Justin Trudeau 'disengaged' on nuclear weapons file
Canada has voted against a UN recommendation to launch negotiations aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons. Critics say Justin Trudeau has not “engaged” in the issue.
At the United Nations in late October 123 countries voted in favour of a recommendation endorsing the launch of negotiations aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons. Canada voted no. Douglas Roche, this country’s former Ambassador for Disarmament at the UN, is clearly piqued. “The government turned its back on an important nuclear disarmament initiative,” he says, “and sided with the nuclear weapons states that want to keep and modernize their nuclear arsenals for the rest of the 21st century.”
Roche adds, “the blame for the Canadian diplomatic debacle belongs squarely on the desk of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose office won’t even answer letters or phone calls from high-ranking persons trying to alert him to the need for Canadian action.” Roche says that Trudeau seems “disengaged” on nuclear arms control and that his government has undermined the nuclear disarmament work championed by his father Pierre Trudeau.
Therein lays an irony. During the waning months of his time in office in 1983, Pierre Trudeau engaged in shuttle diplomacy featuring stops in Moscow, Washington and the capitals of other nuclear powers. He urged them to call a halt to the nuclear arms race. No such diplomacy has brought to bear by Justin Trudeau, whose sunny ways rhetoric is beginning to wear thin.