A Proposal for an Arctic Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone
By Thomas S. Axworthy
Since nuclear weapons were first used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there has been a global movement seeking their elimination. This strength of this movement has waxed and waned, but the recent ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)in 2010 by Russia and the United States has renewed global interest in working towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons. This broad-based global movement includes heads of state and government, international commissions, and civil society groups working towards this goal. Indeed, a recent poll of citizens of the Arctic Council member states – commissioned by one of these civil society groups, the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation - shows a strong preference for the outright removal of nuclear weapons from the Arctic region. This desire for the creation of an Arctic Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (ANWFZ) is the subject of this paper.
Recently, Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have taken steps to minimize nuclear weapons. In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama gave hope to the world when the US President announced that his administration would work toward “a world without nuclear weapons” . Both governments signed (and have since ratified) New START which builds upon earlier arms control measures to essentially reduce the number of Russian and American strategic warheads and bombs to 1,550 each. Also, on April 12-13, 2010, 44 heads of state met in Washington for a global nuclear security summit to focus efforts on securing nuclear materials and preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Then in May 2010, in New York, there was a review conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and his colleagues have declared “there has never been a better time to revive total nuclear disarmament”.
President Obama, however, is not the first leader of a nuclear power to make overtures sparking hope for real progress towards a world in which nuclear threats no longer exist. President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union vividly remarked in 1987 that “there would be no second Noah’s ark for a nuclear deluge”. Thus, Gorbachev proposed a “zone of peace”. In a speech in Murmansk, he introduced the idea of an “Arctic Zone of Peace” saying, “let the north of the globe, the Arctic, become a zone of peace. Let the North Pole be a pole of peace”.
He set out a six-point program for how this “zone of peace” could be achieved, including: the establishment of a Nordic nuclear-free-zone in Northern Europe; limiting naval activities in the seas adjacent to that region; peaceful cooperation in exploiting the resources of the North and Arctic; scientific research; cooperation in environmental protection; and opening up the Northern Sea Route to foreign vessels. Gorbachev matched his worlds with action, leading one commentator to note that, “more has been done by the Soviet Union to develop Arctic cooperation since the Murmansk speech than during the previous seventy years”.
Reaction in the West to Gorbachev’s Murmansk Speech were mixed as there was both doubt about the authenticity of the security aspects of the speech, but positive feedback on the proposals for functional cooperation in areas such as science and the environment. However, with a President now in the White House who supports a denuclearization agenda, it is perhaps time for both the “West” (i.e. the United States and the other NATO allies of the Arctic region) and Russia to revisit Gorbachev’s idea for an Arctic Zone of Peace as a means to advance the greater agenda of getting to a world in which both the threat of nuclear war and nuclear attack have been eliminated. Subsequently, this paper proposes that an ANWFZ be established in order to forward the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons.
This paper is divided into six sections. The first reviews the arguments for why nuclear weapons should be eliminated and endorses the phased “minimization and elimination” framework of the International Commission on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. The second introduces the concept of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones as a concrete step in the medium-term to build towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. The third explains why the Arctic should be the next candidate for becoming a NWFZ. A framework for the ANWFZ is given in the fourth section. The fifth section seeks to counter those who argue that the goal of a NWFZ in the Arctic is utopian and unachievable by demonstrating that there is significant support for this concept. The paper concludes with a sixth section, giving thirty-three recommendations as to how to achieve the above.
1.0 The Case Against Nuclear Weapons
Almost as soon as they were used, the world had a moral revulsion against nuclear weapons. A primary goal of the international community since the destruction of Hiroshima sixty-five years ago has been to rid human kind of these horrendous weapons with more limited arms control measures being steps toward this goal. Indeed, in its first resolution on January 24, 1946, the UN General Assembly recommended the elimination of all nuclear weapons and other “weapons adaptable to mass destruction”.
In 1962, the world came close to destruction with the Cuban Missile Crisis. John F Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev took advantage of the crisis to agree to the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) in 1963 to reduce tensions between the superpowers and which ushered in the first cycle of arms control treaties and lead to a period of détente.
Mikhail Gorbachev led the way in a second cycle of arms control and disarmament after relations between the superpowers turned hostile following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Gorbachev and Reagan declared in Geneva in 1985 that “nuclear war cannot be won and it must never be fought”. The two leaders agreed on a treaty to eliminate medium and short-range missiles in Europe, followed by an agreement on a joint reduction in strategic offensive weapons. At Reykjavik, Iceland in October 1986, the two leaders returned to the goal first posited by the UN General Assembly in 1946 of eliminating nuclear weapons in their entirety.
Progress after Gorbachev, then slowed to a standstill, until January 4, 2007 when the essay A World Free of Nuclear Weapons by George Schulz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn was published in the Wall Street Journal. Because these four gentlemen concerned were “not known for utopian thinking,” as Gorbachev noted in supporting the initiative of the former statesmen, and with years of experience in shaping the policies of previous administrations, their endorsement “of a world free from nuclear weapons” put nuclear disarmament back on the world’s policy agenda.
Malcolm Fraser, long-time chairperson of the Interaction Council, in an article entitled A World Free of Nuclear Weapons succinctly summarises the case against nuclear weapons:
Both in the scale of the indiscriminate devastation they cause, and in their uniquely persistent, spreading, genetically damaging radioactive fallout, nuclear weapons are unlike any other ‘weapons’. They cannot be used for any legitimate military purpose. Any use, or threat of use, should be a violation of international humanitarian law. The notion that nuclear weapons can ensure anyone’s security is fundamentally flawed. Nuclear weapons most threaten those who possess them, or claim protection from them, because they become the preferred targets for others’ nuclear weapons. Accepting that nuclear weapons can have a legitimate place, even if solely for ‘deterrence’, means being willing to accept the incineration of tens of millions of fellow humans and radioactive devastation of large areas, and is fundamentally immoral. Nuclear weapons cannot be divided into those for use and those for deterrence. Deterrence is predicated on having the demonstrated capacity and will to unleash nuclear weapons, and runs on fallible systems on high-alert which have already almost failed us more than 5 times.
The case against nuclear weapons seems incontrovertible. But how to get to a nuclear-weapon-free world and develop a real roadmap for progress is the rub. The Evans-Kawaguchi report Eliminating Nuclear Threats has a very useful strategy of “minimization” and “elimination” which is applied to this paper. Minimization begins with a reduction in the roles and strategies of nuclear weapons, though they have not yet completely disappeared. After a period of steady progress on reductions and confidence-building measures (CBMs), the world will be ready for a leap to elimination.
In 2006, the International Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission chaired by Hans Blix issued a report with thirty recommendations dealing with nuclear weapons. The Commission proposed a short-term action plan to 2012, a medium-term action plan from 2012 to 2025 and a longer-term plan of getting to zero by 2025.
Short Term (2010-2012): The goal is move nuclear weapons from the foreground of international affairs to the background; to reduce the number of nuclear weapons; to strengthen Non-Proliferation Treaty compliance; bring into force the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); and end launch on warning.
