TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction: Themes and
ADDRESS: The United States Can’t go it
Panel 1: Population Growth and
Decline, Resource Consumption and Climate Change: Can we ever get ahead of
Panel 2: Globalization of Poverty:
Leveling up or leveling down?
Panel 3: Responsibility to Protect:
How and when to intervene to save lives.
Panel 4: Nuclear Non-proliferation and
Disarmament: Strengthening the international system for the 21st century
APPENDIX: The Group of 78
Our thanks must go first to the speakers, panelists,
and resource people at the discussion groups who freely gave their time and
effort to making the Conference a success.
The Group is most grateful to all those who helped
to organize and run the conference, which this year drew 76 people, of whom 58
were members, to Econiche Lodge. Particular thanks go to:
Conference Coordinator: Working with the chair and
preparatory committee, conference coordinator Mary Edwards did a fine job of
handling the administrative side.
Members of the preparatory
Peggy Mason (chair), Joan Broughton, Andy Clarke, Mary Edwards, Dwight Fulford,
Leslie McWhinnie, and Clyde Sanger.
Conference Rapporteurs: Once again we were pleased
to welcome graduate students from the Norman Paterson School of International
Affairs at Carleton University as ‘working guests’ at the Conference. These
were: Dolma T. Dongtotsang, Craig Hunter, Karen McMullen, Sara Parchello, and
Moderators of panels and
discussion groups: We would like to acknowledge with thanks the double duty taken on by
the panel moderators; Andy Clarke, Murray Thomson, Christine Harmston, and
Metta Spencer, who also chaired the discussion sessions on the panel themes and
guided the discussion towards the development of resolutions and
Editors: Clyde Sanger organized the
rapporteur group and was editor of this report. Mary Edwards was production
Translation: Danielle Graton, Evelyn
Dumas, Yves Amesse, and Carine Houle.
Financial Contributions: While members pay their own
way to the Conference and participants in the program donate their services,
the Conference would not be possible without financial support for organization
and administration. This year’s
gathering was made possible by the continuing generous support of the
International Development Research Centre, as well as grants from The Canadian Peacebuilding
Coordinating Committee, the Department of Defence Security and Defence Forum,
and the Simons Foundation.
Chair of the Group of 78, 2004-2006
Editor: Clyde Sanger
Editor: Mary Edwards
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: THEMES AND SPEAKERS
The 2004 policy conference of the Group of 78 took place
against the backdrop of the UN Secretary- General’s High-Level Panel on
Security, Challenges and Reform. The panel report was published in December and
is said to be the most important proposal for reform of the international
system put forward in some 40 years. The conference also took place in the
middle of the US presidential campaign and the challenges that the Bush
administration had posed to the United Nations and the practice of
multilateralism. Our conference fitted
into that context with a focus on the interdependence of nations and an
analysis of multilateral efforts to achieve reduction of world poverty, to slow
the process of climate change, to protect lives in failed states, and to
sustain arms control and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Paul Heinbecker in his opening address drew
on his experience as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations to state firmly
the inescapable factor of interdependence
(“The United States cannot go it alone”) and to argue that Canada indeed
had choices in its foreign policy. Four
plenary panels followed and – a worthwhile innovation this year – the panel
chairs later led discussion groups on the same themes and presented the
resulting resolutions. This is the reason for the report following each of the
four themes through the three stages and thus the explanation for dividing up
the first panel session Madeline Weld and
Elizabeth May tackled in liveliest
fashion the interrelated problems of “Population Growth and Decline, Resource
Consumption and Climate Change”. The question of which was globally the most
urgent problem, and indeed whether Canada should restrict immigration in its
efforts to curb climate change, was vigorously debated. In the second panel
session on “The Globalization of Poverty”, Andrew
Clark from CIDA Policy Branch responded to a set of questions about the
Millenium Development Goals and the performance of the International Monetary
Fund as well as of Canada, while Thomas
Turay from the Coady Institute gave a graphic picture of poverty in his
Sierra Leone homeland.
third panel comprised the lunchtime speaker and international consultant, John Packer, speaking on “The
Responsibility to Protect: When and how to intervene to save lives”. In this he
took issue with the main thrust of the report that is the work of the
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, itself the
brainchild of former Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy. His criticism centred upon the haste with which the report, in
dealing with the problem of states that failed to protect their peoples from
gross violations of human rights, leapt over various measures of prevention to
the ultimate step of military intervention. This topic was particularly timely, since Prime Minister Paul Martin has
been pressing the R2P concept and it has been taken up by the High-Level Panel.
final panel was on “Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: Strengthening
the international system for the 21st Century”. Rob
McDougall, the point man on these subjects at Foreign Affairs, gave in
present circumstances an almost upbeat, certainly a resolute, speech with a
useful dissection of three groups of countries and their motivations. Peggy Mason, as a former Ambassador for
Disarmament, offered a strong defence of the multilateral system against the
attacks of (non-present) neo-conservatives and launched her own interceptor
weapon against the Ballistic Missile Defence scheme. The arguments against BMD
and Canada’s participation were then fully set out in a lengthy resolution
adopted by the Group of 78.
Table of Contents
is the inaugural director of the Centre for Global Relations, Governance and
Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University and Senior Research Fellow at the
independent research Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in
Waterloo. These appointments follow a distinguished career with the Canadian
Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Heinbecker joined the Department of External Affairs in 1965, with postings
abroad in Ankara and Stockholm, and in Paris with the Permanent Delegation of
Canada to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. In
Ottawa, Mr. Heinbecker served, inter alia, as Director of the United States General
Relations Division and as Chairman of the Policy Development Secretariat in
External Affairs. From 1985 to 1989, he was Minister in Washington.
From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Heinbecker served as Prime Minister Mulroney’s Chief
Foreign Policy Advisor and speech writer and as Assistant Secretary to the
Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy.
In 1992, he was named Ambassador to Germany, where inter alia he promoted
German investment in Canada. In 1996, he was appointed Assistant Deputy
Minister, Global and Security Policy, and Political Director in the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Mr. Heinbecker led the
interdepartmental task force on Kosovo and helped to negotiate the end of that
war. He was also head of the delegation for the negotiation of the Climate
Change Convention in Kyoto.
In the summer of 2000, Mr. Heinbecker was appointed Ambassador and Permanent
Representative of Canada to the United Nations, where he was a leading advocate
for the creation of the International Criminal Court and a proponent of
compromise on Iraq.
Mr. Heinbecker received his Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) from Waterloo
Lutheran University in 1965, and an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the same
institution in 1993. He was Alumnus of the Year at WLU in 2003.
He is married to Ayše Köymen; they have two daughters, Yasemin and Céline.
Population Growth and Decline, Resource Consumption
and Climate Change: Can we ever get ahead of these problems?
is an environmentalist, writer, activist, and lawyer. She has been Executive
Director of the Sierra Club of Canada since 1989. She is a member of the Board of the International Institute of
Sustainable Development and is former vice-chair of the National Round Table on
the Environment and the Economy. In 1999, Dalhousie University created a
permanent chair in her honour, the Elizabeth May Chair in Women’s Health &
the Environment. She has received numerous rewards, including the United
Nations Global 500 award and two honorary doctorates. She is the author of four
was born in White Plains, New York, where her father was with the Canadian
consulate. She grew up in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Karachi and Rawalpindi
(Pakistan), and Berne (Switzerland), as well as in Ottawa, where the family
resided when not posted abroad on diplomatic missions. Madeline graduated from
Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa and has a B.Sc. in zoology from the
University of Guelph and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physiology, both from Louisiana
State University in Baton Rouge. For the past few years, Madeline has been
working at Health Canada as a toxicology evaluator. Prior to that she worked at
the University of Ottawa as a sessional lecturer and as a copy editor at the
Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Madeline has been active in several organizations over the
past dozen years. She is president of the Population Institute of Canada, whose
object is to bring population-related issues to the attention of the public and
politicians, and has written extensively on population issues. She was involved in the creation of the
PIC’s website (though is thankfully not the webmaster) where you can read some
of her material. Madeline was formerly the secretary of the Humanist Association
of Canada and remains editor of its newsletter, Canadian Humanist News. She had a regular column in the quarterly
magazine Humanist in Canada for about 5 years. (The Humanist Association of
Canada, for those who may not be familiar with it, is a rationalist
organization promoting a naturalistic point of view, seeking human solutions to
human problems.) Madeline also served
on the board of Planned Parenthood Ottawa for 4 years and was president for 2
years. She is married with 2 boys, aged
17 and 15.
Poverty: Leveling up or leveling down?
Clark is a graduate of the University of Toronto
and the London School of Economics. In the late 1980s, he worked for three
years in Dakar, Senegal as a Junior Professional Officer with the United
Nations Development Program. Subsequently he was employed for seven years as a
researcher with the North-South Institute in Ottawa with his main research area
being Canadian development policy with a particular regional focus on Africa.
He joined CIDA in 1997 working as a policy analyst in Multilateral Programs
Branch and dealing mostly with international humanitarian assistance issues. In
January of 2000 he moved to Policy Branch as a Senior Policy Advisor. In Policy
Branch he worked on CIDA’s Social
Development Priorities: A Framework for Action and most recently on CIDA’s
policy statement on Strengthening Aid
Effectiveness: Canada Making a
Difference in the World. Since August 2003, he has been working as the
Senior Analyst on the IMF in Multilateral Programs Branch. Andrew is married to Pat
Lindsey. They have two sons Benjamin
(11) and Nicholas (9).
Thomas Mark Turay
joined the Coady Institute in 1999. He has over 20 years of experience in the
field of development education. Prior to his arrival at the Coady, he was the
director and co-founder of the Centre for Development and Peace Education in
Makeni, Sierra Leone. He also has held the position of Director for Caritas
Makeni - a nongovernment organization that provided relief and development
support for community-based organizations in the northern province of the
Sierra Leone. The primary focus of his work has been in the areas of human
rights and advocacy. At the Institute he teaches courses in Adult Education,
Community-Based Development, Training of Trainers and Peace and Conflict
Dr. Turay received a PhD (Adult Education and Community
Development) and a MA (Adult Education and Community Development) from the
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
Protect: How and when to intervene to save lives.
John Packer is
an independent consultant currently advising a number of governments and
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on matters of peace and
security, conflict prevention and resolution, diversity management, protection
of minorities and human rights. In
2003-2004, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of International Law at the
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Fellow at the Carr
Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard University. Until February
2004, he was Director in the Office of the High Commissioner on National
Minorities (HCNM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE), located in The Hague. Between
September 1995 and March 2000, Mr. Packer was Senior Legal Advisor to the
HCNM. He was previously a Human Rights
Officer at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
in Geneva where he held responsibilities for the Commission on Human Rights
investigative mandates on, inter alia,
Iraq, Myanmar (Burma) and the Independence of the Judiciary. Prior to his employment with the UN, Mr.
Packer was a consultant for the International Labour Organisation and the UN
High Commissioner for Refugees. He
holds degrees in Political Studies and Law and has lectured at a number of
universities and professional institutions around the world.
In a pro bono
capacity, Mr. Packer is Associate Editor of the Human Rights Law Journal and a member of the editorial boards of
the International Journal of Minority and
Group Rights and the European
Yearbook of Minority Issues, and of the editorial advisory boards of the Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues
in Europe and of The Global Review of
Ethno-Politics. Mr. Packer also
serves on the boards of Minority Rights
Group (International), the Centre on
Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), and the World Federalist Movement (Canada).
Non-proliferation and Disarmament: Strengthening the international system for
the 21st century
Rob McDougall has been Director of Foreign Affairs’ Non-Proliferation, Arms Control
and Disarmament Division since 1998. Born in Ottawa and raised in Canada and Japan, he is a graduate in
history of the University of Victoria. Joining the Department of External Affairs in 1973, he has been posted
to Washington, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Brussels (NATO) and Tokyo. He has recently been Chairman of the Missile
Technology Control Regime (2001-2002), a member of the UN Experts Group on
Missiles (2001-2004) and Chairman of the G-8 Non-Proliferation Experts Group
Peggy Mason received both her Honours
B.A. and her law degree from the University of Ottawa. Her distinguished career
highlights diplomatic and specialist expertise in the field of International
Security, with a particular emphasis on the United Nations, where she served as
Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament from 1989 through 1994. During this period
she headed the Canadian delegation to numerous diplomatic conferences including
the 1990 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference and the 1991
Biological and Toxin Weapons Review Conference. In 1994-1995 she chaired a UN
Expert Study that inter alia examined
the work of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) in relation to disarmament in Iraq and she served on the
UN Secretary-General’s Disarmament Advisory Board from 1993 to 1997.
From January 1997 to January 2001 Peggy Mason was Director for Council
Development of an Ottawa-based think tank, the Canadian Council for
International Peace and Security (CCIPS). Under its auspices she worked with
the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and General (ret’d) Emmanual
Erskine of Ghana to prepare principles and guidelines on the design and
implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DD&R)
programmes within the framework of United Nations peace operations. Experiences
from 14 UN missions and several national DD&R efforts helped inform the
work as well as field missions to Haiti (UNMIH), Guatemala (MINUGUA) and Sierra
Leone (UNOMSIL). Other activities included the Bonn/Berlin Project on Targeted
Sanctions (sponsored by the German Foreign Ministry) and the co-editing of Peace, Profit or Plunder? The Privatisation
of Security in War-Torn African Societies (Pretoria and Ottawa, January
From March 2000 to August 2001 Peggy Mason served as Advisor to the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on small arms and light weapons
control during which time she lectured on Disarmament in Peace Operations,
Regulation of International Arms Brokering and Enforcing UN Arms Embargoes at
seminars in Bulgaria, Poland, Cambodia, South Africa, Japan, Hungary,
Switzerland, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Azerbaijan. She also Chaired a UN Expert
Study on small arms regulation and was a member of the Canadian delegation to
the UN diplomatic conference which negotiated a comprehensive programme of
action to address the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. In a
subsequent project Mason authored a study entitled International Legal Prohibitions on the Transfer of Conventional Arms
(DFAIT, Ottawa 2003).
Peggy Mason has been a faculty member of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre since
1995 and has developed and delivered course material ranging from the role of
the Political/Diplomatic Partner in Peace Operations to the Disarmament,
Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-combatants. She is frequently a trainer
and role player in NATO peacekeeping training exercises including Allied Action
03 (Turkey, November 2003), the ISAF V MRE (Germany, January 2004) and Dynamic
Action 04 (Naples, May 2004).
In September 2003 Peggy Mason was inaugurated into the University of Ottawa
Common Law Honour Society.
Table of Contents
THE UNITED STATES CAN’T GO IT ALONE
Opening Address by Paul
(from notes by Karen
Mr. Heinbecker began by explaining he had only retired
from the Foreign Service and the post of Ambassador to the United Nations nine
months previously, to become founding director of the Centre for Global
Relations, Governance and Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as
senior research fellow in the newly created independent research Centre for
International Governance and Innovation in Waterloo. He compared himself to a
convict standing at the door of a prison, “glad for the freedom but missing the
the four points he wanted to discuss:
- The view that
the United States is going off on its own;
- The (false)
feeling that Canada doesn’t have a choice of policies;
cooperation is going to continue, in any case;
- Canada should be
both a good neighbour to the United States, and a good world citizen.
On his first point, he posed the question: Is the United
States seeking to establish an empire or hegemony, or what? The answer, he
said, was in that ‘what?’ And the question for us was, will we work with or
around the United States? He believed the United States did not aspire to
controlling an empire and, quoting from the preface of the Declaration of
Independence, suggested that Americans needed to maintain “a decent respect for
the opinions of mankind”. In any case, he said, no country on its own can run
the war in Iraq or the world, “leaving aside the views of some displaced
Canadian speech writer” [a reference to David Frum].
