RI President to speak at Group of 78 conference: Getting to Nuclear Zero

On Saturday, September 23rd Ambassador (ret’d) Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute, will speak on Panel 4 of the Group of 78’s annual policy conference: Getting to Nuclear Zero.  This panel entitled, Canadian Leadership for Common Security, will advance ideas for action by CanadaKeynote speaker Tariq Rauf, an Advisor at the Office of the Executive Secretary of CTBTO, is the second panellist and the moderator will be Ernie Regehr.

Registration and conference outline can be found below.


Conference 2017

Annual Policy Conference 2017

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Group of 78 Annual Policy Conference
In cooperation with:

Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Physicians for Global Survival
Rideau Institute on international Affairs

Cartier Place Suite Hotel, Ottawa, September 22-23, 2017

Eventbrite - Annual Policy Conference: Getting to Nuclear Zero Building Common Security for a Post-MAD World

 Conference Registration forms:           English   French

 Conference Outline

The quest for global sustainable peace is at a critical juncture. The considerable majority of countries, through the United Nations, is actively pursuing the crafting of a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. This action faces many challenges, notably the opposition of most nuclear weapons states and some of their allies, including Canada.

Nuclear disarmament ultimately requires a shift from the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) to a commitment – in mind, policy and practice – to mutual security, through a sustainable common security regime rooted in global interdependence, the rule of law, and a recognition of the limited utility of military force in responding to political conflict. Common security is built on UN Charter principles and on mutual security arrangements, rather than competitive military alliances, and focuses on war prevention and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

These issues will be examined and debated in the Group of 78’s 2017 policy conference. Speakers and presenters will provide analysis of the process and prospects for abolishing nuclear weapons and seeking to define the elements necessary to transition to a post-nuclear weapons world. They will provide an overview of current international initiatives, delve into the status and prospects of the negotiations at the United Nations to eliminate nuclear weapons, assess the impediments to developing a common security framework without nuclear weapons, identify the building blocks for such a security system, and outline how Canada can play a constructive leadership role in this enterprise.

The aims of the conference will be (1) to provide participants with a thorough and cogent analysis of what’s involved in complete nuclear disarmament and building common security for the global community, and (2) to articulate ideas and recommendations to the Canadian government for its participation and leadership in this process.

Among the questions that the conference will address are: How realistic is the idea of, and what are the steps involved in, achieving complete nuclear disarmament? How does one overcome the objections of those who hold nuclear weapons now? What does a post-nuclear weapons world look like? How can public opinion be mobilized toward a safer, non-nuclear planet? What positions and actions can Canada bring to the table to accelerate movement to this goal? What can civil society undertake to encourage and support the Canadian Government in this role?

Further information on the detailed program and range of speakers will be available in the near future. Possible participants can contact the Group of 78 (http://group78.org/) for information as it becomes available and to express interest in attending the conference.


Friday, September 22– Dinner

Introduction and Welcome: Roy Culpeper, Chair of the Group of 78

Keynote Address:

Tariq Rauf, Advisor at the Office of the Executive Secretary of CTBTO (Comprehensive Nuclear-test-ban Treaty Organization), and former Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at SIPRI/Sweden

Mr. Rauf will address, in broad scope, the opportunities and challenges of nuclear disarmament and building an alternative common security system. He will identify the key questions and issues the international community faces in this quest that can be explored further by conference presenters and participants.

Saturday – September 23

Introductory Remarks – Hon. Douglas Roche

Panel 1 – Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations: Status and Prospects

This panel will take stock of the status and/or results of the (GA Res 71/258) UN-mandated negotiations that will have concluded on July 7th.


Bev Delong, co-founder, Project Ploughshares Calgary; Chair, Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons; Board member, International Association of Lawyers Against           Nuclear Arms


1. Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director at Project Ploughshares

2. Irish Diplomat Michael Hurley (invited, tbc)

Panel 2 – Common Security: Major Impediments

This panel will identify and analyze key impediments to greater international cooperation toward common security and how they might be addressed.

Moderator: Metta Spencer, Science for Peace


1. Marius Grinius, Former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam, South Korea and   North Korea; Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament

2.Tom Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund (USA); formerly, Research Director of the Arms Control Association

Panel 3 – Achieving and Sustaining Common Security: Key Elements

This panel will identify elements to be addressed in order to achieve greater common security.

Moderator:   Tamara Lonincz


1. Peter Langille, Specialist in peace and conflict studies, United Nations peace operations, conflict resolution and mediation; author of the concept of a UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) and advocate for Sustainable Common Security

2. TBD

Panel 4 – Canadian Leadership for Common Security

This panel will explore the role Canada might play in order to help achieve common security in the world and advance ideas for action by Canada.

Moderator:      Ernie Regehr


1. Tariq Rauf, Advisor at the Office of the Executive Secretary of CTBTO

2. Peggy Mason, Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament; President, Rideau Institute

Conference Conclusion and Closing RemarksRoy Culpeper


Group of 78 Annual Meeting to follow immediately.

Tags: #GlobalSecurity, Nuclear Diplomacy, Nuclear disarmament, post-MAD