Medium Term (2012-2025): will continue progress on reducing weapons to 2000 compared to 23,000 now in existence; a declaratory policy of no first use; negotiate an effective Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty; remove all American nuclear weapons from Europe; ensure compliance with existing nuclear-free zone treaties; extend their range to include other weapons of mass destruction and add new non-nuclear zones, such as the Arctic.
Long Term (2025 and beyond): reach the minimization point by 2025 of low numbers of nuclear weapons by 2025, and agreed doctrine of no first use; credible force postures and verifiable deployments. Then create the conditions necessary to move from minimization to elimination.
This paper concentrates on the second phase of this journey – the medium term – and advocates creating an ANWFZ to add to the five existing NWFZs. It is important to emphasize that the proposal for an ANWFZ presupposes that the first phase of minimization has been achieved. The entry into force of New START combined with the American and Russia’s new commitment to deep reductions in existing stockpiles will be a welcome announcement for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review process, and goes a long way towards satisfying the short term preconditions of this paper’s approach. However there are still obstacles (which will be discussed below) to establishing an ANWFZ, most prominently Russia’s nuclear force structure - which relies on missile-firing submarines based in the Arctic that can sail under the ice of the Arctic Ocean - and Arctic NATO members like Canada and Norway supporting the Alliance’s current declaratory policy and nuclear force structure.
Nuclear disarmament and arms control treaties are the stuff of high politics. However it should not be forgotten that a tremendous impetuous behind the efforts of President Obama, President Medvedev and others to move us to a nuclear free world is the hope of average citizens across the world. Civil society has gotten behind the minimization-elimination agenda. Initiatives like the Global Zero campaign, Pugwash, Mayors for Peace, and the Middle Powers Initiative to urge concrete steps to end our reliance on nuclear weapons. In the Arctic, as early as 1977, the Inuit Circumpolar Council issued a resolution on their goal of an ANWFZ. Wishing to restrict “the Arctic and sub-Arctic to those uses which are peaceful and environmentally safe,” the ICC called for no nuclear testing or nuclear devices in the Arctic or sub-Arctic. The current generation of Inuit leaders have not lost any of the farsighted wisdom of their predecessors. In April 2009, the ICC issued a declaration on Arctic sovereignty, which again made the case that “Inuit had been living in the Arctic from time immemorial” and therefore “Inuit consent, expertise, and perspectives are critical to progress on international issues involving the Arctic”. Our proposal for an ANWFZ is not a southern “do-gooders” idea foisted on the North; it responds in fact, to a deeply and long held view of Inuit.
Indeed, the views of the Inuit and non-Inuit alike on the subject of an ANWFZ were most recently reflected in the 2010 survey Rethinking the Top of the World. Over 9000 residents from across the eight Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States) were randomly interviewed for the survey to give their opinion on a variety of issues affecting the Arctic. Respondents from six of the eight Arctic States strongly agreed with the notion of an ANWFZ (support was strongest amongst Swedes and Norwegians at 83% and 82% respectively) when asked if the region should be free of nuclear weapons. Respondents from the Arctic’s two nuclear weapons states, Russia and the United States, were far less supportive (only 56% of Russians and 47% of Americans supported creating an ANWFZ . Given the strong public support of Arctic states, this paper turns to the subject of NWFZs and how one could be created in the Arctic.
2.0 An Introduction to Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones (NWFZs)
This section will provide an introduction to the NWFZ concept by explaining its goals, outlining the principles that the United Nations has set for NWFZs, presenting the arguments for how NWFZs contribute to non-proliferation, introducing the existing NWFZs, and providing a history of NWFZ proposals in the Arctic.
What do NWFZ try to achieve? According to Weerakoon-Gonnewardene, “the aims of the proposal for a ... Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone ... are to raise the nuclear threshold and reduce the risk of escalation in a region where strategic, tactical and conventional weapons are located, and to lessen the danger of a surprise attack...” It does so through mandating the non-possession, non-deployment and non-use of nuclear weapons within the zone. This has the end goal, as so aptly put by Nobel Prize winning Mexican diplomat Alfonso Garcia Robles of gradually increasing the areas “from which nuclear weapons are prohibited to a point where the territories of the powers which possess these terrible weapons of mass destruction will be something like contaminated islets subject to quarantine”. By isolating nuclear weapon states, NWFZs send the powerful message that there is a consensus against the presence of nuclear weapons and that this should be the norm of the entire world. Weerakoon-Gonnewardene concludes that a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone is “a confidence-building measure with political implications in addition to its military significance”. Subsequently, a NWFZ can be seen as a building block towards a more comprehensive peace. This momentum could then be used to create a world free of nuclear weapons.
NWFZs contribute to non-proliferation through their rigorous verification procedures which are stringent than the International Atomic Agency (IAEA) safeguards. This is because IAEA verification procedures are geared towards ensuring that non-Nuclear Weapon States are not diverting nuclear materials meant for civilian purposes towards building nuclear weapons. NWFZ verification procedures extend further to ensure that the sanctity of the NWFZ is not being violated by clandestine import of nuclear weapons or the use of territory within the zones for the manufacturing or testing of nuclear weapons. Consequently, the more stringent verification procedures not only ensure that there are not nuclear weapons related activities occurring within the zone, but they also seek to build confidence that the regime is being respected, something that the IAEA verification procedures cannot boost after numerous problems relating to verification in both Iran and North Korea. Moreover, NWFZs contribute to non-proliferation, because of their stringent control measures. The existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone treaties have opted to set up regional control mechanisms to facilitate the verification regime, as well as information exchange, consultations, and even a complaints procedure for dealing with perceived violations of the treaty requirements.
Most importantly, NWFZs contribute to non-proliferation by limiting the number of potential nuclear actors. NWFZs often require each party to declare any ability they have to manufacture or test nuclear explosives and destroy these facilities or covert them to peaceful purposes. With the accompanying verification procedures, this requirement of a NWFZ reduces the salience of the argument that while it may be a good idea to abolish nuclear weapons, it is impossible that they stay abolished, because the facilities and know-how continue to exist. Xia Liping rightfully asserts that “these measures will return nuclear threshold states or de facto nuclear weapon states to the status of non-nuclear weapon states, and prevent them from going nuclear again” and cites South Africa under the Pelindaba Treaty as a successful example. Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones, therefore, contribute importantly towards non-proliferation efforts by reducing the nuclear-weapons related capacity of the participating states.
In order to help regions achieve NWFZ status, the United Nations Disarmament Commission in its April 30, 1999 report put forth a set of four principles and guidelines for establishing Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zones. The first principle is that the decision to create a NWFZ should be freely arrived at by the states that make up the region. The second principle is that the proposal to establish a NWFZ should emanate from within the region itself and not be the result of the coercive action of outside actors. Third, it is necessary to consult the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), so that they may sign and ratify the protocols of the treaty. This would mean that they have made a legally binding commitment to respect the zone and not deploy nuclear weapons against states that are party to the treaty. The fourth and final principle set out by the UN Disarmament Commission is that a NWFZ should not prevent the use of nuclear science and technology for civilian purposes, but should encourage cooperation to ensure that its use remains peaceful.
