Why Was Canada Not in the Room for the Nuclear Ban Treaty?

  • Marilou McPhedranEmail author
  • David HebbEmail author


This chapter examines Canada’s lost opportunities for leadership in arms control and nuclear non-proliferation. Canada’s decades-long record for promoting non-proliferation norms ranges from active support for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that became international law in 1970 to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s peace initiative in 1983, through to Canada’s influential push leading to the NATO nuclear policy review in 2000 and the 2005 all-party resolution in Canadian Parliament on prohibition of nuclear weapons. Why Canada chose not to champion the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, instead voting against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty and falling in line with the US-led NATO boycott of negotiations, is examined. The authors conclude that Canadian civil society leadership continues to be essential to a return by the Canadian Government to independent thinking and leadership on nuclear disarmament.


Canada’s Role in Arms Control Civil Society NATO Doctrine Nuclear Disarmament Nuclear Weapons Ban Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser press and the authors 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Senate of CanadaAlgonquin Territory, OttawaCanada
  2. 2.OttawaCanada

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