October 10, 1996 (35th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Warren Allmand


Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on September 26 I rose in Parliament to note the historic signing that week of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty at the United Nations by 80 countries, including Canada. I should point out that as of today, 111 countries have signed the comprehensive test ban treaty. This treaty will reduce the development of new nuclear weapons because if nuclear weapons cannot be tested, new nuclear weapons cannot be developed.
On September 26, I also noted that several key countries, sometimes known as nuclear threshold states, had refused to sign the treaty. These are countries that have a nuclear weapons program and are trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Prominent among these countries which did not sign are India and Pakistan. I should point out that Pakistan was willing to sign if India signed, but India refused to sign.
I would like to point out as well that to bring this treaty into force, it is required that 44 nations which have a nuclear capability must ratify the treaty and deposit the ratifications at the UN.
The signing of this historic treaty, especially by the five nuclear powers, is indeed a great accomplishment for the security of our planet and a great accomplishment for the security of mankind. I might say as well it is a great accomplishment for those of us who have been working for many years to ban all nuclear weapons.
This treaty properly complements the nuclear non-proliferation treaty which was extended indefinitely several months ago.
However the signing of this treaty is not enough. The job is incomplete. Not only is it essential to get the 44 ratifications to bring the treaty into force, but it is also essential to bring on side those nations such as India that have not yet signed. There will be no advance in global security if the old nuclear powers stop testing and reduce their weapons, while other nations continue to test and become new nuclear powers.
India's argument that the present nuclear powers should first commit to a timetable to reduce and eliminate all their nuclear weapons is a good argument, but it does not justify its non-signature nor any future testing or any attempt to develop new nuclear capabilities.
Such countries as Germany, Japan and Brazil, which are also large powerful countries and do not have nuclear weapons, are not blocking the treaty and insisting that these other countries do what India is insisting.
Once again I ask the government, what can Canada do to bring India and other non-signatories on side and to assure the implementation of this important treaty?

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Hazardous Materials
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