There are currently five existing Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaties. These are: Antarctica (1959), Latin America (1967), South Pacific (1985), Southeast Asia (1995) and Africa (1996). This means that states are not permitted to acquire, test, station or develop nuclear weapons in over one hundred countries, including the entirety of the Southern Hemisphere. The Antarctica Treaty should be taken as a starting point for the negotiation of an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, as the geography and climate create similarities between the two and there is a substantial overlap in key players in both areas. In addition, the Southeast Asia Treaty can serve as a guide, because it includes provisions including to straits and EEZs (Exclusive Economic Zones) within the Zone, which is analogous to the situation in the Arctic of both the Northeast and Northwest Passages. It is helpful to learn from the experiences of the existing NWFZs when designing the Arctic NWFZ. However, at the same time, no perfect analogy exists. The Antarctica Treaty relates to a region with no permanent human population, while the other treaties relate to heavily populated areas. The Arctic, however, has a mixture of both. As well, the Arctic is mostly ocean, while the other treaties relate primarily to land. Therefore, an innovative approach that takes into account the best practises and lessons learned from the existing treaties is what is needed to conclude a treaty marking the Arctic as a NWFZ.
The concept of a NWFZ in the Arctic is not a new one. Proposals have been made as early as 1961 when Norway and Denmark decided not to deploy nuclear weapons on their territory during peacetime, the Swedish Foreign Minister proposed setting up a club of states, which would agree not to deploy nuclear weapons. According to Hamel-Green, the first proposal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in the Arctic was put forward in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1964. It has subsequently been picked up by Inuit organizations (including the Inuit Circumpolar Council), regional and international peace organizations, academic researchers and Arctic region specialists. This paper builds on this body of literature to develop a workable framework for a NWFZ in the Arctic, in the hope that this will contribute to making progress towards the end goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
2.1 Why the Arctic?
The prominent scholar Oran Young once told a Canadian parliamentary committee that “we’re still in the first grade in terms of learning to cooperate in the Arctic”. There is room for more intensified cooperation and one such cooperative project could be a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The Arctic is a good potential candidate to be the next area covered by a NWFZ because of the history of nuclear activities in the region, climate change, bringing with it new challenges to state sovereignty and subsequently increasing military activity, the continued presence of the superpower’s nuclear arsenals, and the existence of current treaties which can serve as a foundation to build an ANWFZ upon.
Historically, the Arctic has been construed in the minds of southern defence planners as a “military theatre” in which all interests – including those of the local indigenous population – were subordinated to national security concerns. During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear exchange, most of the Soviet and American nuclear arsenals would have transited through the Arctic on their way to their targets. In addition to this, the Arctic has been home to “great power transit and deployment of strategic nuclear weapons above and below the ice; nuclear weapon accidents; atmospheric and underground nuclear testing; and radioactive waste and fallout contamination (and associated health impacts for indigenous peoples); and displacement of indigenous peoples as a result of military bases and infrastructure”.
Both the United States and the USSR have carried out nuclear tests in the Arctic region. Three American underground nuclear tests occurred on Amchitka Island, Alaska, in the Bering Sea from 1941 to 1992. The largest was a 5 Megaton (Mt) bomb on November 6, 1971. In 1996 Greenpeace reported that there had been leakage of radionuclides from the test sits, contaminating the surrounding environment, including freshwater sources, which has affected the subsistence food supplies of the Aleut natives.
Soviet testing was much more extensive. Beginning in 1954 atmospheric, underground and oceanic testing of nuclear weapons were carried out on Novaya Zemlya, which consists of two large islands approximately 450 kilometers from the Arctic Circle between the Barents and Kara polar seas. Under the supervision of the Soviet Navy, a total of 130 tests have been carried out at Novaya Zemlya with 224 separate explosive devices equal to about 265Mt (the 50 Mt Tzar Bomba, the largest nuclear explosion to date, was tested here on October 20, 1961). The underground tests are unique in that they were conducted in frozen rock, which has not occurred elsewhere. There have been three accidental releases of significant radioactive materials, including two which resulted in what the Soviets termed "emergency situations". Testing at Novaya Zemlya continued even after the LTBT (1963), which banned nuclear test explosions in the atmosphere, underwater and in space, as well as tests that cause fallout outside of the borders of the Soviet Union (Norway has been affected by the tests). Not only was Novaya Zemlya the site of many nuclear tests, but it also served as a graveyard for various nuclear weapons, nuclear-powered submarines and reactors.
The Canadian Arctic was also home to extensive uranium and radium mining from the 1930s until the 1960s. The mining negatively impacted the environment and harmed the long-term health of Northerners working in the mines. For example, Dene men worked in transporting the materials, but they and their communities were never informed of the potential health risks that this entailed. As a result, the Dene people of Great Bear Lake have suffered grossly inflated cancer rates.
In addition to nuclear testing, uranium mining, and being a dumping ground for Soviet-era nuclear materials, the Arctic has been radioactively contaminated by accidents involving nuclear fuel and weapons, most famously the 1968 crash of a B-52 carrying four MK28 nuclear bombs, each with a yield of 1.5 Mt during a route patrol over Greenland. In the massive clean-up operations that ensued, many Greenlandic workers were exposed to high levels of radiation from the wreckage of the bombs, at instances as much as three hundred times the US military lower limit. It even became necessary to ship to Greenland polar bear skins, so that the Inuit could replace their clothing, which had become heavily contaminated.
Unlike the invisible threat of radioactive contamination, climate change is having discernable effect on the Arctic region. As has been demonstrated in countless documentaries, studies, reports and news pieces, the Arctic ice is receding. Depending on who is consulted the rates at which this is occurring vary remarkably. The Arctic Council’s Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004 projected the “near total loss of sea ice in summer for late this century”. Rapid ablation of sea ice in recent years and the conclusions of the 2007 Fourth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has some to conclude that the Arctic Ocean and its littoral states may be free of ice in summer within the next five to fifteen years, while the majority predicts that sometime shortly after 2030 is a more reasonable date. Eventually it is expected that the Arctic Ocean will come to resemble the Baltic Sea, with a thin layer of seasonable ice covering it during the winter months, so that it is navigable year round with the right equipment.
The receding ice will make the vast natural resources of the region increasingly accessible for extraction. Several states have laid claim to these resources, often in the same area. Sovereignty is the issue du jour in the Arctic with boundary disputes and inflammatory domestic legislation abounding. There are several boundary disputes in the Arctic, as neighbouring states lay claim to the same, resource-rich territory. For example, Canada has six outstanding boundary-related disputes, including most significantly in the Northwest Passage, a body of water connecting the Arctic and Pacific Oceans. On September 10, 1985 then External Affairs Minister Joe Clark announced Canada would draw straight baselines around its archipelago and since that time the United States, the European Union, and Japan have all refuted that claim. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated on September 17, 2008 that Russia should pass a law to mark its Arctic territory in the disputed areas where significant natural resource deposits can be found. To ensure Canada’s sovereignty the Canadian Government under Stephen Harper has promised to increase military resources in the region through large procurement programs and increased military activity.
