Resource List

Presentation by Paul Meyer
Senior Fellow, The Simons Foundation
Space Security Index side event Tracking Space Security: Are We Ready to Go Live? held during the United Nations General Assembly First Committee
UN Headquarters
October 18, 2016


By Jayantha Dhanapala and Tariq Rauf
Published by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
October 2016

Canadian Defence Policy Review Briefing Paper
by Ernie Regehr, O.C.,
Senior Fellow in Defence Policy and Arctic Security
The Simons Foundation
October 12, 2016

Public Lecture by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans, AC, QC
Chancellor and an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Australian National University; and 2016-2017 Simons Visiting Chair in International Law and Human Security at Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, Canada
September 15, 2016

Abstract:  Why should Canadians, Australians or anyone else care about human rights atrocities, health epidemics, environmental catastrophes, weapons proliferation or any other problems afflicting faraway countries when they do not have any direct or immediate impact on our own physical security or economic prosperity, viz. our traditionally defined national interests?   Are concerns about ‘value’ issues of this kind just optional add-ons in the conduct of states’ foreign policy?  Gareth Evans will spell out in this lecture his long-held belief, which has its origins in the Pearsonian liberal tradition, and on which he acted as Australia’s foreign minister, that in the contemporary world there is a third kind of national interest which every country should pursue – that in being, and being seen to be, a good international citizen. His argument – which he will illustrate with reference to issues such as nuclear disarmament, aid policy, the treatment of asylum seekers, and the responsibility to protect populations against genocide and other crimes against humanity  – is that acting as a good international citizen wins hard-headed reputational and reciprocal-action returns, and as such bridges the gulf between idealism and realism by giving realists good reasons for behaving like idealists.

August 23, 2016
The current Canadian Defence Policy Review is not focused on questions of disarmament and arms control; Global Affairs Canada is the lead agency on those issues, and it would do well, by the way, to undertake a thorough review of related policies and priorities. Defence policies and postures do nevertheless help to either strengthen or undermine disarmament prospects. A case in point is NATO’s nuclear posture. Canada is involved as a NATO member and as a participant in NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group and as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well, Canada has a responsibility to pursue alliance defence policies and practices that are conducive to full implementation of the NPT and ending NATO’s reliance on nuclear deterrence. That would in turn also advance the individual and collective security interests of NATO member states, including Canada, and all the states of the Euro-Atlantic. 

It is little credit to the practice of diplomacy in Europe and North America that their military alliance has been allowed to become the primary institution through which they now seek to understand and engage Russia. NATO defines the Russian threat and prescribes the response – habitually reorganizing, rebranding, and redeploying military forces which, if they ever came to serious blows with their Russian counterparts, would leave in their wake a trail of destruction out of all proportion to the political, economic, territorial, or moral interests and values at stake. Canada, as a part of both NATO and the wider Euro-Atlantic community, has a role to play in righting east-west relations, but is a battle group in Latvia the best option?

Prepared by Ernie Regehr, O.C., Senior Fellow in Defence Policy and Arctic Security, The Simons Foundation and Michelle Jackett, M.A.

Updated: June 2016