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Never Again; nuclear vessel "visits" PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Wednesday, 28 July 2004 04:34
NEVER AGAIN: CIRCULATING AND BERTHING
OF US NUCLEAR POWERED OR NUCLEAR ARMS CAPABLE VESSELS.
Recently, the USS Abraham Lincoln -the vessel from which Bush declared the end to the US-invasion of Iraq- berthed in the harbour of Greater Victoria.

The intrusion into Canadian waters by U.S. nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable vessels contravenes obligations to prevent disasters, commitments to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, and a decision by the International Court of Justice.

NEVER AGAIN: CIRCULATING AND BERTHING
OF US NUCLEAR POWERED OR NUCLEAR ARMS CAPABLE VESSELS.

RE: USS Abraham Lincoln - THE LAST TIME

Nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable vessels; a floating target and a disaster in waiting.

The intrusion into Canadian waters by U.S. nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable vessels contravenes obligations to prevent disasters, commitments to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, and a decision by the International Court of Justice.

PREVENTING DISASTER


Under the Convention on Natural Disasters (1994) , governments enlarged the concept of natural disaster prevention to include Na-techs technological disasters and placed an emphasis on the imperative of developing:
" a global culture of prevention as an essential component of an integrated approach to disaster reduction".
And acknowledged that
?. Disaster response alone is not sufficient, as it yields only temporary results at a very high cost. We have followed this limited approach for too long.
... Prevention contributes to lasting improvement in safety and is essential to integrated disaster management? .

The Convention also affirmed the commitment to developing Disaster prevention is also closely linked to the precautionary principle which reads: where there is a threat to the environment lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing measures to
prevent the threat.

There are few activities that have the potential of a disaster more than the berthing of nuclear powered and nuclear-arms capable vessels in an urban harbour.

REDUCING AND ELIMINATING OF NUCLEAR ARMS

Recently, the US Congress passed a bill to spend $450 billion on
nuclear programmes and Ballistic Missile Defence.

This programme defies a long- term commitment made in Stockholm in 1972 to eliminate the production of weapons of mass destruction:
....to reach prompt agreement in the relevant international organs on the elimination and complete destruction of such weapons (UNCHE, 1972, Principle 26) and more specifically an obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Article VI: commits all parties to pursue negotiations in good faith on measures to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve disarmament.

It is obvious that US has abandoned all obligations and commitments to reduce its arsenal of nuclear weapons, including those carried by nuclear powered vessels.

PHASING OUT CIVIL NUCLEAR ENERGY
At the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development
(UNCED) the harm of high-level waste was acknowledged by all member
states of the United Nations:
"high-level waste (as well as spent nuclear fuel destined for final disposal) is generated world-wide from nuclear power production. These volumes are increasing as more nuclear power units are taken into operation, nuclear facilities are decommissioned and the use of radionuclides increases. The high-level waste contains about 99 percent of the radionuclides and thus represents the largest radiological risk "

Also at UNCED in a Nobel Laureate Declaration there was a call for the phase-out of nuclear energy .

The nuclear powered vessels could be described as a floating Chernobyl,
an accident in waiting.



ELIMINATING A THREAT TO HUMANITARIAN LAW (ICJ DECISION)

In the 1983 UN General Assembly resolution, "Condemnation of Nuclear War" governments condemned unconditionally that : "nuclear war as being contrary to human conscience and reason, as the most monstrous crime against peoples and as a violation of the foremost human right - the right to life "

This recognition was affirmed in July 8, 1996 decision of the International Court of Justice on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. the Court handed
down a decision that the use or the threat to use nuclear weapons was contrary to international humanitarian law.

The provocative circulation and berthing of U.S. nuclear powered and nuclear arms capable vessels, defies this ruling

REVISING CANADIAN POLICY

The Vancouver Island Peace Institute is being established to continue the work of the Vancouver Island Peace Society. The VIP society launched a court case in 1991 calling for an environmental assessment review under the EARP guidelines of nuclear powered and nuclear capable vessels in the urban port of Greater Victoria. This case was launched
in 1991, with over 800 pages of affidavits from experts, and citizens.

It was argued that in 1991 the Federal Conservative government had issued an Order in Council to bypass the government requirement to carry out an environmental assessment review.

The Liberal government was in power when the case was finally heard and the judge decided in favour of Cabinet Royal Prerogative.

In 1993, the NDP was in power provincially, there was a 50 to 1 vote in support of the court case, and 8 out of 10 of the municipalities- seven unanimously supported the case including all Greater Victoria Members
of Parliament and many local peace and environmental organizations

The judgment of the Federal Court was made over a year later. The Court held that the bypassing of the Environmental Assessment Review Process program was legitimate because of the principle of ?Royal Prerogative? of cabinet.

The Vancouver Island Peace Institute has obtained through Access to information, the full documentation of the court case, and will reconsider new legal means for preventing further circulating and berthing of nuclear vessels.

PROMOTING TRUE SECURITY
It is time to dispel the myth that Canada?s international reputation depends on Canada's establishing a strong military, and an increased integration with the US. If Canada is to have a solid international reputation, it has to cease being compliant to US policy, and to institute an independent common security national policy.

The circulation of US nuclear powered vessels, along with the maintenance of over 700 international US military bases around the world, the adoption of the policy of ?preventive? aggression, the establishment of Ballistic missile defence all contribute to a US-led international ?insecurity? policy. Through lobbying the US to abandon its policies and actions that contribute to global insecurity, through effectively contributing to the implementing of an international/ national policy that supports multilateralism, and the rule of international law, through promoting the delegitmization of war and reallocating military expense to further common security, Canada will ensure greater national security.



Joan Russow Ph.D. 1250 598-0071
Global Compliance Research Project
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 July 2004 04:34
 

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