He admitted that, when he first went to Washington (he was
twice posted there), he thought there might be an imperial conspiracy; but he
realized that, if there was one, it was most sophisticated. The word “Canada” was almost never
pronounced. In any case the US is not imperial in the conventional use of the
word, of having a group of states under one’s
control. Who are its subjects? We in Canada are the leading candidates
for subjugation; yet we didn’t feel obliged to sign on for the war in Iraq, and
there has not been any punitive consequence.
American liberal values are too powerful and, combined with modern
communications technology and the present-day political context, made it
impossible for the United States to contemplate an empire in the conventional
sense. In the 1920s Britain bombed Mesopotamia into submission, and nobody
noticed. Now, with developed communications and liberal values, such brutal
tactics have widespread negative consequences. Today the whole world has heard
of Abu Ghraib prison and what happened there, to American embarrassment. Niall
Ferguson, author of Empire has said,
somewhat regretfully, that Americans are not interested in empire. This is
borne out, in the Middle East context, by the fact that only six American
students got degrees in Arabic language last year. Whatever the United States is, it is not an empire. ‘Empire-lite’
in Michael Ignatieff’s phrase? It is
The United States was, after all, born in an
anti-colonial, anti-imperial struggle – this is one of the strongest American
myths. And the world today is too complex and countries are too inter-related.
The United States is too dependent on everyone else – to sustain its economy
with foreign investment, for one thing, for history has never been kind to
empires. Its military power is not enough to fight terrorism, and such power
can even sometimes be counter-productive. Obviously, they had to use military power
in Afghanistan; but to prevent terrorism you have to drain grievances of their
appeal and reach its support base. This must be done cooperatively. He quoted
Britain’s Chris Patten, former European Commissioner for External Affairs, that
“the United States is invincible, but not invulnerable.”
He further quoted Robert McNamara to the effect that, if
we cannot persuade nations that share similar values of the merit of our cause,
then we should reexamine our reasoning. This has been a problem with the current
U.S. administration. It doesn’t listen either to Americans or to foreigners,
but only to its top staff of some dozen people. Since 9/11 the United Nations
and Washington had been “two solitudes” [he called them respectively ‘Turtle
Bay’ and ‘Foggy Bottom’]. Yet there was
nothing in the international reaction to 9/11 that should have led to a
rejection of the international system. The UN General Assembly voted the next
day in total solidarity with the United States, and the Security Council
developed an extensive response to terrorism. What led to US unilateral
decisions later? In the case of Afghanistan, countries lined up to send troops,
but even the offer by Germany was turned down.
Various knowledgeable American writers, he went on, like
Bob Woodward and Richard Clark have said that plans to go to war with Saddam
Hussein had already been made. A litmus test was applied in the spring of 2002:
either you supported a war in Iraq, or you were out of the inner circles of the
Administration. By the fall of 2002, the (Washington) Beltway and Turtle Bay
were not talking to each other. Washington wanted acquiescence, and not debate.
Its view was that 9/11 “changed everything”, but that was not the case.
Heinbecker went on to speak of the National Security
Strategy. Its characterization of US
values shows them to be not different from Canadian values, but the strategy
differs in two features: its unilateralism, and its strategy of pre-emption.
Pre-emption is recognized under international law. Prevention is not. To
justify preemptive action, one must apply rigorous tests of an urgent danger
and an imminent threat. Prevention has much lower thresholds for action. Hussein was portrayed as an imminent threat
with devastating capacity and a readiness to use it on the United States. None
of this portrayal turned out to be true. Heinbecker concluded that current U.S.
foreign policy is a danger to Americans -- and to us beyond its borders. The
Republicans are different from the party of the past and have formed a very
radical administration, run by reactionaries and revolutionaries. Moderate
Republicans are not in control.
He traced the principle of unilateralism and a strategy
of no entangling alliances back to the earliest days of the Republic and to the
Monroe Doctrine. With Woodrow Wilson, the US followed a policy of values and
promoted principles as the base of foreign relations. It had elements of preemption and aggressive action within it.
Now the grand strategy is to combine the two and to use political or military
power to give force to principle. He said he might find it appealing, as long
as he could choose the targets. For example, in the Desert War against Iraq
(1990-1) one could at that time have supported a move to take Baghdad and
unseat Hussein. If the United States could combine its power and leadership and
develop an international consensus, it could argue it had a responsibility to
lead. The trouble is that others may
also use the argument to claim they also have a right to take preemptive action:
India or Pakistan, for example, or Israel over Iran and vice versa. So his view
was that, while 9/11 added extra concerns and considerations to the top of the
agenda, it did not subtract any element from international relations. States
are by no means defunct, he said; they are making a comeback.
Further on this thought, where would it end, if every
state were to take preemptive action to prevent harm on itself? If we allow
that the United States may lead by exception and not example, what happens when
China becomes powerful? Are we comfortable with other countries claiming to be
exempt from international law? It is evident that the United States cannot go
it alone. If it cannot control Iraq, a Third World country of 30 million, how
can it handle Iran with 65 million, or Pakistan with twice that number?
He quoted Senator John Kerry’s remark that the United
States only goes to war when it has to, and Bush’s statement that it only got
involved in war when adversaries left it no other option. He then briskly
rhymed off a lengthy list of historical occasions when the United States had
attached a Caribbean island, a Central American republic, the Philippines,
Vietnam, and many others and had covertly overthrown democratically elected
governments as in Iran in the Fifties and Chile in the Seventies. At the
Republican convention, Senator Libby Dole had said, “America is great because
the people are good.” Certainly
Americans are good, tolerant and guided by religious faith – this is not up for
debate. But they are also human, and make mistakes. This is the problem with
their current foreign policies.
The danger today is that the United States has become
estranged from a large part of the world, and this may morph into a war between
Islam and the West. Hatred can spiral. He quoted a Bosnian Moslem who said, “I
hate Serbs for making me hate Serbs.”
There are 1.2 billion Moslems in the world, and in such a war there
cannot be victory for anyone.
Running short of time, he dwelt only briefly on two of
his four points.
Multilateralism will not disappear, and cooperation will
need to continue. But the United Nations needed both internal reform and
innovative ideas. It had to debate the question of when it might be legitimate
to intervene for humanitarian reasons or because of the threat of weapons of
mass destruction or because of the potential nexus of WMD and terrorism. Multilateral groups may come to operate
outside the UN, such as the G20 suggested by Paul Martin, or the Democratic
Caucus that was an idea of Madeline Albright, among others. Either could be
useful if it helped to break down the ridiculous struggles within the United
Nations between different regional and power groups.
What should Canada do in the present world situation, and where
should its foreign policy head? It should be two-pronged. First Canada ought to
be a good neighbour to the United States, and we had good reason to make the US
as secure as it can be. But we do not need to give up on being a good world
citizen and it is very much in our interest to carry out an independent foreign
policy. He himself was agnostic on the question of Ballistic Missile
Defence. If we joined BMD, would we
doing it to make Canada safer? Or to please Washington? That would be a mug’s game. We need to put
money on the table for national defence and for CIDA, and we need to stop
stripping DFAIT (Department of Foreign Affairs) of its resources. We now rank
20th in OECD in our performance in development assistance and 34th
in the world in peacekeeping contributions. A problem is that Canadians who do not keep up with these declining
figures believe we are still doing a lot – so the government thinks it does not
have to do anything more.
Janis Alton suggested
Article 51 of the UN Charter only allowed a state to use force in self-defence
and thus denied the right of pre-emptive action. Mr. Heinbecker said there must
be a pre-emptive capability – you don’t have to wait until the bomb drops. He
gave the example of Israel in 1967, and added that Article 51 required the
state that takes pre-emptive action to report to the UN Security Council within
Fergus Watt asked whether
Mr. Martin’s idea of a G20 group was still flying, or grounded because of the
minority government situation. Also, what part would civil society play either
in the G20 or the Democratic Caucus?
The speaker allowed that Foreign Affairs was less than
eager about the G20 (or L20), but it arose from the feeling that the G8 was not
as effective as it might be because the right people were not at the table.
China was not interested to become No 9, so the trick would be to combine a
number of other countries (he named India, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia,
Nigeria, South Africa and Turkey) and get the leaders to meet once a year and
narrow their differences. You could then produce consensus on some important
issues and in the process make the UN more effective. He didn’t think a
minority government situation in Canada made any difference. The problem with the Democratic Caucus idea
was its American origin; others are wary of its being seen as a support group
for U.S. action; some Americans see that as its purpose. In fact, the
democracies were split on Iraq. He went on to say that the Group of 77, a body
that has survived because the smaller states remain weak, produces the “lowest
common denominator” in policies. As a result, the UN General Assembly is only
really useful for purposes of socializing, in the proper sense of making
contacts and sensitizing people.
Woollcombe commented on the Democratic Party convention, and Senator Kerry’s
comment about only going to war when his country had no choice. He hoped there
was a big difference between Democrats and Republicans, and thought the present
Bush administration was “an aberration”. Heinbecker replied that a Democratic
administration would no doubt be more multilateral and more mainstream than the
present one, although the Clinton administration had practiced unilateralism
and exceptionalism on occasions. He suggested that the real dividing line in
North America was not the 49th parallel but the Mason-Dixon Line,
certainly for voting purposes.
The majority of Canadians feel that President Bush has made the
world more dangerous, said John Graham,
and his re-election will increase that feeling of insecurity. How do we
communicate our concerns to Washington – knock on the White House door, lobby
Congress, talk to their media or what?
The speaker suggested two moves. First, take the lead and
spend money on improving border security, and second, upgrade our
communications efforts, to make sure the Americans know we are hard at work on
coastal surveillance, the checking of container ships and so on. Show that we
are providing the best possible bilateral cooperation, without “joining the
posse” as Australia has done [with troops in Iraq and joining BMD]. We also need to use more imaginatively
professional communicators such as Pamela Wallin in New York. He said (from his
experience as ambassador to the United Nations) that the Canadian government
does not care about public diplomacy; the German foreign office spends 100
times as much as its Canadian counterpart on communications. He ended on the optimistic note that the
second Reagan administration turned out to be better than the first.
Dwight Fulford wondered if
Canada needed to change its immigration policies, and asked whether we were
discriminating against Arab immigrants as the United States is. He thought Canada was facing a challenge in
this area. Heinbecker believed there was no need for drastic change, but we
should learn more about applicants to make sure that bad guys aren’t coming in.
We are known as the easiest country in the world for getting citizenship.
Getting access to Canada was difficult; once in, getting citizenship was
easier. Our openness is part of our strength, but we have acquired a reputation
for being “soft on terrorists” and “having a porous border” (he was quoting The New York Times). So we need to be
alert in many ways during the immigration process and then tell everyone about
it. It was another example of poor communications.
Shenstone agreed that Canada needed to reinforce its military and
diplomatic capability and increase development aid, but how does one get the
Canadian public to press the government to put more resources into these areas?
Heinbecker thought the problem was not with the public or with ministers, but
with senior finance officials in Ottawa, who needed to be convinced, and who
had a negative disposition to funding foreign affairs that they, themselves,
were not involved in.
A first objective of the Group of 78 has always been to focus on
disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons, Murray Thomson reminded the session. Governments nearly everywhere
today are planning to increase military spending. The program of action agreed
at the 1978 UN Special Session on Disarmament (and reinforced at later
sessions) is almost forgotten. With the increase in the “quality” of nuclear
weapons, we should focus on disarmament. Who will take leadership?
The speaker gave a broad answer, mentioning Canada’s role
in the landmines treaty and emphasizing the distinction between weapons of mass
destruction and small arms. He agreed that neither Iran nor the United States
was living up to its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but he was
more concerned about the loose security over Russia’s nuclear weapons. Canada
had gone to NATO to ask for a review of the alliance’s nuclear policy, but
found no support. If we consider that we
must sometimes act as our brother’s keeper in Sierra Leone, Haiti or wherever,
it requires military capability. Otherwise, our expressions of concern are just
so many fine words. We need to spend on the military and sustain its
Two further speakers picked up the phrase “our porous border”. Madeline Weld pointed out that there
were 37,000 people presently in Canada whom the government wishes to remove,
but they cannot be found. Heinbecker said Canada was in good company – every
Western country has the same problem. And Karen
Hamilton said the border issue was murky, Canada was unique in having
denied entry to 52 African and Asian visitors who were delegates to a recent
church conference. She also questioned
use of the phrase “Islamic countries”, suggesting Canada could be so called
since we have third-generation people of Muslim faith. Mr. Heinbecker replied that his own wife is
Muslim and the problem only arises when one associates Muslim with terrorist.
He told the story of a Nigerian ambassador who was denied entry to attend the
Peacekeeping Centre in Nova Scotia, where he was to be a keynote speaker,
because he refused to fill out a lengthy questionnaire.
Table of Contents
POPULATION GROWTH AND DECLINE, RESOURCE CONSUMPTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE: CAN WE EVER GET AHEAD OF THESE PROBLEMS?
Rapporteur: Sara Parchello
Madeline Weld (President, Population
Institute of Canada)
Elizabeth May (Executive Director, Sierra
Club of Canada)
Andy Clarke: I would like to give some background on the panel’s subject
matter: population, resource consumption and climate change. This subject is a departure for the Group of
78 from former years, but it is timely. It is different because some of these topics do not make daily newspaper
headlines like the things Mr. Heinbecker spoke about last night. Still they are important, and may well
become more important than the things that we discuss on a daily basis.
is useful to look back to where we came from - for example, to the year 1900
when world population was 1.6 billion. Automobiles were just beginning to appear and the idea of human flight
was regarded as hardly possible. Oil
had just been discovered in western Pennsylvania. Today we are 6.4 billion, a
quadrupling of numbers in just over a century and, almost unbelievably, in
terms of economic expansion we have increased by 25-fold. Our consumption has also increased
enormously. Two billion of us (one-third
of the world’s population) subsist on less than $2 a day. Oil now accounts for 90 percent of
transportation needs, and some say the global supply of oil will be exhausted
within 20 years, others that this could happen as early as 2008.
recent study by 11 American scientists, headed by Dr. Mathis Wackernagel,
concluded that our consumption, with its consequent impact on the environment,
is exceeding the capacity at which nature is regenerating. The fact that all
these things – population growth, increase in consumption and in CO2
emissions - are occurring gradually means that they do not often make the
headlines; but there is little doubt that there is a major problem.
far as I know, the Group of 78 has not explored these subjects before. I am
very pleased to ask Madeline Weld to speak on the subject of population.
