Thoughts on our movement submitted on the 15th of July 2015 by
Pierre Jasmin, professeur honoraire de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, with elements of his Pugwash 11th of July closing speech (thanks to Sergueï P. for his appreciated help)

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear programme announced on July 13th in return for international sanctions’ relief is surely welcomed by all Pugwash members, who have been working in that direction for the last twelve years [1]. Thanks to this agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (U.N.) will have full access for extensive monitoring of Iranian uranium enrichment plants, with their stockpile of LEU reduced by 96% and the heavy water reactor at Arak being filled with concrete in order to prevent a tenth country to acquire nuclear weapons.

This hard-won diplomatic success restores the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s credibility, which was recently greatly harmed by a coalition, secretly led by prime minister Netanyahu of Israel, a non-member country which violates the NPT rules along with North Korea, India and Pakistan: last May, Great Britain, USA and non-nuclear (!) Canada opposed many countries who wanted to convene a conference aimed at creating a mass-destruction weapons-free zone in the Middle East. No wonder that the Iranian peace agreement is now being fiercely attacked by the Big Oil-dominated Republican party (Iran being the 4th world petroleum producing country) and by Netanyahu who fears that the world’s eyes will now turn towards Israel’s 150 to 250 illegal nuclear weapons.

Canadian Pugwash conference
The Way Forward to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

 From July 9th to July 12th, at the National Historic Site of the Thinkers’ Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Pugwash colleagues held expert discussions on the greatest threat to the security of our planet – nuclear weapons. It was a great honour to be around international legendary experts on disarmament such as Sandra Butcher, executive director of Conferences Pugwash on Science and World Affairs from Great Britain, Walter Dorn, U.N. expert and former Pugwash Canada president, three Pugwash members from United States, Dr. Kennette Benedict, former Executive Director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dr. Randy Rydell, Senior Policy Advisor of the UN’s Office for Disarmament Affairs and John Burroughs from theInternational Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), as well as Irish diplomat Michael Hurley and four former Canadian Ambassadors for Disarmament Douglas Roche, Marius Grinius, Peggy Mason and Paul Meyer; Paul organised the three days’ conference along with Adele Buckley, Bev Delong and David Harries, our actual president who assured the liaison with the Thinker’s Lodge Society.

We warmly thank them for the success of the conference titled “The Way Forward to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons”, the fittest way to actively mark the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of the United Nations foundation. We must never forget that the United Nations represents the single rampart in the struggle to save our planet from the threat of nuclear war and from criminal ambitions of nine delinquent countries + NATO. We must be grateful that the courageous General Secretary, Mr Ban Ki-moon, leads the efforts for nuclear disarmament and for effective steps to deal with climate change.

The evenings of July 9 and 11 allowed the Pugwash villagers to learn more about their home’s place in the history of the global peace movement, to hear expert presentations and engage with the conference participants. July 9 marked the exact 60th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto that gave rise to the international Pugwash movement. Its motto “Remember your humanity and forget the rest” represented a revolution in scientific thinking, particularly for nuclear physicists gathered by Pugwash-born philanthropist Cyrus Eaton and by Josef Rotblat – the only scientist among six hundred with enough conscience to decide to leave Los Alamos, aware of the fatal consequences that the Project Manhattan atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have on 200 000 civilians.

The conference discussed many other subjects, such as the new conventional weapon systems (killer robots, drones), the revival of Cold War postures by NATO, USA and Russia (Ukraine) and the Arms’ Trade Treaty Conference of First States Parties coming up in Mexico in August (alas without Canadian participation, unless Prime Minister Harper reluctantly accepts to sign it). Thematic breakout groups allowed participants in Pugwash to contribute to the development of a series of recommendations that the conference hopes to forward to the Canadian Government (or the next one?) for its consideration.

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation & Disarmament

We received good news from Helsinki on Tuesday the 7th of July, thanks to Alyn Ware, the coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament: inspired by a great speech by PNND co-chair, Austrian Christine Muttonen, the annual Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has started to tread a cautious way towards endorsing the Humanitarian Pledge by the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz. This progress is huge, notes Alyn, if you take into account that only 7 of the 58 OSCE countries [2] currently endorse the pledge, although it is now signed by 112 countries. Cesar Jaramillo, the new leader of Canadian Project Ploughshares, Cesar gave an impressive  address in a session on that subject with Marius Grinius and John Burroughs that I had the privilege to chair on July 11th.

