innovation and Protection Technology Expert” at UN headquarters, a 1-year position (starting Feb 2017) being held during a sabbatical and while teaching afterwards at Canadian Forces College. Attended negotiations at the UN for a nuclear weapons convention (ban).
- visits to UN’‘’ field operations ‘’‘in Lebanon, and (in July) to Central African Republic, D.R. Congo and Mali.
- providing advice to Under-Secretaries-General on improving peace operations using modern technology
- serving as President of the World Federalists Movement – Canada
- “Smart Peacekeeping: Tech-Enabled UN Operations,” Providing for Peacekeeping No. 13, International Peace Institute, New York, July 2016. (IPI webpage, pdf, 1.4 MB)
- “New Technology for Peace and Protection: Expanding the R2P Toolbox,” by ‘’‘Lloyd Axworthy ‘’‘and A. Walter Dorn, Daedalus (Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences), 145 (4) (Fall 2016).
- “Eyes in the Sky for Peacekeeping: the Emergence of UAVs in UN Operations,” (by A. Walter Dorn and Stewart Webb) in Loch K. Johnson, “An INS Special Forum: Intelligence and Drones,” Intelligence and National Security, 32:4, 413-417 (June 2017). (T&F, html, pdf)
Papers and projects in progress (drafts available upon request):
- “Airships in UN Humanitarian and Peace Operations: Ready for Service?” (by A. Walter Dorn, Nicolas Baird and Robert Owen), Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education and Research, (submitted)
- “Cyberpeacekeeping: A New Role for the United Nations?”, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, (scheduled for publication December 2017).
- “Eliminating Hidden Killers: Technology to the Rescue of Humanitarian Demining?” …. (Stability journal, under review)
- “Peacekeeping Gaming: Creating Games to Train for Peace,” (A. Walter Dorn and Sylvain Paquet) (to be submitted)
Other journals and Newspapers
- “Canada dithers on its peacekeeping commitments – and loses credibility for it,” (by Fergus Watt and Walter Dorn), Ottawa Citizen, 21 March 2017 (link).
- “Sikhism and War” (by Stephen Gucciardi and A. Walter Dorn) in War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict, 2017 (encyclopedia info).
- “Canada keeping the peace once again,” opinion piece, The Hill Times, 30 August 2016, available online: The Hill Times, html.
- “Drones and Killer Robots: Canada’s Policy,” SfP lecture series, Croft Chapter House, University of Toronto, June 15. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP2zLWWnTWI, 10:20 to 26:15)
- “A United Nations System to Prevent Armed Conflict and Protect Civilians,” World Social Forum, McGill University, Montreal, August 12.
- “Critical technological innovations for UN Peace operations,” Peacekeeping & Logistics Africa, Midrand, South Africa, August 31. (by teleconference)
- “The United Nations,” Lecture to the Joint Command and Staff Programme, CFC, Toronto, September 6.
- “Back in the Game of UN Peacekeeping: Testimony to the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence,” Parliament Hill, Ottawa, September 19. Testimony quoted (pdf).
- “Technology for UN peace operations: Show and Tell with Moderns Apps and Kid’s Toys,” 10th Annual TIDES Demonstration, National Defence University, Washington, DC. September 21.
- “Armed Intervention: If, Why, When & How (the Just War approach),” Group of 78 Annual Conference, September 24.
- “Global Governance: Nukes, Wars & Climate Change,” World Federalists Movement – Canada, Toronto, September 25.
- “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” lecture in course on “Canada’s Role in Conflict Countries,” Ryerson University, Toronto, September 29.
- “How can the Armed Forces Bridge Training Cultures and Local Contexts,” moderator and presenter, conference on “Peace First: Canada’s Role in Peace Operations,” Queen’s University, Kingston, October 20.
- “New Contributors to Peacekeeping and Canada’s Role,” “panellist at conference on “New Treated in UN-led Peacekeeping: Canadian and Global Perspectives,” McGill University, Montreal, October 21.
- “Progress in Science and Technology for UN Peacekeeping”, annual roundtable of the Canadian Pugwash Group, Ottawa, October 23.
- “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” Glendon Colloquium, Glendon Campus, York University, Toronto, October 27.
- “Introduction of Paul Myer,” Fawcett Forum, University of Toronto, October 27.
- « Un retour vers les opérations de paix ? », L’Institut militaire de Québec, Quebec City, November 3.
- “Protection through Connection: Tech-Enabled Peacekeeping,” Keynote address, UN Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping, Seoul, Korea, November 8.
- “New Technology for Protection & Peacekeeping,” Canadian Red Cross conference, “Protection in Times of Conflict,” Glendon Campus, York University, November 17.
- “Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Back to the Future,” Glendon Seminar, York University, November 25.
- “World Religions on War and Peace,” course taught at Quest University, Squamish, BC, November 27 – December 21.
- “UN Peace Operations: Challenges and Options for Canada,” Canadian Army Command and Staff College, Ft. Frontenac, January 18.
- “Technologies for UN Peacekeeping,” University of Fiji, by Skype, January 24.
- “Peace Tech eSeminar on Peacekeeping Technology,” Security Governance Group, Waterloo, February 1. (online)
- “UN Peace Operations: Canadian and Danish Perspectives,” Centre for Military Studies, Copenhagen, February 7.
- “Intelligence in UN Peacekeeping & Protection of Civilians,” lecture in series “Commandant’s Corner,” Norwegian Defence International Centre (NORDEFIC), Oslo, February 8.
- “Roundtable on UN Peace Operations Reform Agenda,” Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, February 9.
- “UN Peace Operations,” Future Force Conference, The Hague, The Netherlands, February 10.
- “Official Dinner with guest of honour Dr. Walter Dorn,” Official Residence of the Ambassador to The Netherlands,‘ The Hague,’ February 10.
- “UAVs in Peace Operations,” Organization Internationale de la Francophonie, New York City, March 22.
- “Peace Support Operations,” JCSP 43, Toronto, March 23.
- “Technology and Innovation in UN Operations,” UN Regional Force Commanders conference, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Naquora, Lebanon, May 3.
- “Technology for UN Peacekeeping ,” PeaceTech Accelator, US Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, May 12.
- “Tech Demo: Commercial Progress on Useful Tools for Peacekeeping (Part 1),” Field Mission Support Section, Department of Field Support, United Nations, New York, May 23.
- “Tech Demo: Commercial Progress on Useful Tools for Peacekeeping (Part 2),” Field Mission Support Section, Department of Field Support, United Nations, New York, May 30.
- “Desirability and Feasibility of a World Federation,” Canadian Peace Research Association, Toronto June 1.
- “Time for More Positive Politics!” World Federalist Movement (Toronto Branch), Friends House, Toronto, June 2.
- “Peacekeeping Tech Demo,” Geospatial Information Section, United Nations, New York, June 8.
Africa Defense Forum (AFRICOM publication); Canadian Who’s Who 2017CBC: “Canada: A People’s History”(remake); CBC Radio (The Current); China Daily; CJBK (London) Newstalk; CPAC; CTV News Channel on Canada’s Defence Policy Review; Financial Times; Globe and Mail, Global News (TV); iPolitics; McGill Tribune; National Post; Ottawa Citizen; RCI ; CJME/CKOM Newstalk (Saskatoon)
Examples: Canada’s pledge to provide UN peacekeepers (CBC The National, Power and Politics, and News Network), Radio Canada International (RCI Online and RCI interview) and private radio stations (CKNW and CJBK); Global Online, and CTV News Channel; Globe and Mail; Canadian Press (on deployments, En and Fr.