In an unprecedented development, more than 500 recipients of the prestigious Order of Canada have come together to call on governments around the world, including Canada, to bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons.
“This is the first time that so many recipients of the Order of Canada have signed a common declaration,” said Murray Thomson, an executive member of the Canadian Pugwash Group and project organizer. “These are Canada’s top achievers, and they are calling on the government to take leadership on the greatest issue of our time: nuclear war.”
The statement urges United Nations members to “endorse, and begin negotiations for, a Nuclear Weapons Convention as proposed by the UN Secretary-General in his five-point plan for nuclear disarmament.”
Notable signers include:
Alex Colville, PC, CC, OBC, LLB, LLD. Wolfville, NS. Teacher, designer, painter.
Adam Zimmerman, OC, FCA, LLD, D.Sc. Toronto, ON. Businessman;
former Chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute.
Bruce Kidd, OC, PhD. Toronto, ON. Educator and Olympic athlete.
Marielle Fleury, CM, CQ Brome, QC. Fashion designer.
Michel Bastarache, CC, LLL, LLB, DES. Ottawa ON.
Former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Joy Kogawa, CM, OBC, LLD. Toronto, ON. Poet.
Martin J. Légère, OC. Caraquet, NB. Founder, Féd. des caisses populaires acadiennes.
Pierre Jeanniot, OC, CQ, BSc, LLD. Montreal, QC.
General Manager of IATA; former President of Air Canada.
David Cronenberg, OC, LLD. Toronto, ON. Film producer and director.
Bruce Aikenhead, OC, BSc, AFCASI, P.Eng. Salmon Arm, BC.
Space engineer who designed the Canadarm.
Several signatories attended a press conference today on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to release the statement. They lauded U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiatives, including the recent Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, and now, they noted, attention is focusing on the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in May.
“It is vital that governments seize this new moment of opportunity and commit to start work now to prevent the 21st century from turning into a two-class world of nuclear haves and have-nots,” said Senator Doug Roche (ret.), former UN Ambassador for Disarmament. “The continued possession of more than 20,000 nuclear weapons by the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France and China, along with India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, must be dealt with if global cooperation to reduce nuclear dangers is to be achieved.”
The text of the statement and complete list of 505 signatories can be found at www.pugwashgroup.ca.