Uranium Quebec international symposium

Our colleague from Laval University, professor Michel Duguay (PhD from Yale University in nuclear physics), who also participated in our conference in Pugwash, also served along with Pugwash members Gordon Edwards and Erika Simpson as leading experts during the recent Symposium international de Québec sur l’uranium. Held on April 14th-16th in Quebec City and made possible thanks to a noted 40 000$ donation from the Cree Nation, the symposium attracted experts from five continents. All of Pugwash members received, thanks to our Communications Secretary Sergueï Plekhanov, a copy of their inspiring Quebec Declaration. I had the great honour as vice-president of les Artistes pour la Paix to introduce to the public Arielle Denis, a leader of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons ( endorsing and putting forward the Humanitarian Pledge. She, by the way, refuted the claim that ICAN does not acknowledge the existence of NPT efforts for achieving the goal of nuclear abolition and declared herself open to every collaboration. I also had the pleasure to introduce to the audience Doctor Helen Caldicott, the great figure of the Oscar-winning film If you love this planet, as well as our own legend Gilles Vigneault who, before interpreting his song Uranium, greeted the organizer Ugo Lapointe and comedian Karine Vanasse.

With a publicity help by this young and beautiful actress known for her leading roles in Hollywood productions Pan Am and Revenge, our Québec Symposium was a landmark in exposing the inextricable links between civilian and military nuclear powers. There also was a presentation from the British founder of an international group denouncing depleted uranium weapons, Mr Doug Weir from Great-Britain: Sandra Butcher and Adele Buckley will surely remember that I rose a question about those weapons, alas without any success, in front of the international Pugwash executive in Berlin on the 1st of July 2011.

Pierre-Dansereau week

From May 7th to May 9th, l’Université du Québec à Montréal organized, with the help of its Institute for environmental studies headed by professor René Audet and with experts Marie Saint-Arnaud, Louise Vandelac, Normand Brunet, Lucie Sauvé and others, an important three-days set of conferences (and a Beethoven concert!) devoted to the memory and legacy of Pierre Dansereau,whose name adorns our Faculty of Science building. According to the British Encyclopedia, he was the first scientist to introduce the influence of man, beneficial and malevolent, in ecology: he was rewarded by honorary doctorates from fifteen universities throughout the world for this barrier-breaking advancement. Three Brasilian professors,Paulo Freire Vieira, from Federal Universidad of Santa Catarina, Mauricio Andrés Ribeiro, who heads the National Water Agency for Brasil and Luiza Maria Schwarz travelled to Montreal to hail the memory of this great man who died a few days before getting to be 100 years-old in 2011. A member of les Artistes pour la Paix, he warned us in advance about the second greatest international threat to the world security, as stated in the new Canadian Pugwash brochure, thanks to professor David Harries’ insight.

Global warming

If we all agree that nuclear weapons represent the greatest sudden threat to humanity’s existence, we are very much aware, especially after an international plea by 36 Nobel prizes a week ago, that our next rendez-vous for saving the planet will be the United Nations’ 21st Conference on climate Change, COP21 in Paris, in December. Many Pugwash scientists, including Shane Roberts and physics emeritus professor from University of Toronto, Derek Paul, have proven that the main causes of global warming are man-made. We actively denounce the Canadian government’s expansion of the oil sands which attacks biodiversity and human health, in non-respect of our First Nations’ treaty rights. It also transforms a landscape that stores huge amounts of carbon into one that releases it and further warms the climate, thus melting our permafrost soils which release methane gas, producing twenty-one times more poisonous gas effects than carbon oxide.

Recommendations to the Government of Canada

Canadian Pugwash Group Conference – July 2015

The Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) held a conference entitled “The Way Forward to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” July 9-11, 2015 at the National Historic Site of Thinkers’ Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan, the conference, which featured leading Canadian and American experts, examined the challenges posed by the current international security context and ideas for making real progress on the road to a world without nuclear weapons. The executive of the Canadian Pugwash Group has endorsed the following recommendations developed by the conference participants for consideration by the Government of Canada:

