|The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Danish and Canadian National Groups, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, and the Swedish branch of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (SLMK) have the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar on:
Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone
Monday, 10 August 2009, 15.30-17.30
Danish Institute for International Studies
Strandgade 71, ground floor, 1401 Copenhagen K
The rapid shrinking of the Arctic’s polar ice will not only produce rising ocean levels in the region and globally, but will also open Arctic waters to new shipping lanes and exploration of the Arctic seabed previously prevented by an impenetrable ice cap. Increasing commercial and exploratory navigation will perhaps produce additional military deployment. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty prohibits the military use of the southern polar region and bans all nuclear explosions and disposal of radioactive materials south of 60 degrees latitude, but can the same be done for the Polar North?
Since 1959, four other regional “nuclear weapons free zones” (NWFZ) have come into force in Latin America, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and, most recently just this year, in Central Asia. Mongolia declared itself a NWFZ in 1992, and Africa is only one ratification away from making another continent entirely nuclear weapon free. All of the NWFZ, however, were established in regions where nuclear weapons were already, or had recently been made, absent.
The Arctic, however, includes Russia and the United States, both nuclear weapons states, which also regularly deploy nuclear-capable submarines in the region. Would a regional NWFZ including those Arctic nations that are already free from nuclear weapons (Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) be a logical first step? What steps can we take to demilitarize and protect the Arctic from accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons? These questions are among those that will be analyzed by three international experts.
Michael Hamel-Green is Associate Professor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development at Victoria University, Australia. His recent publications include Regional Initiatives on Nuclear-Weapon and WMD-Free Zones (Geneva, UNIDIR, 2005) and Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones in Asia: Problems and Prospects, Global Change, Peace & Security 17, (October, 2005)
Adele Buckley is a former Chair of Canadian Pugwash, and a member of the Pugwash Council. Formerly Vic President for Technology and Research, Ontario Centre for Environmental Technological Advancement, she worked on environmental technology, science and climate change issues. She recently led an expert roundtable on Freshwater Problems –Threats and Priorities, and has written extensively on Arctic and other security issues.
Steven Staples is President of the Rideau Institute on International Affairs. During the last 15 years, he has acted as the Director of Security Programs for the Polaris Institute, the Issue Campaigns Coordinator for the Council of Canadians and Coordinator for End the Arms Race.
Cindy Vestergaard, PhD Candidate, DIIS
15.40-16.00 Existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones Throughout the World
Michael Hamel-Green, Associate Professor, Victoria University,
16.00-16.20 The Future Climate of the Arctic
Adele Buckley, Member, Pugwash Council, Toronto, Canada
16.20-16.35 Coffee Break
16.35-16.55 Steps Towards an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone
Steven Staples, President, Rideau Institute on International Affairs,
16.55-17.30 Q & A
Chair: Cindy Vestergaard, PhD Candidate, DIIS
The seminar will be held in English.
Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Friday, 7 August 2009 at 12.00 noon.