MORE HUMANITY –
WITH FEWER HUMANS
Population Institute of Canada is at times controversial, so I do not want to
disappoint you by not being controversial. I also know you like numbers. Paul Heinbecker mentioned (in the context
of the United States military presence in Iraq) its inability to cope with a
population there of 30 million. I lived
in Pakistan about 20 years ago and since then its population has doubled. In Iran, half the people have been born
since the Revolution. Now, before
getting hot under the collar, I would ask you to consider whether these growth
rates are sustainable.
live with the unfortunate reality that some of the opinions I hold are
offensive to a large number of people. One of these opinions has been
controversial since the days of Charles Darwin. It is that humans are part of
the continuum of all of life that has evolved, and not distinguished from other
life forms by a special destiny. A second offensive opinion that I hold is
that, despite the big brain we’ve evolved, human behaviour is guided by the
same imperative as every other species: maximize your reproductive output, make
use of any and all resources available to you, and don’t think of the
consequences of your behaviour into the future. As evidence, I cite the almost
vertical rise in human numbers from about five to 10 million some 8,000 years
ago to 6.4 billion at present, with projections of 9 billion within the next 50
third opinion that I hold, and this one is extremely unacceptable, is that
there is such a thing as too many people because, just like any other species,
the cumulative biotic potential of the human species exceeds the carrying
capacity of its habitat. That means that humans can produce more offspring than
the land can support. I submit as evidence the abundance of human misery (you
read about it every day) despite the fact that we are turning Planet Earth into
a feedlot for humanity.
corollary of my belief that humans can exceed their carrying capacity is that their
populations can crash. We are able to increase our numbers hugely by doing
things that we won’t be able to repeat. We took over land previously used by
other species to grow our food, but all the available land (and much unsuitable
land) is already under cultivation and, as Mark Twain observed, they aren’t
making any more.The green revolution allowed us to increase productivity per
acre hugely, but such increases are grinding to a halt, and the constraints of
erosion, salination and water shortages are also being felt. We quadrupled the
fish catch, but all the major fisheries are being fished at or beyond capacity.
In absolute terms, the maximum catch occurred in 1989.
we made use of the one-time bonanza of oil in the ground, which provided us
with the source of energy to do all the things we do. In the words of William
R. Catton, we have cultivated a giant “Ghost acreage” with our use of oil-based
fertilizers and pesticides and oil-fuelled irrigation. In the process, we have
become Homo colossus. But the time
may be close when oil production peaks and then declines. The concept of peak
oil is not in dispute; the only disagreement concerns when it will occur. Some
people think it is occurring now.
decision-makers operate on the assumption that we can carry on doing things as
we always have. This is because to act differently, they would have to act as
if they held offensive opinions, such as that there can be too many people. Far
better to put one’s faith in technology. This technology, of course, will be
developed through advances in science. What are the scientists, who presumably
will develop that technology, saying? This is an excerpt from a document called
World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,
signed by 1,600 senior scientists from 70 countries, including 102 Nobel Prize
laureates (or more than half the living ones at that time) on November 18,
1992: “Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on
the natural world that can overwhelm any effort to achieve a sustainable
future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept
limits to that growth.”
are the majority of decision-makers not listening to those they expect to pull
our irons out of the fire?
of the reason is that accepting that there are limits to growth is anathema to
powerful business interests, economists who influence government policies and
many religious ideologies. All of the foregoing often have great influence on
government policies, whose long-term outlook is approximately four years. But
what about the environmental groups? Should they not be broadcasting the
scientific evidence that humans are destroying their own life support system on
earth with their profligate overdrawing of resources? Yet most environmental
organizations ignore, or worse deny, the necessity to restrain population
lack of attention to population growth by environmental organizations affects
not only their own policies, but those of governments as well, by failing to
provide an anti-growth counterbalance to the economic pro-growth forces that
drive government policies.
does one explain this silence? In my opinion, it is fear. To explain this fear,
I cite as an example an article I encountered on the Internet by someone called
Walt Contreras Sheasby. The title of his article is “The year they drove ol’
Malthus down: After 200 years, banished beyond the pale?” Consider this
sentence: “Final solutions have never been far removed from the discourse on
undesired populations ever since Thomas Malthus, who brought the formerly
natural and private domain of procreation under the dictate of social concern.”
a loaded sentence! In the minds of every modern person, the words “final
solution’ are associated with genocide. So what Mr. Sheasby is saying is this:
“If you think there are too many people in the world, whom would you dispose of
first?” Well, that kind of shuts down any reasoned discourse, doesn’t it?
linking of concern with human overpopulation to genocidal tendencies is one
that is implicitly and uncritically accepted by many who purport to speak for
the environment or human rights. While intellectually dishonest, those who
promote this linkage have been extraordinarily successful. They have, so to
speak, staked out the moral high ground for themselves and forced onto the
defensive the rationalists who cite the scientific evidence of human
Malthus beyond the pale has also affected the public discourse on immigration
in developed countries. Population growth in developed countries is mainly due
to immigration. Both Canada and the United States have very high levels of
immigration. The only way these high-per-capita-consuming countries could stop
their population growth is by curtailing immigration. But most recent
immigrants are non-white, and people who advocate a reduction in the number of
immigrants fare no better than those concerned with global overpopulation.
Kolankiewicz and Beck (2001) cite numerous recent examples both of environmentalists
being denounced for promoting US population stabilization and of leaders of
well-known environmental groups opposing taking a position on limiting
immigration to the United States.
in 1970, on the first World Population Day, environmental organizations
endorsed a zero population growth policy for the United States. They recognized
that a world with fewer high-consuming Americans meant a healthier planet. And
since 1972 the fertility rate of native-born Americans has averaged 10 percent
below replacement level. Yet in that
time the US population has risen from just over 200 million to almost 300
million and is still growing rapidly. The decade of the 1990s saw the largest
census-to-census increase in US history: The US population grew by 32.7 million
or 13.2 percent (Tabash, 2004). Some of that growth is driven by the
demographic momentum of the baby boom, but a whopping 70 percent is due to
recent immigrants and the children of immigrants.
is no evidence that new immigrants are any less interested in consuming than
those who came before them. And yet most US environmental organizations harp on
over-consumption, and ignore population growth. From an environmental
perspective the growth of the US population is more than negating the good that
native-born Americans have done by reducing their birthrate. But when it comes
to the immigration-driven increase in the US population, most environmental
organizations have replaced their environmental agenda with a social justice
agenda. Professor and deep ecologist George Sessions commented in 1998 that,
“The pressure upon (and even intimidation of) environmental organizations to
turn toward social/environmental concerns has recently become enormous.”
do environmentalists rationalize this blatant disregard of the effects of
population growth on the environments of their own countries? Many have
embraced a logic that has been called the “One World” or “Open Borders”
perspective. In this view, it does not matter where people live, because only a
single spatial scale, the global scale, is acknowledged. Overpopulation is seen
as a global problem and immigration is merely a local symptom. In the words of
US Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope: “Erecting fences to keep people
out of the country does nothing to fix the planet’s predicament. It’s the
equivalent of rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.”
is interesting, as Kolankiewicz and Beck (2001) point out, that Pope used that
analogy. Because if the RMS Titanic’s
bulkheads had been sealed all the way up (a standard feature in ships nowadays)
instead of just partway up, the ship might have been saved from sinking. The
inrushing water would have been confined to several compartments instead of
spilling over the top of each bulkhead into subsequent ones. The Titanic
could flood four compartments and still float. It breached five.
another conclusion that could be drawn from this tragedy is that barriers
between distinct nation states may well be essential to preventing one
country’s failure to address overpopulation from becoming the whole world’s
failure. Economist and philosopher Kenneth Boulding suggests that what we are
doing is converting the world from a place of many experiments into one giant,
global experiment where a failure somewhere would become failure everywhere.
And indeed, under this logic, hundreds of millions of people in the world’s
Zambias and Indias and Haitis will, with their private reproductive decisions,
have effective veto power over the decision by Americans to save the
Everglades, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys. South Florida’s incessant
population growth is driven by domestic and international migration and high
lack of intelligent public discourse on population and immigration issues has
relieved our government of the burden of developing well thought out policies.
The Canadian government, for example, has made no attempt to develop any sort
of overarching population policy in its international development agency, CIDA.
When my population colleague wrote to the minister responsible for CIDA in 2002
concerning what he considered a weakness in CIDA’s Sustainable Development
Strategy, he received a response which included the statement: “How can we
possibly ask countries struggling just to feed themselves, while losing
literally millions to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, to adopt nation-wide birth rate
standards?” She continued by saying that the notion goes against Canada’s and
the world’s development principles.
the minister in charge of Canada’s international development policy simply
dismissed the significance of the fact that the annual population growth in
many poor countries exceeds the annual growth of their GDP. Yes, other factors
have an impact – poorly thought out restructuring programs, corruption and so
on, but can you imagine a minister in charge of CIDA saying, “How can we
possibly ask countries just struggling to feed themselves to adopt nation-wide
corruption standards?” Of course not. I sincerely believe that, if population
were not a taboo issue, but one that was discussed openly and intelligently by
the media, one would see more intelligent government policies as well as
argument showing a bit more intellectual input from government ministers
responding to concerned citizens.
Canadian government would also find it more difficult to pursue its policy of
seeking to increase Canada’s population by 1 percent each year through
immigration, despite economic studies that show that this policy does not
benefit Canadians (Collacott, 2002, 2003) and the very real evidence that our
cities are becoming increasingly unable to cope with the influx. It might feel
compelled to explain how an ever-increasing population will help it to reduce
its greenhouse gas production in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. How
convenient for the government, for the immigration industry and for developers
and other business interests, that anyone who questions this policy is
effectively silenced through intimidation of being labeled racist.
of the world’s people live under conditions that we would regard as
intolerable. Their populations are rising rapidly while their environments are
deteriorating. CIDA has embraced a policy that says that the way to limit
population growth is to increase wealth. This reflects the assertion of the
Brundtland Report that poverty is the main cause of overpopulation and that
birth rates will fall if the standard of living of people around the world is
brought to the modest European level. There are two major problems with the
Brundtland Report. One problem is that it is wrong. If an increase in the
standard of living automatically resulted in a reduction in the birthrate, then
the birthrates of Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries would have fallen
after the Second World War, but in fact they have skyrocketed.
demographic transition theory, which is treated as sacred writ by many
governments and NGOs, has been proven wrong so many times that one can only
attribute its continued basis for policy to ideological intransigence. Probably
the most well-known demographic transition theory dissident, Virginia
Abernethy, has provided numerous examples showing that people often have more
children when they see more economic opportunity; in other words, when they get
richer. Thus, we saw the baby boom after the Second World War at a time of
rising wealth and expectations. Mexicans who migrate to the United States,
where their economic opportunities are better, tend to have more children than
those who stay in Mexico.
second problem with the Brundtland Report is that, even if it were right, we
have neither enough time nor enough resources for the increase in wealth to
bring about a reduction in population. Remember that our global population is
projected to increase by 50 percent. Virtually all the increase will occur in
countries that are currently unable to meet the needs of their people. The
environment is already collapsing under the strain of inadequately feeding the
world’s six billion people. Scientists tell us that the modest European
standard of living promoted by the Brundtland Report as the model for all is
attainable only with a population of about 2 billion people, less than
one-third of our current population. What will happen to all those other
Al Bartlett made a challenge: “Can you think of any problem, on any scale, from
microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way
aided, assisted, or advanced by having continued population growth at the local
level, the state level, the national level or globally?”
you? If we cannot answer Al Bartlett’s question, should we not challenge people
like Sheasby? On what basis have they claimed the moral high ground for
themselves? It would seem to be on the pretence, apparently shared by our
government, that we have three or four planets to support the billions of
people now alive and the billions yet to come. This moral and intellectual
travesty is a betrayal both of those suffering now and of those who come after
may be too late to “solve” the population problem, if solve means avoiding
human suffering and environmental collapse on a massive scale. But that does
not mean we should not try to implement intelligent policies to reduce the
suffering and to preserve the diversity of our biological life support system.
Without a reduction in the human population this will not be possible.
leaders must recognize that overpopulation is the most pressing issue facing
humankind. Every country should develop programs and policies to reduce their
respective populations by providing family planning education and services.
Foreign aid should focus on assisting less well organized societies to address
these problems. Countries that are increasing their numbers irresponsibly should
be put on notice that they will not be bailed out by the international
community indefinitely, giving them time to stabilize and reduce their numbers
The goal we should strive for is more
humanity with fewer humans.
PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH THE
Consumption and Climate Change
will start with climate change and then get into population growth. We, the Sierra Club, do deal with population
growth as a major issue. Andy, you
said these are not the kind of issues that get into the headlines. What is frustrating, as an activist in
climate change, is that when I was senior policy advisor to the Environment
Minister years ago I was getting briefings in 1986-87 from scientists in what
is now the Canadian Weather Service. It made projections of what climate change
would hold for Canada and what would happen by 2050. I am seeing these things happen now. They make the headlines now but are not identified as climate
change issues. There was the ice-storm here, and the heat-wave in France last
year when as many as 20,000 people died.
leaves out the floods in Bangladesh, as well as rising sea-levels that caused
islands in the Maldives group to be permanently evacuated. In 1987 I heard the President of the Maldives
add to the global list of concerns not just endangered species, but endangered nations. It was a very powerful speech. Canada’s speech was also good (because I
wrote it) but the President of the Maldives had me weeping. At Rio plus 10 I
heard the same president speak again. He said, “I told you that, if we didn’t
do something, we would be under water. Now we are evacuating.” But Australia said that, even if it caused
climate change, the coalmining industry was more important than the Maldivian
way of life.
What we know about the science of climate
change is quite robust. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is comprised of over 2,000 scientists
who gather periodically to study the peer-reviewed literature on the relevant
science and are constantly reviewing reports to policy makers. In their first assessment they stated that
greenhouse gases were likely to change climatic conditions. They now know that the consumption of fossil
fuels and deforestation release greenhouse gases which are already causing
destabilization. How do we know
that? By direct measurement of Arctic
ice core analysis; we can measure back about 200,000 years that the
concentration of Carbon Dioxide (or CO2) in the atmosphere was never
more than 275 parts per million. By
proxy measurement (snail shells, fossilized pollen) one can read evidence going
back 20 million years; again, it has never been over 275 ppm.
the industrial revolution we have released CO2 that had been stored
over many millennia, and we are now releasing it at profligate rates. By the year 2000, the amount of CO2
being released was 6 million tonnes, a fourfold increase since 1950. This is of course having an impact on
atmospheric chemistry. We are swamping
our natural ability (“sinks”) to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and quickly
approaching a 375 ppm atmospheric concentration, increasing annually at nearly
2 ppm. This is pretty much
irreversible. This type of atmospheric
chemistry does not turn on a dime. At
Rio in 1992, Canada and other nations committed themselves to a Framework
Convention to strive towards stabilization of CO2 levels. They acknowledged that human activities are
changing the climate, that fossil fuels are a major contributor, and that we
need to take action now
one happened to be in British Columbia with its forest fires, or in Halifax
when it was hit by Hurricane Juan, one could see what is changing. Normally the
sea water is cold enough off Nova Scotia to calm storms, but not this time. We can understand that, if we allow CO2
concentrations to double, this will be even more dangerous. What would happen at 550 ppm? How quickly are we headed there and how can
we avoid it? A concentration of 550 ppm is the CO2 level normally
used to postulate an intolerable impact on the atmosphere and environment. The atmosphere will never say, “Oh, we have
hit 550 ppm” and then will stop. Scientists now say we need to look at tripling (not doubling from 275
ppm) and what would happen. Our
understanding of atmospheric chemistry is far from substantial or complete.
Lakes can turn acid almost overnight. This lack of understanding means we are
playing a type of Russian roulette with the climate and climate change.