Like Canada, other governments around the region have been devoting increasing resources to further developing their military presence in the Arctic. Denmark has released a defence position paper recommending the establishment of a dedicated Arctic military contingent drawing on all divisions of its armed forces. Norway is purchasing new fighter jets and has built and continues to build ships that are suitable for Arctic patrols. Russia too, has approved the establishment of a stronger military presence in the Arctic in the form of a special brigade designated towards defending Russia’s Arctic and the necessary resources to pay for it. The United States Navy has declared that it will increase its Arctic operations as the ice recedes. For example, in 2005 a Los Angeles-class American submarine spent two weeks under the North Pole, a feat that was considered to be a technological achievement that will have implications for future missions.
These competing sovereignty claims cause concern for increased military activity in the Arctic, but there is little consensus as to whether military conflict in the Arctic is likely or not. There are those who argue that war in the Arctic is a sure thing. For example, Borgerson writes that “the combination of new shipping routes, trillions of dollars in possible gas and oil resources, and a poorly defined picture of state ownership makes for a toxic brew”. Similarly, Jayantha Dhanapala, the former UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament Affairs has written that, “...as someone who has devoted most of his working life to the cause of disarmament, and especially nuclear disarmament, I am deeply concerned over the fact that two nuclear weapon states ... converge on the Arctic and have competing claims. These claims ... could, if unresolved, lead to conflict escalating into the threat of use of nuclear weapons”. However, there is equal evidence to suggest that this can be avoided, because disagreements “are being handled in an orderly fashion” and that there is a history of cooperation among the concerned states and interest in preserving the stability of the region. It should be noted that the May 2008, Ilulissat Declaration the five coastal nations bordering the Arctic Ocean agreed to refer to and respect have the law of the sea as the basis for resolving all of their outstanding maritime boundary disputes. While this did not specifically reference the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLSO), it is hoped that the sovereignty disputes over jurisdiction will be resolved by UNCLOS with no need to resort to military means. Indeed, in 2010 Russia and Norway peacefully negotiated a settlement to a forty-year-old boundary dispute in the Barents Sea.
The Arctic is also a favourable candidate for a NWFZ because -like UNCLOS - there are existing arrangements covering non-proliferation concerns in the Arctic, including the Seabed Treaty and the Non-Proliferation Treaty though none of these are comprehensive enough to adequately address nuclear issues. The Seabed Treaty (1971) requires that parties to the treaty (which all Arctic states are) do not place nuclear weapons on the seabed, ocean floor or subsoil, or facilities designed to store, test, or use nuclear weapons. In addition, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty’s Article VII commits the Arctic states (again because they are all state parties) to conclude regional treaties to “assure the total absence of nuclear weapons from their respective territories”. The fact that regional states were able to agree to these non-proliferation efforts is a positive starting point for the negotiation of a NWFZ Treaty. The fact that there is already a somewhat robust legal framework governing activities in the Arctic means that there is a positive foundation upon which a NWFZ treaty can be built. However, these agreements are not wide enough in their scope or specific enough to address the Arctic’s unique security issues.
Weerakoon-Gonnewardene cautions that when drafting the ANWFZ “it would be necessary to define this term ‘nuclear weapon’ very carefully. Usually it applies to nuclear bombs and warheads –explosives – only”. Clearly, when defining what “nuclear” means in the context of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone it is necessary to make sure that the scope is broad enough so that it is not possible for states to quickly rebuild their nuclear weapons capacity again after they are dismantled.
Not only should an ANWFZ prohibit the use of nuclear weapons, but it should also prohibit conventional weapons attacks on nuclear installations. This is because the environmental and health fallouts from the latter would resemble the former. It is also necessary to decommission nuclear weapons facilities. This will help to ensure that once nuclear weapons are removed from the zone, they will be unlikely to return.
In addition, because one of the goals of the NWFZ is to create movement towards a complete abolition of nuclear weapons, the treaty should include prohibitions on the conduct of nuclear weapons related research. This seems like a logical conclusion, but to date the existing NWFZ treaties have been “weak or silent” on this provision. The Arctic region has been the theatre of large-scale nuclear testing, especially in the 1950s. The ANWFZ should end this practise by including a provision affirming all zonal states support for the CTBT, which has yet to come into force, because the necessary states have not yet ratified. The United States, specifically, needs to ratify the CTBT as the Senate failed to ratify the CTBT when it voted in October 1999. President Obama committed his administration to bringing about the quick ratification of this treaty in his Prague speech in April 2009, so there is hope that US ratification is forthcoming. Furthermore, it is relatively simple to verify that no tests have been carried out, because of the sophistication of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). This organization includes 337 monitoring systems and has proven sensitive enough to detect even the smallest of nuclear tests.
While it is important to safeguard against nuclear installations becoming targets and research into nuclear weapons technology, a NWFZ in the Arctic should in no way interfere with a member state’s ability to use nuclear technology for peaceful civilian purposes. Experts predict a doubling of nuclear power plants by 2030 and both the NPT and the existing NWFZs do permit for the peaceful application of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy is deemed integral to the strategy to produce energy at a lower greenhouse gas emissions rate, so as to address the catastrophic effects of climate change. However, there are those who would argue that there is a direct correlation between increased nuclear energy production and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kate Hudson goes as far to say that “increasing nuclear power and decreasing nuclear weapons is an oxymoron” and Mikhail Gorbachev has even called for the elimination of “all aspects of energy programs that have a nuclear use”. Equally there are those who argue that “not even a tenfold increase in power reactors will have a significant impact on nuclear proliferation”. However, signatories to the NPT have the obligation not to divert nuclear technology from peaceful uses to military purposes. Since, the goal of the ANWFZ is to protect citizens against the destructive power of nuclear weapons the choice of whether a zonal state chooses to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes should be the choice of the individual state.
3.2 Geographical Limits
The geographical limits of the “Arctic” need to be explicitly defined in an ANWFZ. The traditional definitions of the region should be taken into account. Adjacent seas, sea beds, continental shelves, disputed territories, international waters, and airspace should all be covered by the treaty.
Oran Young writes that the Arctic encompasses, “Alaska (except for the area known as the Southeast); the Yukon and Northwest Territories, northern Quebec, and all of Labrador in Canada; all of Greenland; Iceland, the northern counties of Norway, Sweden, and Finland (known collectively as Fennoscandia); and all of what the Russians treat as the Arctic and the Russian North [as well as] the marine systems of the Arctic Ocean and its adjacent seas, including the Bering, Chukchi, Beaufort, Greenland and Norwegian, Barents, Kara, Laptev, and East Siberian Seas”. Using this definition the “Arctic” comprises 8% or 40 million square kilometres of the earth’s surface, but less than 1% of the world’s population. The majority (approximately 75%) of Arctic inhabitants live in Russia and about 10% are Indigenous peoples who are a majority in Canada’s eastern Arctic, northern Quebec and Greenland.
