First I want to clarify one point, though, coming out of what Dr. Byers said, and that relates to what Canada would have to do in order to ratify the treaty. I, of course, in my comments, talked about the fact that we would have to start the process of disassociating ourselves from NATO's nuclear posture. There's a history of countries taking smaller steps in that direction, with the famous NATO footnotes, including, for example, Norway's, which does not allow any presence of any nuclear weapons in their territory. But article I of the ban, of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, the new treaty, states very clearly that one of the obligations of a state party is that they do not assist, encourage, or induce in any way any prohibited activity. Of course, prohibited activity is anything to do with nuclear weapons, including possessing them, developing them, or modernizing them. That language was developed to get rid of the ambiguity between the NPT and non-nuclear-weapon states, such as Canada, party to nuclear alliances.
I think on a plain reading of the treaty, Canada has to signal its intention that it wants to disassociate itself from NATO's nuclear posture. As I said, Norway and the Netherlands participated in the negotiation but ultimately voted against the treaty. Estonia, Italy, and Albania all voted for the launch of the negotiation, but then, under incredible pressure from NATO, did not participate in the negotiation.
It just gives you some idea that, within NATO, if that dialogue was started by Canada.... You know, the first step is always the hardest. Say Canada initiated the dialogue—this would be within NATO—raised these issues, and said, “Look, we want to sign this treaty. We want to live up to our NPT obligations. We want to start this dialogue in NATO.” There is a moribund non-proliferation and disarmament committee that I think, back in the day, wasn't moribund. Foreign Minister Axworthy addressed it at one point. If we started that dialogue, there would be tremendous pressure on many other NATO states to engage in that. I mean, just the fact that the Netherlands, under direct majority resolutions from Parliament to participate in the negotiation...that's why they did. It shows that the members of the public of various NATO countries are extremely interested that we get out of this moving in the wrong direction and really start to make some progress.
The other point I would like to make is that NATO is really in a position to lead globally. If NATO can take the step of saying that we don't need nuclear weapons, then that puts the lie to others who are beginning to think they need them, because now the argumentation is all going in the other direction, with more and more discussion of more countries thinking that they need nuclear weapons. Really courageous action is needed to get us out of this deadly track that we seem to now be on.