Pentagon analyst Andrew Marshall hired some people who worked with Shell Oil to
construct a plausible scenario for abrupt climate change. The first nasty shock was to discover that
coral reefs bleach out and die after only a small temperature change. The
findings of this Pentagon study found their way into Fortune magazine in February 2004. One prediction was that the Gulf Stream could stall in 2010 due to the
changing relationship between salt and fresh water. The Greenland ice sheet is melting at an alarming rate that no
one predicted, in addition to various parts of Arctic ice melting – pretty soon
the ice cover at the North Pole will be a seasonal event. As all of this fresh water is mixed into the
ocean, the process of salinization and fresh water would propel the Gulf Stream
down. Europe is expected to become
colder, and other effects will cascade across the world. Finally, the report concluded that the
social and political impacts of climate change are more important and greater
is a concern for environmental survival. We in the Sierra Club have worked with Action Canada on Population and
Development where we held seminars to draft our own population policy. And we are connected to the US Sierra Club;
indeed a Canadian started it. But we in
Canada have our own population policy. The following statement is central to it: “The empowerment of women is the key element: education, literacy, health care and autonomy.”
When women are empowered and when their situation improves, it has been shown
that fertility levels drop.
solutions are focused around the commitments Canada has already made in the two
summits in Cairo and Rio. Population is
not to be ignored in those solutions. Still, we need to improve the status of
women and girls. If we manage to cut
the population – would we have addressed the problem of climate change? The answer is No. Right now the 20 percent of people who live in the developed
world create 80 percent of the waste and use 80 percent of the world’s
resources. The population of the United
States, which is 4 percent of the global population, was producing 25 percent
of the world’s waste in 1990, the base year for Kyoto.
we need to do is to shift the economy away from fossil fuels. To avoid a doubling in CO2 levels
we need to reduce emissions against 1990 levels by 60 percent. Kyoto calls for a 6 percent decrease – and
we can’t even do that. The problem with
Canada’s plan is that it is mostly voluntary, as with the car industry. There is a federal law on the books, passed
in 1981, which would allow federal ministers to call for emission caps on
vehicles. However, the car
manufacturers went to Trudeau and said they would implement this policy
voluntarily. As a result, the 1981
Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Efficiency Act has never gone into force. We need to stop being so reliant on cars
that land use planning has been designed to accommodate the use of cars. We now have 680 million cars in the world
and numbers will grow - look at the number of cars in China and the growth rate
of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in North America. Canadians are now less fuel
efficient than after the oil shock in 1973. We cannot tinker around the edges of the fossil fuel problem. Our addiction to fossil fuels is the single
greatest threat to the planet. I do not
think barbarism - when people take hostage a school full of children as in
Chechnya, this is not terrorism: it is barbarism - is the main problem. All of these things are critical problems
but the most critical problem will come if we destroy the planet’s ability to
sustain life past the point that we are able to adapt.
Andy Clarke: Thank you, Elizabeth. After hearing your comments I feel ill at ease. Our situation is serious and it is becoming
more serious. Still, it can be turned
around. One book to refer to is Lester
Brown’s Plan B, which argues that we
need a crash program to turn this around.
Discussion with the panelists
following the panel presentations
Newton Bowles: How can population keep going up if the birthrate is
going down? The UN Population Fund says
that population will level off (at 9 billion).
Madeline Weld: There is a simple explanation why population will continue to
grow even as birth rates go down. In
the 1960s, the annual growth was 2.2 percent, but now it is 1.4 percent. But because there now is a larger base of
people, the actual number of people added to the planet is still 74 million a
year. There are two reasons not to feel
comfortable: There are a huge number of
young people still to enter their “breeding stage” (a biological term). Even if everyone went to a one-child policy,
the population would still increase. There is a “rule of 70” to use to figure this out. Take 70 and divide it by the annual growth
rate in order to get the number of years that it will take the population to
double. In some parts of Africa the
population is doubling every 20 to 25 years. A lot of people think a crash is going to happen.
Elizabeth May: Madeline referred to
immigration as a blip. Yet, 70 percent
of America’s growth is immigration and this is certainly not a blip. This is due to the US Immigration Act of
1965 - no one foresaw that there would be such a huge increase. Hence the increase in cars in the world, and
in America, is because there are more people. We have to recognize that
consumption is an issue in this discussion. How many people have four-car garages?
We in the Sierra Club look at climate change as a function of
technology, consumption and population.
Diane MacIntyre: When we look at birthrates, we must also think of infant
mortality rates, including survival rates at year one. Also, we need to look at whether increased
income actually leads to increased birth rates. The basic issue is whether women can control their own
destinies. Where incomes of women
increase, do they also have the right to control their own reproductive
health? These are important questions
to add as subtext to this discussion. They can provide answers to other issues.
Elizabeth May: CIDA has concentrated on this issue, but President Bush and the
Catholic Church are advancing an unrealistic agenda. USAID have passed laws that ban any development NGO from
receiving funds for reproductive health information if there is any indication
that the NGO will give any counseling on abortion. Women’s clinics are denied funding if there is any chance that
they are counseling for abortion. We
should massively invest in the empowerment of women and girls. And this is not just about improving
literacy and women’s standard of living. I was working on negotiating the Earth Charter Commission, which was a
difficult document, particularly with respect to reproductive rights. Princess
Basma of Jordan and also a nun, who didn’t agree with the Pope, felt the
language had to be watered down. We
must educate women and girls; and we need to work to change US policies and the
views of the Republican right.
Madeline Weld: I agree with Elizabeth – that Bush and the Pope have caused much
damage. The empowerment of women is a
worthy goal in its own right. The
education of women, however, is a long-term goal we should pursue but we also
need short-term solutions. While we are
educating young girls, their older sisters and grown women are having more
kids. This often means, as in Africa,
that girls cannot stay in school because they need to take care of family
members. We need to supply birth
control to illiterate poor women. This
would help reduce population growth by about one-third.
Azaletch Worku Asfaw: I think there needs to be greater correlation between population
and poverty, as in Africa high birth rates are related to the economy. How can you give birth control without an
appropriate infrastructure (like schools and clinics) to reach people? This cannot happen without the economic
Madeline Weld: There is a huge correlation between poverty and birth rates, but
it is possible to dispense birth control with simple structures.
Marion Dewar: Longitudinal studies in public health services have shown that
just distributing contraception at a local level does not work. We need to look at how social justice issues
relate to population growth. Here in
Canada, Aboriginal peoples’ rates went down – but they went down because of a
lack of social justice. Now, Aboriginal
people are reproducing at higher rates. In Africa, especially with AIDS where 10-year- olds are bringing up
families, there is a real social justice issue. We need to look at issues from a public health and social justice
perspective. We cannot separate these issues.
Hannah Newcombe: I recently read a report called the Downward Spiral by the U.S. Institute of Peace about HIV/AIDS. It seems a large part of Africa is becoming
depopulated and there is a downward spiral socially.
Elizabeth May: I agree. Stephen Lewis
has been clear that we should be doing more in Africa. We have big carbon problems, but also Big
Pharma – these companies are interested in cures for rich people. Again, this
is a big issue, particularly for places like Africa.
Janis Alton: I have a question for Elizabeth about the problem of the military
contributing to environmental change and the amount of pollution created by
preparations for war and by war itself. What are your comments?
Elizabeth May: Yes, the military complex is the largest polluter. Which is the larger trade today (the sex
trade or arms trade)? I think arms are in the lead. And there is a tight connection between fossil fuels and
security. The United States intervened
in Afghanistan when it wanted a pipeline in the Caspian Sea, and its interest
in Iraq is clear. Frankly in my
viewpoint we cannot run out of oil fast enough. There is a close connection between military spending, concerns
about security and fossil fuel addiction. This also indicates that a change in energy sources would mean a power
shift. With renewable resources
available at regional and local levels, coupled with demand-side management,
there would no longer be the same power dynamics. Getting off fossil fuels and
demilitarization go together.
Dwight Fulford: What we can do in Canada is raise the gas tax, but we could also
put a limit to people having fleets of cars. A better way may be to put a tax on cars depending on the amount of fuel
Elizabeth May: I hope that the Sierra Club may succeed in getting legislation
introduced to the House of Commons to mandate fuel economy standards. Still, manufacturers believe this won’t have
an impact because we only consume a small number of cars per year. However, this is the same size market as
California – which along with New York and other states, want fuel economy
standards. We would like to see more
manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars and hybrid cars in Canada. We should implement a carbon tax and mandate
fuel economy. The 1981 Vehicle
Emissions Control Act, is on the books, never implemented.
Group discussion Saturday September
Andy Clarke (chair).
disagree with the view expressed this morning that more prosperity means more
population growth – one of the key determinants of population declines in
fertility is progress in the status and education of women. Women will, generally, choose to have fewer
children when they can make that decision and when they have freedom to make
that decision. Then Madeline criticized
CIDA for its lack of focus on population growth. I agree that CIDA has not done
are continuing modestly to provide family planning facilities. We can all unite on this: to urge that
Canada meet the obligations that it accepted at Rio, Cairo and Johannesburg
(and Beijing for that matter). But
where I start to have serious problems is where you, Madeline, start to talk
about barriers to migration, and about population policy. Population policy sounds logical but, when I
hear what lies behind it, I get uneasy. The objective both in Canada and the
developing world should not, in my view, be to achieve population stability but
to achieve the kind of society – human rights, women’s rights and opportunities
– where (among other things) population growth ceases to be a major
has a high consuming society and we do harm to the environment. As Elizabeth May has said, we have got to
reduce our collective strain on the environment. I become uneasy when this thought is carried over and we start
talking about barriers to migration. What we would be saying is that poor people in a poor country consume
less, and therefore damage the world environment less. If we let them into Canada, they are going
to consume more and therefore it is our duty - to our environment - to stop
this. I worry about what the implications in population policy are when we get
to environmental policy by dealing with migration. Our society benefits by a modicum of migration and I am proud
that we have, more or less, the level we have.
we agree on a Canadian position on assistance to women in the developing world
to meet their desires on population, to provide necessary education and support
so that they can play a full role in society? The other question is, we need a
policy for Canada, but there are a lot of points in this area of policy that
are difficult and divisive.
Cassils and I produced the document (Why
Canada needs a population policy. May 2001) which Michael mentioned. All cities are under stress. Some of this stress is demographic from the
echo of the baby boom, but much of it is from our immigration policy. I agree our society benefits from a modicum
of immigration. The government needs a
policy where immigration is at the same level as emigration. Each country needs to develop its own
suggest a recommendation that CIDA define its population programs to counter
the Bush and Pope attitude. CIDA should
be pushed and stimulated in this direction. Secondly, the biggest issue where population is important is the
environment issue that Elizabeth May described. This is the single most important issue that the world has on its
table. We need not just focus abroad,
but on Canadian consumption and its adherence to the Kyoto protocol.
Group has taken a long time coming round to discussing this topic. I think it should be the same kind of topic
at the 2005 annual meeting. At this
point, I would like to see the recommendations recognize the nexus between
population growth and migration, and also resource consumption and environment
change. I don’t think you can separate them.
problem is conspicuous consumption. We
need to persuade the government about a carbon tax on gas, to bring down
consumption. Then immigration is a
wholly different thing. Conspicuous
consumption does not have anything to do with immigration.
followed some discussion whether there was a relationship between environmental
problems like greenhouse gases and immigration to Canada. Madeline Weld repeated her argument that
there was a problem with migration and that the birth rate in Canada is not
dropping. Others argued that immigrants
were being pulled into Canada for “our own selfish interests” (e.g.,
maintaining pension funds) and environment and immigration were wholly separate
Clarke asked what Canada could do for those countries that would welcome
assistance in responding to population problems. There was general consensus
that CIDA should spend more money on education. Others emphasized the need to follow through on commitments made
in Cairo, Rio and Johannesburg.
group discussed whether Canada actually has a population growth problem, and
whether there needed to be policies to guide such growth. Many of the participants felt that the
impact of consumption on the environment was a more pressing concern. Madeline Weld felt that consumption needed
to be addressed in tandem with population.
group decided to make proposals on the empowerment of women and on positive
government incentives in the form of tax credits for Canadians to promote
renewable energy resources.
and proposals adopted at the conference plenary session Sunday, September 12
Growth and Decline; Resource Consumption and Climate Change
1. Population and the
Empowerment of Women
In many parts of the world, women have poor access to health care and
family planning services, and have little economic, social and political power.
The empowerment of women is both desirable for its own sake and a key element
in achieving the stabilization of population. The Group of 78 strongly urges
that Canada meet the commitments it made at the Cairo International Conference
on Population and Development in 1994 and commit more resources to support
family planning, education and reproductive health services in the context of
primary health care.
2. The Transition to Renewable Energy
The only feasible alternative to energy obtained from fossil fuels,
both a rapidly diminishing non-renewable resource and the principal cause of
climate change, is renewable energy. Renewable energy options include hydro,
wind, solar voltaic, biomass and geothermal. Canada has adopted limited
measures to assist the development and introduction of renewable energy
technologies. It is recommended that additional measures to accelerate the
transition to renewable energy be implemented, including appropriate regulatory
change to increase energy conservation and efficiency, subsidies to support the
production of renewable energy, a transfer of tax benefits from fossil fuels to
renewable energy and other appropriate incentives.
Table of Contents
GLOBALIZATION OF POVERTY:
LEVELING UP OR LEVELING DOWN
Chair: Murray Thomson
Rapporteurs: Dolma T. Dongtotsang
Andrew Clark (Senior
Advisor, Policy Branch, CIDA)
Thomas Turay (Lecturer,
would hope this panel attempts to address a number of questions about the
globalization of poverty, namely:
- The role of
international financial institutions.
- What is going on in the
- How important are the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and what else could and should be
- Canada’s successes and
failures in this arena.
- What should the G-78 be
doing to hasten progress towards achieving the MDGs?
- What recommendations
should be presented to government?
draw attention to the fact that CIDA’s Sustainable Development Strategy is
guided by the MDGs, and also note that a recent conference at the United
Nations headquarters, involving some 3,000 representatives of civil society,
was entitled “MDGs and Civil Society: Take Action”.
ON TRACK FOR POVERTY GOAL
would like to thank you for the opportunity to step back from my day-to-day
work in CIDA and face the bigger-picture questions. My work is mainly with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and with the Department of Finance here in
Ottawa. The IMF Board meets three times a week, for six hours each time, and
they normally discuss the situation in three countries each session. What I
will say are my own views, and I am decidedly not simply presenting the
government’s views. I will follow the questions you have outlined.
How important are the MDGs and what other goals and
targets should be considered?
Millennium Development Goals are very important for a number of reasons. First,
they provide an anchor for long-term development cooperation policy. For
example, MDG 1 has the goal of halving global poverty by 2015 and lays out a
clear objective of what to do, and states how we should judge ourselves. It
provides CIDA with an objective in common with the global community. This is the bottom line. It does not pertain
to Canadian commercial interests, nor focus on promoting good relations between
Canada and Country X, nor on promoting near-term security objectives. In the current post-September 11 environment
this objective is deemed even more important, for widespread poverty is not
conducive to global peace and security. I am not saying that investments in
security and intelligence are unimportant, but they cannot come at the expense
of investments in long-term poverty reduction. The globe is still beset by
massive poverty and wealth inequality, and this state of affairs is not
conducive to security. Development is the long-term global security agenda.
the MDGs are not just an anchor for development cooperation policy but for
overall Canadian policy as well. They
have to be tackled on all policy fronts, and in particular trade and
immigration. In terms of a leading
global example, the recent White Paper on Globalization and Trade published by
the Department of Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom is important. Ostensibly it is the British government’s
blueprint for its international trade agenda, but it reads more like a
development policy paper, with more than one-third devoted to the role of trade
and investment in global poverty reduction. I would find it hard to imagine our
Departments of Industry or Trade producing a comparable document. It is
something that is clearly not on their radar.
the MDGs (especially MDG 2 through 8) are important as they break down
development problems into manageable slices. They help us focus on measurable results, and can hold the global
community to account for progress, either made or not made. At the same time we have to recognize that
they are all interlinked, which would help us to assess better what does and
does not work, and where we should put our efforts.
the first goal, of poverty reduction,
we are globally on track, mainly because of results in China, India and
Indonesia, and this should be considered a major achievement. Not so much progress, though, is being made
on poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Africa. This
points to the need to shift more resources to these locations. On the education front, while we are also making
significant progress, we still need much more investment in this area and in
particular in Africa. With regard to child and maternal mortality we are not
making progress, which again points to the need for much more investment and a
health systems approach. Thus, while ODA has been increasing, it is still
insufficient, which is reflected in calls by the United Nations for some
additional US$50 billion in ODA. On
another dimension, the issues of climate
change and the promotion of good
governance are missing from the MDGs and they should be linked to the
What is the record of the IFIs and in particular the IMF?
may feel that the IMF and success do not belong in the same sentence. But there
have been a number of successes by the IMF and these should be touted:
the IMF’s focus on macroeconomic stability, that is, low inflation and
fiscally sustainable policies, is important. For while not a sufficient condition for economic growth or for
sustainable poverty reduction, it is a necessary condition, as the longer-term
aspects of development can be more in focus if fiscal stability exists. It is also noteworthy that the IMF does not
necessarily equate fiscal sustainability with reduced spending, but rather with
increased revenues from better tax collection, especially from the élite
populace. Also, the IMF has called for increased external aid, especially in
terms of providing budgetary support, and they recognize the importance of
public sector investment in social sectors.