While it is widely recognized that the states that make up the Arctic are Canada, Finland, Greenland-Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States, there are a wide variety of states who consider themselves to be relevant actors or stakeholders in the Arctic. This includes countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, France and the United Kingdom; as well as the European Union. These states are considered “relevant actors”, because they have an established interest and developed capability in Arctic science or are “stakeholders”, because they are currently exploiting Arctic resources. Russia, and to a certain extent Canada, have traditionally taken an exclusive view towards which states should be consulted on Arctic matters, preferring to limit negotiations to only those states who meet Young’s definition of “Arctic” (see above). This exclusive attitude has generally stemmed from fears regarding sovereignty or access to natural resources.
While negotiating a NWFZ, however, such concerns do not exist. The issue of nuclear weapons is truly a global concern. Therefore, while it will ultimately be zonal states who conclude the treaty (in conformity to the United Nations principles), there should also be consultations with relevant actors and stakeholders who may be able to provide assistance towards surveillance and information sharing procedures that ensure compliance with Treaty provisions. As in all NWFZ treaty negotiations, the recognized Nuclear Weapon States under the NPT have to be engaged and it would be prudent to engage the de facto nuclear states (i.e. India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) as well. Dhanapala has also usefully suggested that a two-tier structure be adopted for an ANWFZ “with the 8 circumpolar countries in a special category and other countries such as major maritime nations and nations with mining and oil and gas exploration interests in another category” with different rights and responsibilities.
Not only is it necessary to define which states will be involved in the zone, but it is vital to the success of the zone that its precise geographical limits are clearly defined. While this paper takes Gorbachev’s Murmansk speech as its point of departure, it does recognize that there was one fatal flaw in his design. Gorbachev’s “zone of peace” in the Arctic did not include the Arctic Ocean precisely because this area was of vital importance to the success of Russia’s strategic nuclear submarine operations. It is therefore essential to the success of an Arctic NWFZ that adjacent seas – the Arctic Ocean – be included in its territory in addition to the land territory and airspace above both.
Included in the zone should also be all the continental shelves of party states. The Bangkok Treaty which set up the Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Southeast Asia in 1995 included this provision, because there were areas under jurisdictional dispute between the contracting parties. A similar situation exists in the Arctic where, for example, both Canadian and Russian continental shelves overlap leading to disagreement over where their respect jurisdictions end. Because the continental shelves are a potential source of conflict (because that is where the vast oil and gas resources are located) they should be included in a NWFZ Treaty. This, however, should not be difficult to secure as it has already been mentioned all Arctic states are signatories to the Seabed Treaty, which forbids nuclear weapons being stationed on the Arctic Ocean floor.
For much the same reasoning international waters adjacent to Arctic states should be nuclear weapon free and thus covered under the treaty. While some credit the exclusion of international waters from the Pelindaba Treaty which set up a NWFZ in Africa, for its quick ratification, it is integral to the success of an Arctic NWFZ that they be included. This is because of the unresolved legal status of the Northwest Passage (NWP). NWP winds through the islands of the Canadian Arctic archipelago connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific. It is anticipated that as the Arctic ice recedes this will become an active area for international shipping as it greatly reduces freight times between Europe and Asia and can accommodate larger vessels than the Panama Canal. Canada considers this area to be its internal waters, but the United States and others do not agree. The source of American concerns is that to agree that the NWP is Canadian internal waters could set a precedent for the legal status of other straits around the world. The United States, therefore, argues that the NWP is an international strait meeting the definition set by the International Court of Justice in the Strait of Corfu Judgement. In that case the ICJ ruled that an international strait is “a body of water that joins two international bodies of water and is used by international shipping”. This is significant because under UNCLOS all states have a “right of passage” in an international strait. However, the argument can be made that it is in all concerned states interests to have this area covered by a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. As the NWP is narrow and shallow it is unfavourable for submarines, which are the main method of deployment for nuclear weapons. Consequently, the NWP is already more or less nuclear-weapon-free and therefore the major nuclear players in the region have little to lose by including it within the zone, but much to gain from ensuring that other nuclear powers are unable to transit this area with all of the attendant security and environmental problems that this creates.
Michael Wallace, the late Executive Member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, has written that there are two major factors which complicate an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. First, both the United States and Russia frequently deploy nuclear-capable submarines throughout Arctic waters. Second, the important Russian naval base, known as Zapadnaya Litsa, is located just north of the Arctic Circle on the Kola Peninsula. This base houses Russia’s most advanced SSBNs. Therefore, in order for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone to be created it would be necessary that Russia remove its nuclear-capable submarines from this base. The base, however, need not be shut down completely. It provides an important source of revenue for the region and its complete closure would have significant impacts on the local population. The United States, alternatively, does not deploy nuclear weapons in its Arctic territory at present.
This issue of the Zapadnaya Litsa raises perhaps the biggest challenge for setting the geographical limits of an ANWFZ: is it possible to include only parts of the two Nuclear Weapon States? Wallace and Staples believe that “...it is almost unimaginable that the Americans would agree to declaring any portion of their territory free from nuclear weapons”. Xia Liping explains that there are two reasons that the Chinese government has strongly opposed proposals to include parts of its territory in a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone for Northeast Asia (NWFZNEA). The first, she writes, is that “it is almost impossible, under the current circumstances, for the United States, Russia, and China to exclude their nuclear weapons from portions for their territory, as it would mean giving up sovereignty and there will not be sufficient mutual political trust among them to do so in the foreseeable future”. The second reason that Xia Liping gives is, “it would be very difficult for governments of the three NWS [nuclear weapon states] to explain to their peoples why certain portions of their countries should be included in the NWFZ-NEA, and why other nuclear powers can offer security assurances to these portions, but not to other areas”.
The first issue that Xia Liping raises is essentially one of political will. Giving up sovereignty will be a tough sell in many constituencies. The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has won praise among sections of the Canadian population for his “use it or lose it” slogan when it comes to Arctic sovereignty. Therefore, political will must be facilitated. Political will is integral to moving forward on all Arctic security issues. That is why the framework for the NWFZ that is proposed in this paper (to be detailed below) includes a significant amount of CBMs. It is hoped that these CBMs will instill the trust that is necessary for the Nuclear Weapon States to relinquish the sovereignty required to implement a NWFZ in the Arctic.
The second issue that Xia Liping raises is how the inhabitants of the Arctic NWFZ will react to the fact that their fellow citizens continue to live under the nuclear umbrella, but they themselves are left outside it. The intent of the NWFZ proposal is not to create two classes of citizens, with one entitled to more security than another. The reasoning behind it is that nuclear weapons pose more risk to human life and dignity than they do security and it is therefore necessary that they be abolished. However, it recognizes that the major nuclear weapon powers – the United States and Russia among them – are not yet willing to relinquish their entire arsenal. It therefore recommends a minimization approach, whereby the use of nuclear weapons is gradually scaled down until Nuclear Weapon States are at a point where they feel comfortable fully surrendering their arsenal. From this logic it is hoped that the exact opposite of what Xia Liping reasons will occur. It is hoped that those citizens who are left under the nuclear umbrella will be unhappy that they must live with the risks that living under such an umbrella implies, while their fellow citizens have been liberated from these fears, because as has already been argued in this paper – the deterrence factor of nuclear weapons in the post-9/11 era are minimal, while the threat of their use is maximal.
