Canada mounts UN anti-nuke ef­fort

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Canada plans to kick-start a long-stalled in­ter­na­tional ef­fort aimed at rid­ding the world of the key in­gre­di­ents needed for nu­clear weapons, The Cana­dian Press has learned.

The re­newed push this week by Canada’s United Na­tions am­bas­sador to Geneva to spear­head the cre­ation of a Fis­sile Ma­te­rial Cut-off Treaty or FMCT, comes as Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau is ex­pected to at­tend U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Nu­clear Se­cu­rity Sum­mit.

Trudeau’s pres­ence at the Obama sum­mit, March 31 and April 1, would come just three weeks af­ter his sched­uled March 10 gala state din­ner at the White House.

Canada’s re­newed fo­cus on nu­clear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion ef­forts has been in the works for months, but the ef­fort has new ur­gency be­cause of North Korea’s re­cent claim to have con­ducted a test of a hy­dro­gen bomb.

“I think it sent a chill through the world com­mu­nity and rein­vig­o­rates this dis­cus­sion and this de­bate,” Rose­mary McCar­ney, Canada’s per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the United Na­tions in Geneva, told The Cana­dian Press.

McCar­ney said she’ll be start­ing the first of a se­ries of meet­ings this week at the Con­fer­ence on Dis­ar­ma­ment, the UN’s main arms-con­trol body, with the aim of re-start­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions this year to­wards cre­at­ing the fis­sile ma­te­rial treaty.

McCar­ney may have her work cut out for her, be­cause Trudeau’s own briefing book says the UN ef­fort to­wards craft­ing such a treaty dates back al­most six decades and has been be­set by “dead­lock.”

“An FMCT has been on the UN’s agenda since 1957,” says the memo to the prime min­is­ter, which was ob­tained un­der the Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion Act.

In 1995, Canada bro­kered an agree­ment on a ne­go­ti­at­ing man­date for the treaty, but in the in­ter­ven­ing years, the ef­fort stalled. “Since 2008, Pak­istan has blocked work on an FMCT,” the memo states. But Canada has also worked with Ger­many, the Nether­lands and Aus­tralia to make progress.


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