IMFs focus on global financial stability
is important not just to low-income countries, but middle-income ones as
well. Financial crises can rapidly
erode the poverty reduction gains made in developing countries, as the
Southeast Asian crisis showed. The IMF
does have a lot to answer for in that case, and bears responsibility for
encouraging capital account openness – and making a bad situation worse when
the crisis began. They have learned from this experience, especially the need
to be better at predicting crises.
terms of debt the IMF has been
unfairly demonized. While the
prevailing view is that the IMF insists that countries should not default and
must pay their debts, this is not necessarily the case. It is more accurate to say that countries
should not get into an unsustainable situation in the first place but, if they
are there, countries may be encouraged to restructure debt. This is another,
more polite word to say “default in an orderly way”. I have seen cases where
the IMF would have been willing to endorse restructuring, and the country has
decided to tough it out.
the Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism (SDRM), which allows countries to
declare bankruptcy, may also be back on the agenda after being on the
backburner. A failure by the IMF in this arena is with regard to the HIPC and
enhanced HIPC programs.
the failures of the IMF are numerous, there are three that require focus.
- Debt: The HIPC and Enhanced HIPC processes of debt
relief (created in 1996 and 1999 respectively) have been far too onerous,
costly and above all too slow. While the idea was good in principle, in practice it has been bad.
Of the 37 eligible countries only 14 have made it all the way through and
received their full debt relief, and some of these are again experiencing
unsustainable debts. The IMF should share the blame for this with its
of Economic Reform: The IMF appears not to have fully grasped and
internalized this concept. Programs work only if countries believe it is the right thing to
do, and the challenge for developing countries is how to get the IMF to
accept they should come to own its policies.
- Speaking to the North. The IMF has not spoken
as forcefully enough to the North as it has to the South about what needs
to be done. It has not laid enough emphasis on increasing aid flows nor on
removing barriers to trade.
What is Canada’s record in helping the global community move towards
the achievement of the MDGs?
Aid Levels: Since the MDGs were
adopted, there has been an 8 percent increase in ODA and it is expected to
double by 2010. However, Canada is
still not near where it used to be in terms of ODA as a percentage of GDP. We
used to be 7th or 8th
in the donor league, and we are now 13th. Reaching the MDGS would require a
substantial increment in money now.
Type of Aid: Budgetary support (which
comprises cash grants) is important. It gives maximum flexibility to the
recipient government and supports country ownership of programs funded by aid.
It also entails low transaction costs.
Where it goes: There has been an
increased geographical focus on the poorest countries and an increased sectoral
focus, particularly on basic health education and HIV/AIDS.
Movement on the provision
of HIV/AIDS generic drugs: Canada has been the first to change legislation
to allow for the implementation of the WTO agreement on this.
On the IMF moving to an enhanced surveillance approach: Canada is promoting a model whereby
countries themselves would develop a program. This would be done by themselves and not in negotiation with the IMF,
and therefore without conditionalities. Countries would then ask the IMF to come twice a year to determine a)
whether it is a good program and b) whether they are implementing it adequately.
This would entail an overall assessment rather than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’
determination. It would also give a country ownership over its own economic
agenda and provide a signal to markets and creditors and donors on how that
country is doing without taking on further IMF debt. This would keep the Fund
out of areas where it need not be, and it can focus efforts on technical
assistance in terms of resources for low-income countries. The drawback could
be if the signal didn’t work effectively, and if increased concessional funds
were not forthcoming from donors.
POVERTY – AND LIVING OUR DREAMS
is a very emotional subject for me. Having lived and experienced poverty, this
topic is a personal story. In sharing this story, I want to thank my mother as
she taught me how to cope with poverty. I was three when I lost my father. We
lived in the northern part of Sierra Leone in a community of 1,200 people, and
I was raised by my mother.
want to put poverty in the context of rural Sierra Leone, and I am angry with
the IMF. Sierra Leone should be very rich: it has diamonds, gold, mercury,
petroleum and iron ore. Yet it is at the very bottom of the Human Development
our community there was only one health centre and it had no nurses or dispensary
for 12 years. It only got medicines last year, when I returned to my community
and took $400 worth of drugs to present to the clinic. It was also only last
year that our community had a high school, which has not yet been officially
approved – and it is run by teachers who are all volunteers. The rice we eat is
mostly imported, and it is a task to get one daily meal. I used to wake up in
the morning not sure if there was going to be a meal for the day. The meal was
usually eaten at the end of the day. Yet, Sierra Leone is a country with all
sorts of resources. While I was at university, we had one hour of electricity
and only during that hour did we get water. We had otherwise to travel three to
four hours to get water. Candles were used when there was no electricity. All
this has led me to believe that the Millennium Development Goals are extremely
me qualify that comment. The MDGs are
very important in theory but in practice they mean nothing as yet. Good
intentions are not enough if they are not translated into reality. The UN
Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in his 2000 report entitled, Road map towards the implementation of the
United Nations Millennium Declaration, said Africa suffers particularly
from marginalization in the process of globalization. In the last decade,
Africa’s share in trade, investment and advances in technology has diminished.
situation in Sierra Leone has been made even worse by the 10-year rebel war. It
has a population of only 5.5 million people, and many intellectuals left the
country because of the war. I have been back to help peace work, with CIDA’s
assistance, and to get my family out. Why has the country been in abject
poverty? There are many causes. Here is a list of external causes: the exploitation of resources by multinational
corporations; these external forces control the economy and we do not control
either the resources or their price; the government is deeply in debt
internationally. Domestic causes
include: high rates of illiteracy; rural-urban migration; a neglected
infrastructure; ill-equipped schools; the marginalizing of women; corruption
and mismanagement of public resources by politicians and senior civil servants.
As well, the civil war has created a culture of violence and a lost generation
of young people; and there has been a denial of basic human needs.
following statistical information reveals that in the case of Sierra Leone, the
realization of MDGs is still far-fetched:
- 57 percent of the
population have less than $1 per day for consumption
- 76 percent of the rural
population are below the poverty line
- 53 percent of the urban
population are below the poverty line
- 68 percent of the total
population are therefore below the poverty line
arms that fuelled the war came from the West in exchange for diamonds and gold.
This proliferation of arms must be eliminated in the South. Children are being
targeted, because the small arms are being designed (in weight) for these
children, causing them to be both the victims and the victimizers. No human
development can take place in this situation.
picture has been presented elsewhere that women have been empowered, but that
is not the case. Women rarely hold senior positions in the government, except
for positions such as gender affairs. We have had Canadian support through the
efforts of Development and Peace, Partnership Africa Canada and Peacefund
Canada. They have helped improve the participation of civil society groups: for
example, the local group 50/50 that seeks to encourage women’s representation
in politics. I have been involved with different peace initiatives since 1998
with support from CIDA, and have successfully trained other peace workers. I
feel that it is important that CIDA should strengthen this civil society participation.
recommendations do I have for the Group of 78?
think you need to educate the Canadian public with your vision and your
mission. and successes. Canadians are too modest; you should let people know
what you do. You have to leave modesty behind and educate the public, other
NGOs and the universities about the importance of the Millennium Development
Goals. Also, the Group of 78 should look into branching out in other provinces
and networking more with other organizations.
Recommendations for the
Canadian government: It should strengthen CIDA
financially. It should continue to play a role in Africa and use its influence
among the Commonwealth countries. It also needs to increase its aid to the LDCs
and its role in peacekeeping and training the judiciary in these countries. It
should collaborate strongly with the education ministries in southern
countries, forgive LDC debts and help lead debate in how to move NEPAD forward.
We currently live in a world of fear, a world that
glorifies war, a world of misinformation and a world that breeds hopelessness
and hate. There is a growing culture of global violence that is eroding the
beauty and sacredness of humanity and the universe. Let’s dream for a world of
hope, love, nonviolence, abundant life and social justice. Let us dream for a
world where Africans, Asians, Europeans, First Nations, Indigenous Peoples,
North and South Americans can live as co-equals and enjoy the fullness of this
divine universe. And let us live our dreams.
Discussion with panelists following the panel
Pierre Joncas: All developing countries are lectured by the IMF about the need to
keep inflation down. Has the IMF criticized the United States for borrowing
abroad for its military expenditures in the war in Iraq?
Andrew Clark: Yes. The IMF is concerned
that all countries maintain a sustainable level of inflation. The U.S. can
afford to borrow and can get away with it over a longer period of time. IMF has
commented on this and its comment is on their website.
Karin Brothers: One of the MDG goals is to
reduce poverty with the understanding that this means extreme poverty. The
progress that has been seen is mainly driven by China and India. Donor agencies
have had very little to do with this reduction. What are the other forces
contributing to that?
Andrew Clark: I don’t think that the IMF has had anything to do with it.
Progress was due to their national policies. There have been other examples of
national policies taking charge. For
example, the IMF had a loan program with Vietnam where one of the conditions –
transparency of central bank dealings - was not being fulfilled. Vietnam did not agree with the condition and
paid back the loan.
Elaine Harvey: I was at the recent UN and
Civil Society conference, where most speakers said the MDGs were attainable.
But if the rest of us keep saying that they are not attainable, they will not
be. We should be optimistic and encouraging. The MDGs are extremely important
and civil society has a role to play in the year before an appraisal of the
goals takes place.. We have heard about the role of developed countries in LDCs
with reference to MDGs. But we haven’t heard what LDCs can teach us about their
own development, and about human rights.
Thomas Turay: Yes, we do need to turn the tables. The LDCs are spoilt as they
have always been looking to the West for guidance. There is a need for Canadian
NGOs to partner and work with Sierra Leone NGOs where dialogue can take place
with no dictation. The local organizations can then express their needs based
on a holistic approach. Through the Coady Institute and CIDA I have been
working since 1998 on conflict resolution and partnering civil society in
Sierra Leone. I first went for three months to work in a hostile area, and this
has now stretched beyond three years. This is an example of the right way that
partnership can work.
discussion Saturday, September 11
Diane McIntyre: As an education tool, a member
or members of the G-78 group might take up the challenge of living on $1 per
day. Bearing in mind the Canadian
context, this would exclude accommodation and heating expenses
Judy Barber: Another educational tool can be to have immigrant primary school
children give talks in schools about their experience of growing up in poverty.
It could encourage schools to raise funds for, and connect with, schools in
On MDGs. The group agreed it was important to use the
MDGs as a framework for Canada’s engagement with the developing world, in
particular those goals that target the needs of women and girls. Some
participants acknowledged that they had not heard of the MDGs before this
conference and therefore it was important to increase awareness among G-78
members as well as among the public at large. One suggestion was for a
hyperlink of the MDGs to be placed on the G-78 website.
Elaine Harvey: Canada has not established any guidelines for fulfilling the MDGs,
especially MDG 1 on halving poverty and hunger by 2015. It needs to be
encouraged to establish such guidelines, and the concentration should be on
MDG1. CIDA is currently researching how
they are contributing to the eight broad MDGs and a report should be ready by
mid-December. This is important as next fall countries have to make a progress
report to the UN General Assembly.
Élisabeth Barot: We should also focus attention on the Global Compact in which
signatory companies have promised to practice good corporate social
responsibility in their host countries. An information link on this would also be important.
Aid. More than 50 percent of Canadians would like
to see an increase in the amount of money spent. Murray Thomson pointed
out that Canadian ODA presently stands at 0.26 percent of GDP, well below the
accepted benchmark of 0.7 percent. CIDA needs to be given more funds to help
meet the goal of MDG 1. It should support NGOs that have a strong poverty
alleviation component in their programs. Programs that help strengthen civil society and promote partnership
should also be supported. It is also important to encourage more effective debt
relief and the further reduction of non-tariff barriers to trade, in order to
have a positive impact on global poverty reduction
Thomas Turay: Every year the G-78 should focus its attention on a
particular developing country with abject poverty. Hospital supplies that are thrown away in Canada can save lives
in that country. Many other items such as school desks and other teaching
supplies can be shipped to make a significant difference for children in very poor
countries. The Group should encourage
teachers to integrate poverty, peace and gender issues into the curriculum of
Canadian schools, by supporting initiatives such as those of Educating for
Peace. The Group should also press the government to fulfill its commitments to
Resolutions and proposals
adopted at the September 12, 2004
Globalization Of Poverty
a leadership role in promoting an enhanced national understanding of and
commitment to global poverty issues and the importance of the Millenium
recommend that the G-78 focus its efforts on increasing the level of awareness
among the Canadian public of global poverty issues and the importance of paying
significant attention and commitment to poverty eradication strategies. To do so the G-78 group should immediately
embark upon educating its members and the broader Canadian public on the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In
particular emphasis should be placed on MDG 1, which calls for halving the
proportion of people living in extreme poverty by 2015 and MDG 3, which seeks
to promote gender equality and empowerment of women. Some of the actions
proposed for effecting this recommendation are, inter alia:
a hyperlink to the MDGs and the Global Compact on the G-78 website to educate
members and visitors.
- Each year the G-78
should identify a developing country with significant abject poverty to
focus its efforts on.
- Communicating to the
relevant government departments and the Government of Canada as a whole
the importance of establishing their own guidelines and fulfilling their
commitment towards achievement of the MDGs and their need to demonstrate
leadership among developed countries in this arena.
- Encouraging CIDA to
focus greater resources and development efforts on the achievement of
- Supporting initiatives
such as those of Educating for Peace and the United Nations Association of
Canada to encourage teachers to integrate poverty, peace and gender issues
into the curriculum of Canadian schools; and initiatives to have Canadian
immigrants who have experienced extreme poverty give testimonials in
2. Lobby the Canadian
government to adopt policies which are conducive to global poverty reduction
Some of the key action areas in this regard are:
- Providing leadership in the
support and achievement of the MDGs. Recognizing the intimate connection
between security and development, we urge the Government of Canada, and CIDA in
particular, to give greater priority to conflict prevention strategies in its
development programming designed to meet the MDGs.
- Increasing the level of
Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) from its present abysmal level of 0.26% of GNP to reach and exceed the
established ODA target among donor countries of 0.7% of GNP.
