Green Party of Canada Platform: 5.4 Press for the elimination of all nuclear weapons, 5.5 Reform the United Nations

A continuing review of  the Green Party of Canada’s Platform:

5.4 Press for the elimination of all nuclear weapons

According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and leading Canadian experts like former Ambassador for Disarmament, the Hon. Douglas Roche, the world has quietly entered a second nuclear age. On Januay 17, 2007, world scientists moved the hands on the “Doomsday Clock” two minutes closer to midnight in light of the dual threats of climate change and the increasing effort to build nuclear weapons. Not since the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world been closer to the threat of nuclear war. Canada has simply not been doing its part to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to protest when allies violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In fact, Canada continues to press for sales of its CANDU nuclear technology around the world, without adequate safeguards. Canada has sold reactors to dictatorships, such as Argentina in the junta era. The Canadian research reactor waste in India allowed that nation to join the nuclear club. Phasing out nuclear energy as an aspect of nuclear military disarmament is essential. The Harper government’s decision to contract insell nuclear materials towith India is in contravention to the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, concluded at the 2010 G-20 meeting, further erodedings limits on nuclear weapons and global respect for the rule of law.

The Green Party of Canada strives for global disarmament, and for the conversion of all military industries in Canada and worldwide into peaceful, sustainable industries. We, at the Green Party, realize that it is difficult for a single country to disarm unilaterally under the threat of another arming state, and that disarmament can be best achieved multilaterally, in harmony and communion universally, and at a global level, notably through the UN.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Press for a new Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the UN to provide impetus for a renewed commitment among nations to the peaceful dismantling of nuclear arsenals world-wide and a renewed commitment among nations to preventing the dissemination of military-use nuclear technology and materials.
  • Declare Canada a nuclear-free zone.
  • End subsidies to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) for promoting reactor sales abroad, and refuse to finance such “sales” with tax dollars.
  • Strengthen the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency to prevent nuclear reactor fuels from finding their way into nuclear weapons.
  • Press NATO allies to get out of the nuclear weapons business.
  • Move rapidly to multi-lateral negotiations to eliminate all nuclear stockpiles and prevent rebuilding of nuclear arsenals using such UN processes as the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty (CNTBT), a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty, taking U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons off alert status, legally binding guarantees by nuclear weapons states not to attack non-nuclear states, and enhanced verification techniques.

“In protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development, the green party should also highlight the imperative of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

The Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., February 17, 2007
Addressing the Green Party foreign policy forum

5.5 Reform the United Nations

The United Nations (UN) has grown since its foundation by 50 countries in 1945 to 192 members today: it is the only international organization to which virtually every country belongs. The UN has sent 63 peacekeeping missions into areas of conflict and peacefully resolved at least 175 international disputes. Unfortunately, the UN suffered a “crisis of credibility” in 2003 when the UN Security Council split over the use of force in Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein. The U.S.-led war againstin Iraq was clearly illegal under international law. At the same time, the UN has proved ineffective in preventing genocide, as in Rwanda.

The Green Party supports the role of the UN in diplomatic intervention and international peacekeeping, including acting with a “responsibility to protect” people in situations where a state is not protecting its own citizens, such as in Darfur. We believe Canada can and must increase its commitment to the UN and that there must be significant UN reform to make the organization more effective, especially within the UN Security Council. The Security Council vetoes must be re-examined in a post-Cold War context. More balance in north-south representation must be achieved within the Security Council.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Increase our commitment of resources, especially funds for peacekeeping and adequate training and provisioning of troops, to the United Nations.

  • Promote the democratic reform of the UN Security Council to include more balance in north-south representation, elimination of bias in the treatment of, for example, Israel by the General Assembly, and ending the use of vetoes.

  • Re-organize other powerful multilateral institutions –, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the IMF and the World Bank –, placing these institutions under the authority of the UN General Assembly, and shift the direction of international trade away from “free trade” to “fair trade” focusing on the global protection of human rights, labour standards, cultural diversity, and ecosystems.

  • Move to make the UN Environment Program (UNEP) a funded organization of the UN system from its current status where donations from member nations are voluntary. Expand the UNEP mandate to a supervisory one over all multilateral environmental treaties, much likeas the WTO supervises all trade agreements within the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

  • Launch a global dialogue on the notion of a bicameral UN, with one house being the General Assembly of nation-state representatives, and a Peoples’ Assembly, as in the European Parliament, with direct election on behalf of the worlds’ peoples.

Comments and discussion are welcomed.  I am examining this as I go to gain a better grasp of their platform and invite all who are interested to do the same with comments and discussion.

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