Backgrounder:
Non-proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament

Gatineau, Quebec, March 29, 2010

See G8 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Non-proliferation, Disarmament and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

The Gatineau G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on March 29 and 30, 2010 precedes two landmark events in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, the April 2010 Nuclear Security Summit and the May 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Given this context, the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is a timely opportunity to discuss the particular challenges posed to global security and stability by the nuclear activities of Iran and North Korea, as well as to help build positive momentum for success at the 2010 Review Conference of the NPT which will take place in New York May 3-28, 2010.

The international rules-based regime for non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament is fundamental to global security interests. The NPT is the cornerstone of this regime. The Treaty embodies a grand bargain: that the Nuclear-Weapon States will work to eliminate their nuclear arsenals; that those States that do not now have nuclear weapons will not seek to acquire them; and that the peaceful uses of nuclear energy will be supported. The G8 is a unique grouping that includes four Nuclear-Weapon States and four Non-Nuclear-Weapon States, as well as robust civil nuclear energy industries. As such the G8 is well positioned to show leadership on all three pillars of the NPT. The International Atomic Energy Agency implements the verification provisions of the Treaty, through the safeguards agreements it has with states using peaceful nuclear energy. The safeguard agreements provide the IAEA with authority to undertake inspections. G8 countries continue to advocate for the universal adoption of the Additional Protocol as a new international standard, in order to provide the IAEA with enhanced inspection authority.

Canada is actively working to strengthen this system through the preparations for the 2010 NPT Review Conference. Canada is also promoting complementary measures such as the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), adoption of the Additional Protocol and discussions on prohibiting the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.

In addition, Canada will participate in the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), which will take place in Washington, April 12-13, 2010. The Summit will address in particular how to prevent terrorist access to nuclear materials by securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world.

Source: Muskoka 2010 G8 [Official website]