- Pushing for significant
additional funding so that relevant departments can provide additional
financial support for Canadian civil society organizations which sponsor
partnership programs for facilitating enhanced poverty reduction to support MDG
- Working with other donor
countries to develop less onerous and lengthy eligibility conditions for
Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), as well as to devote attention to those
countries who have benefited from HIPC relief but are falling back into
- Notwithstanding the
favourable results that have occurred from Canada’s Least Developed Countries
Initiative (LDCI) which removed all quota and duty restrictions on imports from
these countries in 2003, there remains the need to focus greater attention on
trade capacity building in LDCs, both to increase their foreign exchange
earnings and their domestic industries; and a need to reduce non-tariff
barriers that continue to hinder the even greater enhancement of LDC trade to
Canada and other developed countries.
- The Government of Canada
should promote the removal of subsidies in developed countries on domestically
produced goods and services that compete with developing country exports, of
which the United States subsidies on cotton production is one of the most
- Amending the C-5 legislation
to promote the expanded provision of generic HIV/AIDS drugs to those most in
need in developing countries.
Table of Contents
RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT
Chair: Christine Harmston
Rapporteur: Karen McMullen
Panelist: John Packer (consultant on peace and
Christine Harmston: I will say a few words about the Responsibility to Protect, or
R2P, and leave the content of the subject to our speaker. The R2P is a concept that has arisen out of
the dire, desperate need to find better ways to prevent violent conflict and
protect fellow human beings. It has been argued that R2P is not only an issue
of deciding when there should be military intervention for purposes of human
protection, but it is also about the responsibility to prevent, react and
Annan has said that it is “not a matter of a right to intervention, but rather
of a responsibility – in the first instance, a responsibility of all States to
protect their own populations, but ultimately a responsibility of the whole
human race – to protect our fellow human beings from extreme abuse, wherever
and whenever it occurs.”
flurry of questions immediately arise in my mind vis à vis the criteria that exists, or should exist, to decide when
the circumstances call for the international community to override state
sovereignty and intervene to save lives; and there are many questions about who
holds, or should hold, the reins of power to decide.
helps me to think about a specific context, in order to navigate through the
R2P ideas. So I think back to my experiences of working with vulnerable
populations along the borders of Burma, working with refugee groups and with
organizations that are assisting the internally displaced. I have been witness
to attacks by the Burmese army on refugee camps that are based on Thai soil,
and have listened to people’s testimony of what is happening inside rural
ethnic areas of Burma – incredible human rights abuses – where the
international eye cannot reach. One could argue that aspects of the R2P are
being applied through the diplomatic angle (UN General Assembly resolutions)
and sanctions, but these efforts have been under way for years with no change to
the political and humanitarian crisis.
is the R2P model the right vehicle to use even to debate “enough is enough” and
push for a step higher within the range of options that exist? Is there even
enough consensus, in real terms and not just on paper, about what R2P actually
sure many of us in this room can each think of a specific situation somewhere
in the world where there is violence, or potential for violence, and where
concrete action should be taken, and is not being taken. This propels us to
ask, what is currently in our collective toolbox, within the United Nations, to
address the crises we are witnessing and experiencing around the world – and
should the R2P paradigm be a part of this tool-kit or not?
But, first, let us hear about the R2P from someone who can
speak well to its complexities and challenges, deepen our understanding, infuse
even more questions into our thinking on this issue than we have already, and
ultimately provoke us into discussion and critical reflection.
John Packer: I come to this subject from a broad base. I am, first of all, the
child of immigrant parents (a father in the Indian Army) and at university I
studied political theory with a focus on sexual harassment before moving into
some peace research and the study of international law at the time of the
placement of Cruise missiles in Europe. I remained in Europe through the last
20 years, initially to continue my studies and then to work for the United
Nations on the protection of human rights, followed by almost nine years with
the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe seeking to prevent
inter-ethnic conflict in transitional societies. It is my pleasure to be back in Canada and to be able to share my
views with a Canadian audience. As a
side remark, while abroad I noticed that Canadians working in Europe on similar
matters did not tend to associate among themselves, and I took this as a
healthy sign of young people looking outwards.
to the subject of this talk, which is to critique the report of the
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, headed by
Gareth Evans and Mohamed Zahnoun and inspired by Lloyd Axworthy. It focuses on
the question, as Christine has said, of how and when to intervene to save
lives. So, where are the starting points? The main one is the fact of
increasing interdependence that has been brought home to us from several
climactic events: Chernobyl, currency fluctuations spreading from Asia and
Latin America, environmental crises and growing problems that demand a holistic
approach. One could list among such problems the global risks of violence,
including risks of violence by non-traditional means and changing weapons
(box-cutters in civilian aircraft, saron gas in a Japanese subway). Interdependence
has also grown through computer technology and interference through hackers and
should also note the cost of failure to address the root causes of some of this
delinquency, not least the cost of exclusion and alienation of some populations.
situate these comments in the post-1945 context, we have shifted from
coexistence to cooperation. We have moved from the Westphalian model, the
billiard-ball theory of international relations: the theory of separate states
that intercept with each other in international relations, but what goes on
inside the ball is not of concern to others. After 1945 and discovery of the
Holocaust we endorsed and accepted the United Nations Charter with its
requirement and duty of all member states to cooperate. Peace and security, we
accepted, is dependent upon justice between and within states, and the law of
cooperation requires states to participate in good faith in efforts towards
economic and social development. The notion of sovereignty remains, but it includes
the duty to cooperate – a duty which member states of the United nations have
freely consented to accept.
we come to the more controversial area: the authority to act and the legitimate
use of force. The last possible recourse should be the use of military force.
The rule of law requires constraint. The UN Charter is clear in identifying
only two legitimate uses of force: 1) in self-defence, and 2) upon express
Security Council authorization to maintain or restore peace and security in the
common interest. In fact, the right of self-defence is strictly limited to
situations when in fact "an armed attack occurs
against a Member of the United Nations, [and] until the Security Council has
taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security"
to quote Article 51 of the Charter. But
far before one gets to such situations where force might legitimately be used
either in self-defense or collectively in the common interest, there is the
duty to cooperate to address so many of the social and economic issues which
lay at the roots of violent conflict.
cooperation in the social and economic sphere should have a conflict prevention
dividend. This logic is express in international human rights law. For example, the Preambles of the two
Covenants state that, "in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the
Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the
equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the
foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world". The duty to cooperate is also express in
international human rights law. For
example, Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights requires each state party "to take steps, individually and through
international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical,
to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving
progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present
Covenant". As a multilateral
treaty, this places a duty on all parties to pursue régimes of cooperation and
assistance in good faith and without exploitative interests. It is reasonable
to expect all states parties to help one another in this endeavour of obvious
common interest. There is nothing in such documents about coercion, much less
the use of military force. Of course, Lloyd Axworthy was operating in the
aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo – which
present particular challenges – when he inspired the International
Commission. Nonetheless, the law of
cooperation remains generally applicable, and perhaps all the more important.
to my criticisms of the report. They centre on the single question: Why the rush to force? One might note
the composition of the commission. Only one member was a woman, and so perhaps
unsurprisingly in the document there is a fixation on power and coercion. Dr.
Helen Caldicott years ago popularized the phrase “Missile Envy” to describe
male dominance in terms of power and militarism, and there is an echo of the
same mentality in R2P. It deals with irresponsible or incapable governments,
and offers a perverse understanding of sovereignty and intervention.
Sovereignty does not mean unrestrained power. It is not a trump card for an
irresponsible government to play in order to block any form of intervention.
Rather, the UN Charter and subsequent international law has limited state
sovereignty. Indeed, it is part of the
very definition of the state that it be capable of entering into international
relations and being held responsible by other states. In the post 1945 era this means, inter alia, the responsibility to respect the human rights and
fundamental freedoms of all persons (not just citizens) within the jurisdiction
of the state and to seek to meet the minimum needs of its population. Increasingly, it means good governance. If
the state fails, its responsibility is at issue – and as a multilateral,
cooperative régime, the Charter system logically means that the responsibility
of other states then also becomes at issue. But this is not a matter of "sovereignty". It is a matter of responsibility.
R2P report deals with three forms of responsibility. First, the responsibility to prevent. It has a
chapter on prevention, but regrettably pursues it in coercive terms (either
sanctions or some form of force). Then, in another chapter, the responsibility to react to a government
that practices or cannot control gross violations of human rights or similar
serious abuses. This focuses on military reactions. Finally, the responsibility to rebuild, which places
this work only in terms of post-conflict reconstruction. In effect, it jumps
immediately to the use of force, and there are no intermediate steps or space
for intervening reflections or actions. It provides an ex-post facto justification for actions, such as the bombing of
Kosovo. In this regard, it leaves out a most important factor which is
essential to the rule of law: people need foreseeability, especially with
regard to the possible use of force. In effect, and notwithstanding its
reference to required Security Council authorization, as a matter of
humanitarian imperative R2P seems to endorse the doctrine enunciated by
Madeline Albright at the time of the Kosovo intervention: “we will act
multilaterally when we can, and unilaterally if we must.” It is a doctrine that
has been adopted by George Bush – if not in the inverse!
is perhaps instructive to consider what has happened since the report was
published and R2P was promoted. Its logic has been used in the context of Iraq,
and now potentially in the Sudan. There is a reserved entitlement to act: if
the state fails to act, who can take responsibility – who in fact can act? The
main powers, that is who. Nobody has suggested Grenada might take action
against the United States for abuses witnessed there. Of course, small states
simply have no means to intervene elsewhere. Frankly, not many states do. So,
the logic means those who can, should. This sounds perilously close to might
makes right. So, who is to decide? One argument made in some circles is that of
American exceptionalism – that the unique power of the world's leading
democracy warrants, even demands, its action without the same constraints as on
others. This doctrine of exceptionalism harks back to a pre-Westphalian régime
of "just war" and, in effect, lawlessness.
surprisingly, few outside Canada want to talk about R2P, at the United Nations
or elsewhere. For many, it signifies justification for unilateral action by
those who can. If this is legitimate, why shouldn’t countries like China,
Brazil or Nigeria also take such unilateral action? Is it great Canadian policy
to support and indeed press this doctrine, as we have done both in theory and
in practice in the Darfur situation? I am not arguing against action, but let’s
not be naïve. We risk being used by others who have other interests and may not
share our good intentions. To argue for coercive intervention knowing we are
rarely capable of doing so ourselves is essentially to pave the road for others
whose actions we do not control. This is not the definition of
are the alternatives? There are lots of measures we should exhaust first, which
the UN Charter requires in terms of economic and social activities. There are
diplomatic interventions at UN headquarters and on the ground. Most crises have
long-term trajectories. The Sudan is an example par excellence. It did not come suddenly; it has been two decades
in the brewing. The same is the case with Kosovo whose proximate and immediate
causes were years in the making. However, the University of Maryland's
“Minorities at Risk” project indicates that there is a limited time between the
expression of grievance and the eruption of violence, which will happen if the
world does not pay attention in proper time – and that time-line is shrinking
as small groups are prepared to take action and even to sacrifice themselves.
Reasonably, we must ask why are they prepared to do so? This takes us into the
problems of exclusion, of injustice, of economic inequality, to some of the
root causes of violence. Guns and bombs are not useful here.
can the world address such problems in a serious manner? We need institutions
that can do so at the global, regional and national levels. Unfortunately, we
have so far invested little in peace, with almost no dedicated institutions or
developed practices. Alone are the institutions of the OSCE High Commissioner
on National Minorities, while earlier this summer the UN Secretary-General
appointed a Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide in recognition of the
tenth anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. As modest as it is, I can at least
say that of the 25 countries in which the OSCE High Commissioner was engaged
over some ten years, none has erupted into violence. Notably, the High
Commissioner has a staff of only 20 people and a small budget of some €2
million per year; the UN Special Advisor is as yet a part-time appointment with
the assistance of just two professional staff. But these are evidently
available means which should be replicated and broadly supported. More
generally, we need to invest and mobilize in the active prevention of violence
and make it in practice the first priority as the R2P declares. This entails a
broad and sustained policy of both structural and operational prevention with
coordinated efforts in the fields of social and economic development, bilateral
and multilateral diplomacy, and commensurate institutional capacity building.
Especially for a country such as Canada, interventionist and coercive
approaches seem misplaced.
conclusion, let me say that Canada's support of R2P has hold of the wrong end
of the stick. If the basic question is how and when should we be intervening to
save lives, then the answer is we should be taking the approach of prevention.
Specifically, we should be acting cooperatively and early, rather than
coercively and late. Not only will we stand a better chance of success, but it
is not in our interest to support a coercively interventionist approach. We
haven’t the capacity to coerce, and it's not in the spirit of our people. But
we do have comparative advantages in other areas: in governance, in the
management of diversity, in the experience of settling our own domestic
disputes, and in our positive disposition, history and reputation of helping
others. Even our relatively modest national interests and their limited
geographic projection give us an advantage in the perception of others as we are
generally viewed as an honest, impartial and reliable third party. In short,
Canada is well placed to be a peace-maker. A modest allocation of resources in
this direction can enhance and project Canada's capacities, and go towards the
advancement of a secure and peaceful world.
Questions and comments to
Metta Spencer: One thumb up, one thumb down!
What do you do with régimes that are not cooperative and you can’t
sweet-talk? Take Burma: when it comes to a dictator or a junta, coercion can be effective but it should be non-violent
coercion. This is a missing element in R2P. And there is the notion that you
can help a democratic opposition organize its own resistance, rather than
intervene with military force. The United States gave young people in Serbia
$40 million to overthrow the régime. A first step can be helping democratic
groups with cell-phones and photocopiers.
Janis Alton: I wonder if we can address the institution of war as an illegal
option, because of the universality of human rights?
Barbara Darling: R2P was developed as an
indirect means of reforming the UN Security Council. There should be scope for the Permanent Members to waive their
veto in these cases, rather than dealing with situations on a case-by-case
basis. I think that could be avoided by having the principles of R2P action
agreed at that high level and then, if “prevention” is the key word in some
situation, it should not have to go to the Council.
Jean Smith: I’d like an assessment of
Canadian action in Haiti. We have been sending goods there for assembly work at
low wages. We did not support President Aristide as democratic leader, but sent
troops there after the coup to “stabilize” the country. Comments, please.
Diane McIntyre: How do the participation of women and the International Criminal
Court and Security Council Resolution 1325 (on participation of women in peace
processes) all fit in together? The
women of Haiti were not consulted when Aristide was kicked out.
Response from John Packer: On Haiti, there are moves to build a conflict prevention capacity
and mechanism in the Caribbean. I would like to see a general feminization of
the discourse on conflict, and the participation of women in the peacemaking
process. There has been male domination of the military-industrial complex and
it needs countering.
has been illegal since 1945, if not 1928. The use of force in self-defence is
permissible and not considered war, in legal terms. Self-defence has to have a
legitimate public interest and, like international policing, be aimed at
securing order. We used to have
Ministries of War, which have changed to Ministries of Defence, and hopefully
may now be changed again to Ministries of Peace. But the military-industrial
complex is more robust than ever, and the investment in conflict prevention and
peace-building is still comparatively tiny.
are limits to sweet talk, as in hard cases such as Burma and Iraq. Saddam
Hussein’s Iraq manipulated the sanctions régime. Security Council resolution
688 authorized intervention in Iraq, and supported the use of force for
humanitarian purposes. If you look at the hard cases, or most of them, we could
have supported the democratic opposition. In the Balkans the democrats worked
at resistance for more than 10 years, and were angry at the Western failure to
support them. There was a success story in the Philippines, with the resistance
to Marcos. Macedonia is another
success, where a UN preventive force of only about 800 troops was deployed and
OSCE diplomats were engaged. So I agree
that there is plenty to do even in tough cases and late in the day.