  1. The Government should implement the unanimous motion of Parliament adopted in 2010 to support the UN Secretary General’s Five Point Plan for Nuclear Disarmament and to immediately take a major diplomatic initiative to advance nuclear disarmament objectives. To this end, the Government should endorse the Humanitarian Pledge and host an inclusive international meeting to explore effective legal measures for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and to elaborate elements of a working agenda for a multilateral negotiating process to achieve this goal.
  2. In light of ongoing modernization of nuclear weapons assigned to NATO, Canada should advocate within Alliance councils for the end of NATO’s reliance on nuclear weapons. As an interim measure, Canada should urge that a global policy of no foreign basing of nuclear weapons be adhered to.
  3. Given the crucial role that transparency plays in ensuring the accountability of states with respect to their commitments, Canada should intensify its efforts to enhance the transparency of the nuclear disarmament process through information reported by states on the size and nature of their nuclear weapon arsenals, research and production facilities, delivery vehicles, fissile material holdings, doctrines and related budgets.
  4. The Government is to be commended for its participation in the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification and is encouraged to strengthen its engagement in the development of nuclear disarmament verification measures.
  5. Canada should sign and ratify the Arms Trade Treaty in order, as a state party, to play its full role in the future development and implementation of this important accord.
  6. Canada should consider a moratorium on the development and deployment of lethal autonomous robots, and the desirability of an international ban on such weapons.
  7. Canada should seek the early international regulation of unmanned armed aerial vehicles/drones.
  8. As a contribution to both regional and global security, Canada should support the full implementation of the Minsk Accords and the material enhancement of the OSCE monitoring mission in Eastern Ukraine.
  9. The Government should revisit its earlier proposal (set out in Conference on Disarmament working paper CD/1865 5 June 2009) to advocate that states make three ‘pledges’ to safeguard the security of outer space.
  10.  In recognition of its crucial role in preserving a secure and sustainable environment in outer space, Canada should advocate for the convening, and possibly host, a conference of the states parties to the Outer Space Treaty to mark the 50th anniversary of that treaty in 2017.
  11. In applying the principles of strategic foresight, the Government should produce a policy statement setting out its global role on peace and security.
  12. The Government should initiate a process to ensure the nuclear weapon free status of Canada and promote an Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.
  13. The Canadian military should be appropriately represented (CDS or designate) in any future Canadian delegation to nuclear disarmament negotiations.

The Canadian Pugwash Group believes that Canada can make substantial contributions to achieving a world without nuclear weapons. It therefore commends the above recommendations to your active attention and is ready to discuss them further with you or your officials.

* David Harries (chair), Adele Buckley, Bev Delong, Walter Dorn, Pierre Jasmin, Paul Meyer, Sergei Plekhanov, Shane Roberts, Douglas Roche, Metta Spencer, Murray Thomson.

Personal conclusion by P. J.

On October the 19th, it will be all Canadian scientists and artists’ duty to vote in order to get rid of the Conservative government and its irresponsible policies causing an aggravation of climate warming and of war threats. And a month and a half later, hopefully a new Canadian government will join in Paris Pope Francis and Dalai-Lama, as well as ecological representatives from the whole world, including David Suzuki and followers of our colleague Bill McKibben [3], plus the International Programme on Climate Change (United Nations Environment Programme). Hopefully, our next Pugwash annual meeting in Toronto will address this immense challenge.

Pugwash rejuvenated

In five months from now, for the new year, we will hopefully return to our nuclear Haupthema, with our new ecologist allies realizing that money for saving our planet’s climate will come from saving the trillion dollars planned by nuclear-armed countries for nuclear weapons modernization [4]. Having the privilege to be in Pugwash accompanied by our actual Artistes pour la Paix president Guylaine Maroist, who is planning a film on disarmament, I can’t help from reflecting that the Thinker’s Lodge is so much more than a picturesque place. Its recent renovation refrained from turning it into a Peace Walt Disney commercially-orientated resort, by fully respecting its spiritual essence: we still feel the presence of the ghosts of great figures like Rotblat and his international guests; one can access to the Éric Bednarski film The strangest dream on the Thinker’s Lodge website [5]. Why do I believe that Pugwash is rejuvenated? Certainly because of the presence of International Student/Young Pugwash represented by Poul-Erik Christiansen on Sunday the 12th of July in Pugwash. In 1957, twenty-two old gentlemen gathered in Pugwash to change the world. This year, women took the lead and I have watched, a happy feminist, discussions being now led by Erika, Sandra, Kennette, Bev, Adele, Peggy, fiery Phyllis Creighton, Sylvat Aziz with her essential Pakistani input, resilient Alexa McDonough, Dennice Leahey and Macha Mackay all three from Nova Scotia, Emma, Jamie, Kelly & others. We measure Pugwash’ success by its spiritual growth, deeply moved and grateful for these three days that we spent together, making step by step progress and discovering some revealing truths together in a spirit of friendship, with discussions, sometimes in French, sometimes in Russian, around good meals that were provided to us by our sponsors and served to us by some volunteers from Pugwash.

[1] I personally remember a positive dialog in July 2011 during the 59TH International Pugwash Conference in Berlin with a delegate from Israel and his Excellency Ali Asghar Soltanieh, then Iranian ambassador at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
[2] Andorra, Austria, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Malta and San Marino
[3] See
[4] These insane sums represent only governmental American sources, to which must be added our Canadian banks’ loans, as documented in through their report
[5] click on Gallery and go to the bottom of its inspiring photos and images.