In this regard, in continuation with its own good early work -- namely the SCFAIT
report and the Government response -- Canada should seriously consider the convening of an international commission to pick up the torch from the 1996 Canberra Commission and the 1998-1999 Tokyo Forum to further promote the cause of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament.
The SCFAIT also recommended that the government "work consistently to reduce the political legitimacy and value of nuclear weapons" as a means of contributing to their reduction and eventual elimination.
The call to de-alert nuclear forces, which the SCFAIT also strongly advocated, was accepted by the government, which announced that it "supports the concept of de-alerting and other measures which contribute to the safety and security of nuclear arsenals and the stability of U.
It also declined to comment on the suggestion, recommended by the SCFAIT, that the other Nuclear Weapon States and nuclear-weapons-capable states be brought into a de-alerting agreement.
It was apparently for this reason that neither the SCFAIT nor the government was willing to formally embrace the suggestion.
The anti-nuclear movement and the SCFAIT both proposed that Canada could pursue its nuclear disarmament goals more effectively if it worked in concert with like-minded states such as the members of the New Agenda Coalition and reform-minded members of NATO.
Canada's Ambassador for Disarmament, Mark Moher, explained that Canada abstained in order not to pre-empt the report of the SCFAIT review, but he added that Canada shares the resolution's premise that there is an urgent need for more progress on nuclear disarmament and that, without such progress, the nuclear non-proliferation regime will continue to be "under severe strain.
The SCFAIT report is likely to encourage Ottawa to stay the course, and the new German government has raised expectation that it will fight to have a nuclear no-first-use commitment enshrined within the new NATO "strategic concept" scheduled to be adopted at the April 1999 summit.
In Canada, member organizations of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW) have kept up a steady stream of informed dialogue with government officials, the Minister's office, and the members of SCFAIT.