On the UN Security Council itself, I agree on the need for
reform, and hope it will come as a result of the report, due in December, of
the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. The Council should be
enlarged to 21 or so members. But to ask the Permanent Five to waive their veto
is naïve. If they have it, they will use it. Of course, early preventive work through cooperation does not depend
upon Security Council authorization.
Group discussion Saturday, September 11
John Packer gave some more background
and clarification of the report, underlining his critique of R2P’s focus on
military action and emphasis on the use of coercion to protect, rather than on
non-coercive preventative measures. Ross
Francis pointed out that the document spoke of three responsibilities: to
prevent, react and rebuild. Before using force, says the document, “every
diplomatic and non-military avenue for the prevention or peaceful resolution of
the humanitarian crises must have been explored.” Packer agreed, but replied
that the responsibility to prevent is only covered in a single eight-page
chapter, while the bulk of the document is concerned with the use of force.
discussants took issue with the focus on military force. It was going down a
road fraught with problems. If military action is indeed necessary, it should
be taken in a way not to endanger innocent lives and be as non-violent as
possible. To deal with situations such as the former Yugoslavia and African
states that are internally divided, there should be global institutions that
can prevent large-scale violence with timely action. These might involve
support for groups wanting their own-language schools and hospitals and a form
of government that could meet their legitimate claims.
Newton Bowles said any recommendation on
R2P should be couched in the broader context of human rights and the system of
international treaties. Packer
pointed out that not a single member of the R2P Commission had a specialization
in international law. He noted nonetheless that the R2P document strongly
supports adherence to the multilateral system and to the UN Security
Council. However, this perspective is
not shared by the current U.S. Administration which has openly declared its
unilateral intentions to suit its own interests… a most troubling approach
especially if followed by others (China, India, Nigeria, et al.). If the UN is
seen as a failing institution, we need to reform and not reject it.
the meantime, John Packer concluded,
there are other things we can do: Canada should put more resources and
intelligent thought into deep prevention.
This would be morally consistent with our declared values and practically
achievable with Canada's own resources and actions. It doesn’t take a lot of
money to make a difference, he said.
Resolutions and proposals adopted at the conference
plenary session Sunday September 12, 2004
Preamble: “Where a population is suffering serious
harm as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression, or state failure, and
the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle
of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect.”
(Basic principle – Responsibility to
Reaffirming the need to situate
the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) within the broader context of the systemic
weakness of the United Nations system to enforce existing international law, particularly in relation to gross
breaches of human rights;
and Given that the
Responsibility to Prevent is the single most important dimension of R2P, the
Group of 78 recommends the following:
- The Government of
Canada should explore, support, promote and make most prominent
non-coercive approaches to conflict prevention and resolution arising from
all root causes, especially the violation of human rights.
- To this end, the
Government of Canada should encourage conflict resolution institution building
within multilateral organizations and the participation of civil society
in these processes.
- Finally, the Government
of Canada should play a creative role in the reform of the United Nations
Security Council, with a view to enhancing its legitimacy which is
established on representativeness and inclusion, based on the current
Table of Contents
< STRENGTHENING THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM FOR
THE 21ST CENTURY
Chair: Metta Spencer
Rob McDougall (Director,
Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Department of Foreign
Peggy Mason (former Ambassador for Disarmament; faculty, Pearson Peacekeeping
Metta Spencer This topic has been an issue for discussion and concern in the
Group of 78 for a long time, and the situation has seen little improvement:
indeed under the Bush administration it has seen setbacks. Nor is this issue given the public attention
that it should in Canada. So it is important to address it once again.
Rob McDougall I have to start with a
disclaimer. What I will say here today reflects my personal views, and not
necessarily those of my department or the government.
we facing a situation today where, so to speak, Chicken Little meets Dr
Strangelove? Certainly there are many
who have growing concerns about the health of multilateral non-proliferation,
arms control and disarmament efforts, especially when we look at the crises in
Iran and North Korea. This concern can
lead to the argument that the whole multilateral system of arms control is
failing and needs to be replaced. But
is the sky falling in, as Chicken Little would say? Is the solution some form
of unilateral and aggressive action, as Dr Strangelove advised? In these dangerous times, it seems to me, it
is important that the debate should avoid three errors: the error of despair where people claim that all is
lost, the error of complacency where
they say that with time all will inevitably get better, and the error of panic where they say that the existing
system must be discarded, that everything must be changed.
In this regard, there are three dichotomies that I would like to
1. Non-proliferation versus
essentially means preventing other people from getting weapons you do not want
them to have, while disarmament (at least in its multilateral form) means
reducing everyone’s stockpiles, including your own. Today there are strong concerns about proliferation that benefits
both states and non-state actors (such as terrorists). But two other forms of proliferation have
also caused concern. One is vertical
proliferation, i.e., the development of new types of weapons and other
qualitative improvements in existing arsenals – creating a situation where a
country may have the same number of weapons or even fewer but with greater
power to destroy. The other is proliferation of weapons into new areas, for
example outer space.
There are meanwhile many who argue that not enough is
happening in the area of disarmament, especially multilateral disarmament;
those who emphasize that there needs to be a better balance between
non-proliferation and disarmament; those who assert that disarmament is being
downplayed by some of the nuclear-weapon States (NWS), except where it only
involves other countries. Good
disarmament treaties, both bilateral and multilateral, do exist for nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons. What
is important is to see them better implemented, more tightly verified,
effectively irrevocable. And even more
attention should be paid to the actual destruction of weapons – as has already
begun as part of the removal of landmines from many conflict areas, the
dismantling of plutonium warheads from American and Soviet missiles and the
work being done to reduce the number of small arms in circulation, among other
2. Multilateralism vs. other
means. In their discussion of non-proliferation and disarmament, experts
have sometimes isolated three groups for the purposes of analysis – an
oversimplification, perhaps, but an instructive one. These groups are the weapons establishment, essentially status
quo powers that favour non-proliferation in all its forms but have been known
to question the value of both multilateralism and disarmament; the ‘hungry
hawks’, states that consider that national security demands an increase in
their arsenals and who consider non-proliferation (multilateral or otherwise) a
threat to the achievement of that goal; and states that want to see both large
reductions in nuclear arsenals and stronger non-proliferation restraints, all
based on binding multilateral regimes. The last group includes Canada, which considers that a robust and
effective rules-based system centred on treaties and the United Nations
magnifies both its national security and its international influence.
Alternatives to multilateralism include plurilateral
agreements where smaller groups come together to deal with specific concerns,
e.g., the G8, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Proliferation Security
Initiative. Such efforts can be
particularly useful if combined with multilateral approaches in a comprehensive
framework of commitments and structures for compliance. But this statement needs to be nuanced. Multilateralism, for example, needs to be
real and robust, not just rhetorical; it has to provide security to all those
involved, if they are to be persuaded to disarm. And compliance must be based on strict verification, as Canada
has emphasized for many years. Much can
be envisaged here. For example, the
Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention still lacks a verification mechanism,
and the United Nations itself has no permanent verification capacity (the
actions of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC in Iraq were useful and instructive measures but
did not create a broad or permanent capacity).
management versus framework maintenance.
It is also important to take a cold analytical look at just how serious
are the threats facing us. Not all the
news is in fact bad. Two pieces of good
news have been Libya’s disarmament and the discovery that Iraq has no weapons
of mass destruction. More broadly,
there are fewer states that threaten the world with nuclear weapons or
long-range missiles, existing or under active development, today than there
were 15 years ago and fewer nuclear weapons overall. On the other hand, Iran and North Korea are recognised problems,
and there are longer-term unsolved issues surrounding Indian and Pakistani
arsenals. There is also clearly a
perceived crisis of terrorism, although fortunately terrorists have, with rare
exceptions, so far not used weapons of mass destruction.
Some critics argue that such crises mean that
multilateralism has failed. These
crises are certainly serious. But
crises are also a normal part of international life - someone is always
cheating on commitments and obligations. The worst cases must generally be handled on an ad hoc basis –
occasionally by means as serious as war – but this doesn’t justify a radical
change of the multilateral system. No
fixed system could be established to handle all possible international
situations, without becoming so restrictive and intrusive as to be
unacceptable. The international
community can however learn lessons from success and failure in handling
individual crises, with the goal of improving the multilateral system by making
it stronger, more flexible and better able to evolve to respond to future
where do we go from here? I would
advocate adopting a “tool box” approach, collecting tools that could be used to
fix various different kinds of future problems for the non-proliferation and
disarmament regime. Some of these tools
might be shaped to fix essentially routine problems, others be usefully applied
to knottier ones. Many would be
multilateral tools, others might be plurilateral, as long as they all worked
together. Some would be traditional
tools kept sharp and up-to-date; others would be new tools crafted to meet
changes in military doctrine or technology. All could be potentially useful, depending on unknown future
circumstances, so there seems little point in arguing that one is inherently
better than another.
terms of new tools and new approaches, various experts have recently argued for
various different ideas in the nuclear field. In no particular order, these include for example:
new steps to reduce and eliminate weapons holdings, perhaps by category. The
INF Treaty for example led to destruction of all nuclear missiles of a certain
nuclear powers to abandon ‘launch on warning’ deployment.
more subscribers and a broader mandate for the Hague Code on missiles.
a clearer distinction between nuclear deterrence and war fighting.
transparency on nuclear weapons and their reduction.
an institutional framework for the NPT to monitor developments on a continuing
basis, deal with new circumstances quickly and promote accountability.
additional steps to prevent the supply of nuclear materials to non-NPT states.
on the Trudeau doctrine of ‘smothering’ nuclear arms build-up by concluding a
number of smaller treaties, working to secure ratifications of the
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty to bring it into force and to negotiate a
fissile material cut-off treaty.
the International Atomic Energy Agency through increased funding and by giving
it the political backing to make better use of the instruments it has
greater acceptance of the IAEA’s additional protocol giving the Agency stronger
powers of inspection, and making it a condition of supplying nuclear material.
the NWS to place their stockpiles of surplus weapons-grade fissile material
under IAEA supervision.
existing nuclear weapon-free zones and the generation of new ones.
a treaty on “negative security assurances” under which NWS guarantee non-NWS
against attack using nuclear weapons.
more (as Dr El Baradei has suggested) to restrict transfer of technology useful
for generating fissile materials, combined with guarantees of supply to make it
unnecessary for most states to produce their own nuclear fuel.
greater transparency on tactical nuclear weapons as a first step towards their
up a special multilateral fund for the destruction of nuclear weapons and
related materials under international supervision.
Broader steps can also be taken to promote nuclear non-proliferation
and disarmament. Re-activating the CD
in Geneva after a six-year logjam would for example be a major achievement,
especially if it involved establishment of the proposed committee on nuclear
For Canada, progress on almost any of these ideas will depend on
working with a wide range of likeminded partners. In this regard, Canada is well-placed to serve as a diplomatic
bridge. We have for example maintained
close ties with the New Agenda Coalition, a small group of Western and
non-aligned states that have been highly influential in recent NPT and UN First
Committee activity. We are also in
close touch, however, with key nuclear-weapon States, including the United
States. Over the sixty years taken
together, the US has been a positive force in non-proliferation and disarmament
affairs, often playing a strong leadership role. It will be important to continue to engage Washington in the
Promoting non-proliferation and disarmament involves a long-term
balancing act with military readiness as a factor in international
security. Both approaches are
needed. Even peacekeepers need arms;
and some wars are just. No state with
dangerous neighbours will disarm totally. We need to find ways to reduce arsenals in ways that reinforce broader
security initiatives, especially in regions of tension. We need to find non-proliferation and
disarmament tools that all sides can accept because all sides see benefits to
their national security. It is unlikely
that the battle for “complete and general disarmament” will be won anytime
soon. We can however continue to deny
weapons to people who would use them without just cause.
Peggy Mason: There
is no substitute for a multilateral system, especially in the matter of
non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is fundamental, not incidental, to
world security. Precisely because
multilateral rules could ensnare the neo-conservatives in the United States
administration, they launched their attack on multilateralism. Canada works multilaterally because we do
not have enough influence to work any other way. But a multilateral system is the only way to work for sustainable
The moves to put in place a Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)
system have grave implications for international peace and security. Why did
the United States and Soviet Union decide against missile defence in 1972?
Because they believed it would lead to ever more offensive nuclear missiles to
overcome the missile defences. This
rationale remains true today despite American withdrawal from the treaty. For example, Russia will retain sufficient
nuclear weapons on ‘high alert’ to ensure that its nuclear deterrent can never
be neutralized by American BMD, thus increasing the danger of accidental launches
and impeding nuclear disarmament. Will BMD make Canada safer? Indeed no. Even the 2001 Moscow Agreement between
Russia and the USA, providing for reductions in nuclear warheads, makes us less
safe because surplus weapons are to be stored, rather than dismantled and
destroyed. No verification and no
irrevocability. And given the dire financial state of the Russian military, the
unsafe storage of fissile materials presents a grave risk of theft or diversion
into the black market.
Ballistic missile defence has been called a system that
doesn’t work against a threat that doesn’t exist. The illusory gain that BMD will protect North America and
elsewhere against an attack from a rogue state is offset by its augmenting the
threat of increased production of offensive nuclear weapons with even deadlier
capabilities. China has reacted by
pursuing MIRVs – multiple, independently-targeted re-entry vehicles – that
could more easily circumvent a missile interceptor system such as the USA is
trying to develop. Because the American program is part of a “layered” system
of land, sea and space-based interceptors, if Canada supports BMD, it will
seriously undermine our longstanding arms control objective, to prevent the
weaponization of space – a goal espoused by virtually every other country at
the United Nations except the USA. In
any case, it is far cheaper and infinitely easier to develop decoys to fool a
missile interceptor system than it is to produce a credible BMD. In the days
when Ronald Reagan’s administration was trying to develop the Strategic Defense
Initiative (or Star Wars), the US disarmament negotiator Paul Nietze set down
as a condition for SDI that it must be “cost effective at the margins” (meaning
that it is less costly to develop than the countermeasures to defeat it) and
that its deployment not be destabilizing to international peace and security
or, to put this another way, that the security benefits be greater than the
negative impact. Canada should look at
BMD from this perspective.
Comments and Questions to Panelists
Murray Thomson noted the contradiction in
which Canada is supportive of NATO’s policy of the use of nuclear weapons for
the foreseeable future, but also wants to see a continuing process of
disarmament. As well, many missiles are
on launch-on-warning status. We have little
time left to resolve this issue. Why
can’t Canada unilaterally disavow the NATO policy and oppose launch-on-warning?
Rob McDougall: Although nuclear weapons are part of NATO’s
arsenal for the present, all NATO states have confirmed the NPT commitment to
eliminate them. We need to reinforce
this commitment as a medium-term objective, then work with NATO to achieve that
goal. There is no procedure for opting
out of a NATO policy and the Alliance is consensus-based, which makes it
difficult to change sensitive policies rapidly, but Canada is trying to bring
its influence to bear from within. Peggy
Mason: NATO nuclear weapons are “weapons of last resort”, according to the
London Summit communiqué of 1990. But
the ensuing review of strategic doctrine, rather than bringing it into line
with this declaration from Heads of State and Government, asserts instead that
nuclear weapons are necessary to prevent war, leaving open even the possibility
of the first use of nuclear
weapons. This issue should be pursued
at the 2005 NPT review conference.