There is no doubt that the conclusion of a treaty to create a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Arctic will be difficult, both diplomatically and politically, because it does include only parts of the two major nuclear weapons superpowers. However, the goal is not to create a “zone of peace” free from nuclear weapons in the Arctic and then have a build-up of nuclear weapons right on its border. That would defeat what the zone is trying to achieve. Consequently, it would also be necessary to have what Prawitz calls a “thinning out” of nuclear weapons in the territories just outside the zone. According to Prawitz, “ ‘thinning out’ arrangements imply that those nuclear weapon systems whose clear purpose is to attack targets within the zone, or that have short ranges and are deployed very close to the zone, thus implying that their primary purpose is for use against the zone, should be withdrawn”. Such a move is necessary, because without it the goals of the NWFZ in the Arctic cannot be realized. This “thinning out” proposal will ensure that the spirit of the NWFZ initiative is respected and if the two largest nuclear weapon powers are able to agree to include part of their territories within such a zone, this would have positive knock-on effects outside of just the Arctic, perhaps providing an incentive for the Chinese to conclude a NWFZ in Northeast Asia.
To summarize, a Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone in the Arctic should include the territories of Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, as well as Alaska and Northern Russia. Key players and stakeholders from outside the zone, such as Japan and South Korea, as well as the nuclear weapon states (UK, France, and China especially) should be consulted. The area to be covered includes all land, airspace, adjacent seas (including the Arctic Ocean), the seabed, continental shelves and international waters, including the Northwest Passage. It will include only parts of the two nuclear weapon states in the region, which will require a “thinning out” of nuclear weapons along the border of the region.
3.3 A Policy of Non-First Use of Nuclear Weapons
A non-first use policy is an essential component of an Arctic NWFZ Treaty, as the doctrine of first use does not fit with a policy of increasing partnership between NATO and Russia, even if nuclear weapons are not used. This will require changes to American, Russian, and NATO policies, but it should be recognized that it does not prohibit NATO military cooperation in the region. Moscow has sent somewhat unclear messages on its policy of first use of nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union had a policy of non-first use, but the Russian Federation that followed renounced this pledge in 1993. Since that time, Moscow has both said that it would not use nuclear weapons against states that do not posses them, but at the same time has warned that it remains open to using nuclear weapons if other means fail to “repulse armed aggression”. Similarly, the United States also has a policy of first use and has threatened to use nuclear weapons to retaliate against adversaries who attack US troops abroad, or US allies, with WMDs. Due to the fact that only parts of the Nuclear-Weapon States will be covered by the ANWFZ Treaty, both Russia and the United States should declare that the sole purpose of their remaining nuclear weapons (as long as they exist) is to deter the use of nuclear weapons against itself.
Complicating the non-first use policy is that many of the zonal states are members of the NATO alliance, which has a stance of first use of military weapons. Both Denmark and Norway have committed themselves to not deploy nuclear weapons on their territory during peacetime. Gorbachev recognized that “this stance, if consistently adhered to, is important for lessening tensions in Europe”.
Does this mean that zonal states must withdraw from NATO? Perhaps not. Wallace and Staples argue that, “it might well be possible to draft an Arctic NWFZ Treaty that does not conflict with the letter of NATO members’ commitments to the Alliance’s Strategic Concept, but ... it is clear that membership in a NWFZ would be incompatible with its spirit”. Therefore, it does warrant a discussion about reconfiguring the NATO’s Strategic Concept on Nuclear Weapons. According to Prawitz the first use policy “confirms the supreme guarantee of the security of the allies is provided by the strategic forces of the alliance; that new measures will share the benefits and responsibility from this in the same way that all other allies in accordance with the Strategic Concept; and that ‘new members will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in the Allies strategy of war prevention as set forth in the Strategic Concept”. NATO leaders, with President Obama taking the lead, should revisit this policy. Russia and NATO consider each other to be the major threat in terms of nuclear weapons in this region of the world. A tit-for-tat renunciation of a first use policy would improve the safety and security of both and thus it should be adopted.
A renunciation of the first use of nuclear weapons by NATO states in the Arctic region does not mean that these countries will no longer be under the NATO umbrella or that they would not be permitted to uphold their obligations to fellow NATO states. For example, Roscini has concluded in his international legal analysis of the Central Asian NWFZ that, “the combined effect of the two paragraphs of Article 12 is that only those provisions of previous treaties that do not prejudice the effective implementation... of the Treaty are preserved...therefore, the Central Asian denuclearized States parties to the Tashkent Treaty still have an obligation to provide military assistance to the other parties (including Russia) in case of aggression, but this assistance cannot include the acceptance of nuclear explosive devices on their territory”. According to this precedent, zonal states would be able to continue to provide military assistance and be protected by the mutual assistance provisions of the Washington Treaty, without the accompanying pitfalls of nuclear weapons. The conventional weapon superiority of the United States and the NATO Alliance ensures that a policy of deterrence and mutual aid will persist. A non-first use clause must therefore, be included in the Treaty, as should an explicit declaration that the purpose of the remaining nuclear weapons outside of the zone is purely for deterring against the use of nuclear weapons against itself.
However, the non-nuclear weapon states in the Arctic should renounce immediately their protection under the First Use Policy of NATO and the American nuclear umbrella. Adherence to this policy is contrary to the normally strong stance that countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Canada take towards international and humanitarian law. The International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion in 1996 that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”. The current stance of these states towards the first use policy is therefore severely out of step with the rest of their foreign policy and should be altered immediately.
Due to the fact that the ANWFZ envisioned by this paper allows for the peaceful civilian use of nuclear technology, while making illegal the production and testing of nuclear weapons technology an essential element of the framework, there must be verification procedures to ensure that these differences are being respected. The verification system must ensure that all parties are complying with the conditions of the treaty.
There are several areas that should be subject to verification. First, zonal states should be subject to surveillance to ensure that peaceful nuclear activities, including those related to nuclear energy, are not being diverted towards nuclear weapons. Second, that all nuclear weapons present in the zone had been removed and that there has been no new deployment of nuclear weapons into the ANFWZ. Due to the fact that the geographical boundaries that were delineated for the zone included all airspace, adjacent seas, and international waters it is also necessary to put in place verification procedures to make sure that other states are not transiting the zones with nuclear weapons. This is essential for the credibility of the zone, because it is not only necessary to have the zonal states keep nuclear weapons out of the zone, but that there are no nuclear weapons in the zone – period.
