NDP STATEMENT REGARDING CANADA’S VOTE ON NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, and Linda Duncan, Co-Chair of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament-Canada, made the following statement today:

New Democrats are shocked by the Liberal government turning its back on nuclear disarmament.

Last Friday at the UN Open-Ended Working Group in Geneva, Canada voted against the adoption of a report recommending negotiations for a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. These nuclear negotiations were called for by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and are supported by a majority of countries.

Sixty-eight countries voted in favour of this resolution, which will now go to the UN General Assembly. The Mexican government called Friday’s vote the “most significant contribution to nuclear disarmament in two decades.”

However, with its shameful vote, Canada has effectively removed itself from nuclear disarmament diplomacy.

The Liberal government's vote also flies in the face of a 2010 motion in Parliament encouraging the Government of Canada to join negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention. This motion was adopted unanimously in the House of Commons and the Senate with support from all parties, including the Liberals.

The NDP supports efforts to create a nuclear weapons treaty, and commends the work of many civil society groups across Canada, including the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, who have devoted years to this campaign. We will continue to support efforts for a nuclear weapons treaty as this issue goes to the UN General Assembly this Fall.

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