Tim Creery: This discussion verges on
tedium, and might be entitled “How I learned to love the bomb.” How much
support is there outside the United States for BMD?
Rob McDougall: This is not my area of expertise, and it is of course a sensitive
issue. I can note that Australia,
Denmark and Britain and other states have publicly committed themselves to
co-operate with the US in this regard.
Thomas Turay: There is a culture of violence in the US elections. They are
looking for a war hero to be their president. They need disarming of the mind through education. I wonder, what is the role of
community-based groups there in such a process?
Rob McDougall: I don’t know about the
United States, but Canada has educational programs of this sort. My division
has for example been working with the UN Association of Canada on high school
curriculum development and we have also this year awarded seven graduate
fellowships in disarmament, in partnership with the Simons Foundation. The International Security Research and
Outreach Program in DFAIT has commissioned a survey on the status of such
courses at university.
Hannah Newcombe: It used to be claimed that
the main danger is accidental, not deliberate, war. Why not just get rid of launch-on-warning? It is easy to do, even
unilaterally, and it costs nothing.
Rob McDougall: We are trying to reduce the
possibilities for misinterpretation of events. For example, one important aspect of the Hague Code on missiles is prior
notification to other Code members of all launches of missiles beyond a certain
range, so that an innocent rocket launch is not mistaken for a deliberate
attack (as almost happened not long ago after launch of a Norwegian research
Newton Bowles: I am in favour of panic. All this technical nibbling at issues is
useful, but we will not get any distance without popular political pressure,
which will only be the result of panic.
Rob McDougall: We had lots of popular
concern on nuclear issues in the past. Students in the 1960s believed they had the right to change the
world. Canadian students closed the US
border in protest against the Amchitka nuclear test, and one million marched in
New York City. But the groundswell of
protest on nuclear weapons has lessened in the last ten years; other causes
such as globalisation have come to the fore. Newton Bowles. That is
because young people do not know there is a problem. Peggy Mason. And the news media is not doing an adequate
job of reporting protests today.
Ardath Francis: Libya’s renunciation of nuclear weapons was a good news item, but
have there been inspections to ensure that Libya has got rid of them?
Rob McDougall: The IAEA and chemical weapons inspectors were given access; ad
hoc arrangements are being made for missiles and biological weapons, where
there is no multilateral inspection regime. There is little incentive for Libya to cheat.
Leslie McWhinnie: How can weapons be arrested
at pre-manufacture? How can the
corporations that manufacture weapons be controlled? Can manufacturers whose
weapons get into illegal hands be penalised?
Peggy Mason: A UN Programme
of Action to counter the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light
weapons is underway but the process is arduous and involves action to curb both
the supply of, and the demand for, weapons as well as measures to collect and
destroy the mountains of small arms in circulation in post-conflict zones. Other efforts focus on the retraining of
former combatants so they have an alternative to the gun and a particularly
difficult area is the rehabilitation of child fighters who have known nothing
else but war from an early age. One
particularly difficult area is to get broad agreement on the criteria for the
export of small arms so as to ensure that they do not end up in conflict areas
or in states with poor human rights records. Canada is well-placed to lead here provided we take care to ensure that
our own house is fully in order.
Rob McDougall: Export control mechanisms
are the only real tool now, based on national regulations co-ordinated by
multilateral supplier régimes. Canada
has supported work on an international agreement on the conditions under which
it is (or isn’t) acceptable to export small arms and light weapons.
Group Discussion Saturday
group in an afternoon discussion made the following points:
should not join the United States in its attempts to develop a Ballistic
Missile Defence (BMD). To the criteria
for the earlier SDI suggested by Paul Nietze, there should be added the basic
criterion of feasibility.
Canadian government needs to work more vigorously with like-minded countries to
strengthen the multilateral process of non-proliferation and disarmament. It also needs to pay balanced attention to both vertical and horizontal weapons
order to reduce the possibility of a nuclear exchange resulting from an
accidental or innocent rocket launch, Canada should call on all states
possessing nuclear weapons to eliminate launch-on-warning status.
need an awareness and education campaign, with support from the news media, to
re-engage the Canadian public. We commend the Foreign Affairs initiatives in
this area, including funding of curricula and fellowships, but suggest more
might be done. We recognise the
complexity of these issues, given a culture of violence, and the efforts needed
to communicate these issues effectively to the public. We support the UNAC education programs. An important dimension is the reduction of
small arms and light weapons, being pioneered in Canada by Project
Ploughshares. [A letter to CBC from
Group of 78 suggesting that not enough attention is being paid to these issues
could propose names of experts from within or outside the Group for programs
such as The Current.]
is a contradiction in the stated Canadian policy of restricting the transfer of
arms and the practice of exporting parts to the United States with no control
over their final destination. The Group of 78 should consider forming a working
group, supplemented by a lunchtime talk during the year, to carry this issue
through as a priority to next year’s conference.
Resolutions and proposals adopted at the conference
plenary session Sunday September 12, 2004
Strengthening the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Regime for the 21st
1. Give higher priority to multilateral
Underscoring the centrality of the multilateral non-proliferation, arms control
and disarmament framework as essential to Canadian and global peace and
Group of 78 urges the Government of Canada to give higher priority to working
with other likeminded nations at the United Nations and in other relevant
bodies to strengthen this framework.
In particular the Group of 78 calls for the
strengthening of the mechanisms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
by ensuring that:
- Balanced attention is
given to both vertical and horizontal proliferation (as called for by IAEA
Executive Director El Baradei), thus ensuring no double standards. To this end Canada should consider, in
the context of the 2005 NPT Review Conference process, how to re-energize
its efforts to bring the NATO Strategic Doctrine on the role of nuclear
weapons into line with the disarmament imperative of the NPT.
- The Canadian initiative
on regular reporting by states parties to the NPT is carried forward and
- A ‘standing
institutional framework’, essentially a secretariat, for the NPT is
established to permit both ongoing consultations and emergency meetings.
the risk of accidental or inadvertent launch of nuclear weapons
In order to reduce the risk of accidental launch of nuclear weapons, we
call on the Canadian government, as a priority, to urge all states possessing
nuclear weapons to adopt immediately a ‘no launch on warning’ policy. This is a measure that individual states can
take unilaterally, while cumulatively building mutually reinforcing steps.
3. Reject Ballistic Missile Defence
The Group of 78 has, since its founding in 1980,
given priority to policies aimed at arms control and eventual disarmament. In
June 2000 during the Clinton administration the Group’s board of directors
expressed opposition to the early proposals for Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)
and at the 2003 annual policy conference urged the Canadian government not to
participate in the BMD program of the current United States administration. We
wish here to recapitulate briefly the reasons we then gave for opposition, and
then add further points raised at the 2004 conference.
have opposed Canadian participation for these reasons:
program includes at a later stage the weaponization of space to enable
successful, it would strengthen the Bush administration’s doctrine providing
for pre-emptive attacks.
immensely costly program is part of a degree of militarization in the world
that is incompatible with sustainable development.
60 years of efforts to develop a counter-weapon to the ballistic missile have
had extremely limited success. A U.S. system would appear to offer no
contribution toward the protection of Canada, but rather to make for a more
development of BMD promotes the arms race, in which nations try to outdo one
another in military capacity, as indicated in China’s arms program.
the extent that views need to be exchanged between the United States and other
countries on BMD issues, including theatre and battlefield missile defence,
this can be done most effectively among allies in the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization, and among all countries in the collective security and
disarmament context of the United Nations.
To these arguments, made in 2003, the present annual
conference added the following points for greater emphasis:
BMD offers no defence at all but rather a false
sense of security based on unproven and unpromising technologies. In reality, BMD reduces security because it
increases incentives for the development of counter-weapons and
counter-measures, plunging rival countries into new arms races.
Canadian participation in such a scheme, designed to
place weapons in space at a later stage, would therefore make Canada and the
world less secure and run counter to the basic tenets of Canadian foreign
Ballistic missile defence is unproven because its
designers and proponents have not been able to prove either of the following
- That the system could
meet basic requirements of operational feasibility in accordance with
established principles of testing;
- That deployment of the
system would be cost effective at the margins – that is, countermeasures
such as decoys to defeat the system would not be cheaper and easier to
develop than the system itself.
Even if these two conditions could be met and
proven, BMD would still give a false sense of security. By its innate
characteristics, it would destabilize the strategic balance among nations. It
would, in turn, be a spur towards an arms race, and a threat to international
peace and security. It would increase incentives for rival states to develop
and maintain the offensive nuclear forces necessary to withstand the use of
this system in conjunction with a pre-emptive strike.
Verifiable, Irreversible Nuclear Disarmament
The Group of 78 recalls the 16 principles of
verification developed initially by Canada and then agreed multilaterally at
the United Nations, principles designed to ensure that disarmament agreements
lead to verifiable and irreversible reductions including in particular the
destruction of dismantled nuclear warheads. Without guaranteed irreversibility, dismantled nuclear warheads are more
likely to be stored than destroyed, increasing the risk of terrorists gaining
access to nuclear weapons and requiring the parties to the agreement to hedge
against the possibility that the agreement will break down and stored weapons
(a) The Group of 78 therefore calls on the
Government of Canada to work with other likeminded nations at the UN and
in other relevant venues to reaffirm the importance of adherence to
the 16 Principles of Verification and in particular, to call upon the
United States and Russia to apply these principles in the following areas:
- Codification and
verification of the current unilateral arrangements regarding tactical
nuclear weapons; and
- The Moscow Agreement
reducing the number of strategic nuclear weapons, which currently has no
verification mechanisms and which provides only for withdrawal from
service and storage, not for permanent disabling of the warheads.
5. Public Outreach and Disarmament
With the end of the Cold War, public attention has understandably
shifted to other pressing global problems including the heightened risk of terrorism. Yet vast stocks of nuclear weapons remain,
even as the alarming prospect looms of new generations of nuclear weapons being
developed and new roles being found for them, in blatant contravention of
disarmament obligations undertaken by the nuclear weapons states under the NPT
and reaffirmed in the last Review Conference in 2000. There is an urgent need for public outreach programs to heighten
public awareness of the urgent need to pursue and promote verifiable,
irreversible nuclear disarmament. At
the same time, the Group of 78 recognizes the complexity of these issues and
the challenges in communicating them to the public.
The Group of 78 commends the Department of Foreign Affairs for its ongoing
initiatives in this regard, including assistance in the development of
disarmament curricula and fellowships and its support for the UN program of
For its part the Group of 78 undertakes to develop more concerted strategies
for media outreach including:
the CBC and other networks in their public affairs programming to give more
priority to nuclear disarmament;
public affairs programmers with contact lists of experts in relevant areas;
with other civil society organizations in promoting the visibility of nuclear
disarmament and related policy issues.
Table of Contents
Resolutions on civil rights
at the conference plenary session Sunday September 12, 2004.
Group of 78 feels impelled to reaffirm its deep concern over the ill-conceived
Anti-Terrorism Act. This Act, in effect, puts the Government of Canada outside
the law, and it gives extra-judicial authority to the police. United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned against over-reacting to terrorism in
ways that play into the hands of terrorists. The Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act
does just that, and it must be immediately and thoroughly reviewed by
Parliament and the public to ensure that it does not infringe on human rights
and the protection of citizens or other persons in Canada from arbitrary arrest
and detention, as already has happened.
view of the detention in Canada of
five men without charge on alleged secret evidence which has not been divulged
to them or their lawyers, we submit the following resolution: All detainees and
their lawyers must be accorded prompt access to the evidence on which the
detention is based.
Table of Contents
THE GROUP OF 78
Group of 78 is an informal association of Canadians seeking to promote global
priorities for peace and disarmament, equitable and sustainable development,
and a strong and revitalized United Nations system.
began in 1980 when a small group including Andrew Brewin MP and Peggy Brewin,
Murray Thomson of Project Ploughshares, Robert McClure, former Moderator of the
United Church, and King Gordon, formerly of the United Nations Secretariat,
drafted a statement on how best Canada could contribute to the building of a
peaceful and secure world. In November 1981 that statement, Canadian Foreign
Policy in the 80s, was sent to Prime Minister Trudeau. It was signed by 78
Canadians — a group of 78.
statement set out three inter-related objectives:
1. removal of the threat of nuclear war;
2. the mobilization of world resources to achieve a more
equitable international order and bring an end to the crushing poverty which is
the common lot of the majority in the Third World;
3. the strengthening and
reform of the United Nations and other global institutions designed to bring
about a pacific settlement of disputes, foster international cooperation,
promote the growth of world law and the protection of basic human rights.
was the beginning of a dialogue between the Group of 78 and the Canadian
government. In the following years, members of the Group discussed, and made
their views known, about new issues facing Canada in international relations
and their implications for the central, and universal, objectives of policy
Group of 78:
• meets in conferences to consider needed changes in foreign
policy, seeking consensus on recommendations to government;
publications on conference findings and special issues;
a web site www.group78.org
• organizes lunches with invited speakers.
THE GROUP OF
78 - FOUNDING MEMBERS
Elisabeth Mann Borgese
Archbishop A. L. Penney
General E.L.M. Burns
Archbishop E.W. Scott
J. Francis Leddy
E. Margaret Fulton
Norma E. Walmsley
R. St. J. MacDonald
J. King Gordon
Table of Contents
The Group of 78
Ottawa, ON K1R 6P1
Web site: www.group78.org/
Extra copies of this report may be obtained for $15 each
from the G78 at the above address.
2003 © The Group of 78
ISBN # ISBN
Group of 78 Chair:
Members of the Board: Janis
Alton, Newton Bowles, Joan Broughton*, Geoffrey Bruce, Andrew Clarke, Barbara
Darling, Mary Edwards*, Dwight Fulford*, Gretel Harmston*, M. Elaine Harvey,
Corey Levine, Peggy Mason*, Leslie McWhinnie*, Clyde Sanger, Stephen
*indicates a member of the Executive Committee
Other publications by the Group of 78 include:
• A Foreign Policy for the 80s (pamphlet), 1984
• To Combine Our Efforts (pamphlet),
• Canada and the World: National Interest and Global
Responsibility, 56 pages, 1985
• Canada and Africa: A Common Cause, 44 pages, 1986
• Canada and Common Security: the Assertion of Sanity, 88 pages, 1987
• Canada and Her Neighbours in a Changing World (conference report), 1989
• Canada in the Americas: Agenda for the 90s (conference report), 65 pages, 1990
• Beyond Sovereignty: The Future of the Nation State, 44 pages, 1991
• The Movement of Peoples: A View from the South, 177 pages, 1992
• Pacific Regional Cooperation in a New Global Context:
Challenges and Opportunities for Canada
(conference report), 1994
• ‘Failed States’: How Might the UN and Canada Help? (conference summary report), 1995
• ‘Arms and the Man’: Threats to Peace at the End of the
Century (conference summary report) 1996
• Canada’s Defence Policy:
A Realistic and Meaningful Mandate for the Canadian Armed Forces
(conference report), 45 pages, 1997
• Human Rights: How Can Canada Make a Difference? (conference report), 37 pages, 1998
• Globalization and Its Discontents (conference report), 54 pages, 1999
• Canada’s Commitment to World Peace (conference report), 37 pages, 2000
• Challenge and Change to Canada’s Foreign Policy: 1981-2001
(conference report), 54 pages, 2002
• Hot Button Issues in Canadian Foreign Policy since
September 11, 2001 (conference report),
57 pages, 2003
. Canada and the
Developing World: Meeting our Responsibilities (conference report). 48 pages, 2004