Verification regimes of the existing NWFZ treaties vary. The preferable model is that of the Latin American NWFZ. It sets up a permanent organization to oversee verification. The benefit of this model is that the verification is ongoing and not ad hoc. It helps to sustain the political will that gave rise to the regime in the first place, by keeping the issue in the mind of the political leadership. Hamel-Green argues that “the creation of a similar agency for an Arctic zone would be particularly important in view of the need to promote and secure enduing regional and international commitment to simultaneous efforts to address nuclear, environmental, resource and indigenous issues”. Consequently, it is recommended that such an organization be established in the Arctic, with the required resources to do its important verification job.
A benefit of a permanent verification organization is that it can integrate new technologies to expand how it verifies that nuclear weapons are not in the zone. For example, since submarines are the main delivery system for nuclear weapons critics would point out that detecting submarines is a “nearly impossible” task and that for this reason the existing NWFZ treaties have chosen to make no reference to submarines transiting its region. The technology may not currently exist to ensure that there are no submarines under the Arctic ice, but that is not to say that this technology cannot be developed. When it is the organization can incorporate it into its verification procedures, without having to go back to all the zonal states and get their agreement to an additional protocol to the NWFZ. The mandate of the organization should include provisions that allow it to adapt to evolving technologies.
An additional benefit of the permanent organization model is that it can liaise with the existing NWFZs, as well as the leadership of various regions and nuclear weapons states. Best practises can be shared through these contacts and cooperation will help to make sure that the zones are not violated through information-sharing. The success of this network of organizations whose mandate it is to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used it is hoped that eventually this will result in a complete and total abolition of nuclear weapons.
Moreover, ANWFZ verification procedures should also take lessons from the Antarctica Treaty. Under the provisions of the Antarctica Treaty, each signatory has the ability to send observers to check out all bases within the zone to ensure compliance. This has proven to be a powerful CBM in Antarctica and should be replicated in the Arctic.
Verification procedures are the key to the success of a NWFZ. The verification procedures should be extensive. A permanent organization will facilitate a strong and robust verification regime. If this happens it will go a long way towards creating a positive political environment for a movement towards a global abolition of nuclear weapons.
Not only are verification procedures essential to the success of a NWFZ, but so are surveillance measures to ensure that the zone is free from nuclear weapons threats. Surveillance is lacking in the Arctic and in the need of development. Joint surveillance mechanisms – in the air and under the sea – combined with information sharing should be included in an Arctic NWFZ Treaty as a CBM between the participating states.
An existing surveillance system that can easily be adapted for use in monitoring an ANWFZ is the Open Skies Treaty (OST). OST allows for each state-party to conduct a yearly quota of short-notice, unarmed reconnaissance flights over each other’s territory to monitory each their respective militaries. OST is multilateral, and all of the Arctic states are already party to the treaty. Essentially, Arctic states need only prioritize aerial reconnaissance of the ANWFZ with their quota of overflights to help them monitor the region.
One possible method of surveillance would be joint patrols carried out under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The PSI is an American initiative started in May 2003. It aims to intercept ships, aircrafts and vehicles that are believed to be carrying nuclear weapons or their components, as well as other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. It does so by allowing the ninety-eight signatory states to detain and search suspicious shipments through their territory, waters, airspace. However, many question the validity of this agreement saying that it unnecessarily interferes with the freedom of navigation. Therefore, to provide PSI with increased legitimacy it should be included within the NWFZ Framework, so that it will be sanctioned under the United Nations regime.
In the interest of verification measures and joint surveillance of the region, a NWFZ should also include information sharing procedures as a CBM. For example, surveillance under the Arctic ice is a complicated task. Existing sonar technology is frustrated by the environmental conditions of the Arctic. For instance the Arctic Ocean is “noisy”. Grinding and cracking sea ice means that acoustic monitoring methods and sonar devices are unable to function effectively. Moreover, the opaqueness of the ice means that visual monitoring is not a suitable alternative. There is a need to install an advanced underwater listening system to verify that nuclear weapon capable submarines are not in the Arctic. Such systems are quite costly. For example, Canada attempted to build an underwater network of listening devices in order to track nuclear submarines transiting its sea, but the hundreds of millions of dollars price tag meant that the project did not go through. This left Canada with no means of knowing whether a foreign submarine was in its waters. Zonal states can pool their resources to afford the cost of an underwater surveillance system from which they can all access to cover the vast territory. In addition to this, zonal states could voluntarily share with other ANWFZ signatories any surveillance related information that they gather from their individual tracking systems.
To summarize, in addition to the intensive verification procedures that should be in place in an Arctic Treaty to ensure compliance with its conditions, the zonal states should also work together to jointly survey the Arctic. This would be a significant CBM, as well as providing the functional benefit of being better able to cover the millions of kilometres of the Arctic through a pooling of resources.
Rydell writes that “History is replete with countless other instances of military implements each in its day heralded as the last word – the key to victory – yet each in its turn subsiding to its useful but inconspicuous niche. Today machines hold the place formerly occupied by the jawbone, the elephant, armour, the long bow, gun powder, and latterly, the submarine. They too shall pass”. This is to say that decreasing nuclear weapons in the Arctic should not culminate in a race towards developing a new weapon of mass destruction or a build-up of conventional forces in the region.
This section has provided a proposed framework for an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty. It recommends that the geographical limits of the treaty encompass the entire territories of Canada, Greenland-Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. In addition to the land, airspace, adjacent seas, including the Arctic Ocean, seabed, continental shelves and international waters should all be covered by the treaty. The definition of “nuclear” needs to be as clearly defined as does the geographical scope. Nuclear-Weapon-Free in the context of the zone should mean prohibiting nuclear weapons in the traditional forms, as well as the prohibiting attacks on nuclear installations. Intensive verification procedures based on the Latin American NWFZ Treaty model should be set up to ensure compliance with the treaties requirements and extensive cooperation in terms of surveillance should occur in order to support these procedures.
4.0 Confidence-Building Measures
While creating a zone free of nuclear weapons makes sense in light of destructive power of nuclear weapons and the human suffering they can cause, it will still not be easy for states, especially the world’s two largest nuclear powers, to give up what many within their jurisdictions still see as the safety of the nuclear umbrella. It is precisely for this reason that extensive and far-ranging CBMs must accompany any attempts to reach an agreement on setting up a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone throughout the Arctic. Pre-existing CBMs, combined with new CBMs, should be supported and enhanced in order to reduce the likelihood of military incidents in the Arctic.
It is important to avoid actions and rhetoric that reduce confidence. The Arctic has been a scene of too many of these kinds of incidents in the recent past, most notably the planting of a titanium flag on the seabed of the North Pole.
In 2007, during a Russian election campaign, the Kremlin dispatched a nuclear-powered icebreaker accompanied by two nuclear submarines to plant a titanium flag on the North Pole’s Sea floor. This move caused significant outrage among the general public, with one public opinion poll stating that 56% of Canadians wanting to “plant a flag on the Arctic Seabed, just as Russia did”.
