Ana Vidal

Cite as


Delegation of Canada

Topic A: Prevention of non-state actors with chemical and biological weapons

While many advances have been achieved in the post-Cold War era regarding State disarmament especially in terms of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - which include chemical (CW) and biological weapons (BW) along with nuclear - through the 1968 Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) and the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC), and although the manufacturing, acquisition and use of WMD by non-State actors (“all entities different from States”) was already addressed in UN Security Council Resolution 1373 in 2001 and later on in a monographic form in UNSCR 1540, the issue is still an open front, as prove recent events in Iraq and Syria. Recalling the latest chemical attack in Syria, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed once again Canada’s commitment with the non-proliferation of BW and CW: “chemical attacks against innocent civilians, including many children ... cannot be ignored. These gruesome attacks cannot be permitted to continue with impunity”.

Nonetheless it is true that Canada had major involvement with both CW and BW during the Second World War, with Canadian Force Bases in Goose Bay and Suffield serving as major research centres on biological warfare, where both the offensive and defensive applications of ant...