The Russians are not the only ones pulling public relations stunts in the Arctic, however. Canada and Denmark have an outstanding dispute over tiny Hans Island. After acquiring ice-capable warships, Denmark suddenly landed troops on the island temporary to enforce its claim, with Canada responding by sending its then Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham to reassert Canada’s. Michael Byers explains that "The Danes always leave a bottle of schnapps for us there, and we in turn leave them a bottle of Canadian Club". These sorts of incidents – in which a previously managed disagreement quickly begins to escalate - do not build confidence among the relevant actors in each other’s intentions and they must stop.
Added on top of these political stunts is an unhelpful political rhetoric. The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated repeatedly that, “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake: this government intends to use it”. In addition, Canadian government communications have increasingly referred to Canada as an “Arctic Power”. This kind of zero-sum rhetoric only seeks to harden the stance of the other political actors. It is unhelpful, as are actions by Russian flag planting and the burying of bottles of liquor. These actions threaten the NWFZ project by making scoring domestic political points contingent on bold and rash moves in the Arctic rather than for combating the threat that nuclear weapons pose.
4.2 Pre-Existing Confidence-Building Measures
In addition to the previously mentioned New START and the Open Skies Treaty – which build confidence through weapon reductions coupled with verification procedures – the Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue in the Arctic (SAR Agreement) helps build confidence through mutual cooperation and burden sharing to address a pressing problem for all Arctic states: emergency response.
The SAR Agreement is an excellent example of a CBM between Arctic states. Recently signed on May 12, 2011, at a ministerial meeting in Nuuk, Greenland, the SAR Agreement is the Arctic Council’s first international agreement. The aim of the Agreement “is to develop swift and efficient measures when accidents occur in the harsh Arctic region and to ensure, as much as possible, proper search and rescue.”
The SAR Agreement divides the Arctic into a number of areas, each Arctic state being responsible for providing SAR service within their agreed area. Each state has chosen a specific national institution to take responsibility for SAR within their geographic area, and to establish formal links with their counter-parts from all of the other participating states. If the SAR responders from one state respond to an emergency within the geographic boundaries of another state’s SAR responsibilities, the responders are required to request permission first. Receipt of this request must be acknowledged immediately, and permission either formally granted or denied as soon as is possible. Future amendments to the SAR Treaty are expected as the participating states build up operation experience, and the Treaty has been drafted to anticipate and accommodate these updates.
But for the SAR Agreement to be successful as a CBM it must first be implemented in practice. The Agreement must be properly resourced by the participating states. Some states – such as Canada - currently do not have the SAR resources in the Arctic to properly fulfill their treaty commitments, thus threatening the Agreement. To help address this resource gap, the newly created Arctic Council Secretariat – based in Tromso, Norway – should be tasked to monitor this developing SAR resource shortfall and push Arctic Council members to honour their commitment.
Another existing CBM that can be adapted to benefit the Arctic is the Incidents at Sea Treaty (INCSEA). Signed in the early 1970s, the INCSEA was a successful pioneering CBM between the United States and the former Soviet Union to moderate the then aggressive harassment tactics of their competing navies and aircraft, as they vied to assert themselves on the High Seas. Important CBMs within INCSEA include the giving of three to five days advance notice to the other party of any undertakings that might provide a danger to navigation or to aircraft and informing member vessels when submarines are exercising near them. Also, INCSEA provides for annual meetings to review the implementation of the agreement, in which naval representatives from the member states can discuss issues directly.
Currently a bilateral treaty between the United States and Russia, the INCSEA should be ‘multilateralized’ to include the other Arctic states. Some of the Arctic states - such as Canada - already have bilateral treaties similar to INCSEA with Russia. A multilateral INCSEA would help provide confidence to the Arctic states that the interaction of their ships and aircraft on the High Seas of the Arctic Ocean are regulated, and that the escalation of unforeseen events are prevented from escalating and undermining the perception of security in the region.
4.3 Joint Military Exercises
Militaries play the important role of aiding the civilian power, crucial given the harsh environment and rapid climate occurring in the Arctic. Militaries are used to support civil authorities in responding to natural and human-caused disasters, as well as serving search and rescue functions. The later is becoming of growing importance because of the increase in air traffic transiting the area. The number of over-flights is expected to grow further upon Russia opening its northern airspace to international aviation.
An excellent CBM would be to hold joint exercises between the militaries of the zonal states. For example, Danish officers have recently participated in a Canadian military exercise on Ellesmere Island. Additionally, the Canadian, American, and Russian militaries have begun to hold an annual military exercise, Vigilant Eagle, in the Arctic. For this approach to be truly effective, however, considerations should be given to holding not just joint NORAD-Russia but joint NATO-Russia exercises in the Arctic. Such an exercise could be accommodated under the existing Partnership for Peace initiative. At a more basic level zonal states should notify one another before they undertake major military exercises within the territory covered by the zone and should invite other states to send observers, in incidences where the practising military does not wish to fully integrate foreign officers into their exercises for whatever reason.
In addition to joint exercises, it may be in all Arctic countries interest to initiate a joint program of military research in the Arctic. Much of the traditional military technology is unable to function fully under the extreme weather conditions which are found in the North. For instance, this paper has already explained how listening devices are not fully functional in the Arctic. There are significant financial costs associated with developing new technologies. As a CBM, therefore, zonal states could share the financial burden of developing these technologies.
Demilitarization is not a likely option for the Arctic, because of the role that militaries play in supporting the civilian authorities in this unique climate. CBMs are therefore required in order to help create and sustain the political will required for a NWFZ in the Arctic. This should include such things as joint exercises and common research initiatives.
A CBM that should be adopted to promote goodwill during the negotiations of the treaty for the NWFZ in the Arctic is for both Russia and the United States to stand down their nuclear weapons from high alert status. Much of the two powers’ nuclear arsenals remain on high alert status, which is a holdover from the Cold War. The situation is extremely dangerous. These systems have almost failed on several occasions. The world is actually quite lucky that there has not yet been an accidental deployment of nuclear weapons, especially considering the very small window of time leaders have within which to make a decision to deploy weapons or not. In the United States, military personnel have only two to three minutes to determine if a warning that appears in the system in valid. They then have ten minutes to locate and advise the President on the situation. This means that the total time from detection to deployment is approximately twenty-minutes. Twenty minutes to make a decision that will cause a 300 foot deep, 1,200 foot diameter crater with a fire ball stretching half a mile in diameter taking hundreds of thousands of lives. In addition to taking these weapons off of high alert they should have their guidance systems unfixed from targets within the other proposed zonal states’ territories. The stepping down of the nuclear weapons’ status and the unfixing of the target systems are both positive CBMs that should be put in place while the NWFZ in the Arctic is under negotiation.
Negotiating the NWFZ and arranging the associated CBM will be a labour intensive job. There will be much to do for all the diplomats involved. In order to show a real commitment to the zone and to facilitate a positive relationship between the countries involved diplomatic resources for such a project should be substantial and sufficient to get the job done. This could take the form of appointing an Ambassador for the Circumpolar Region by each of the countries involved. The Office of the Circumpolar Ambassador is not a new idea. Canada used to have this position before it was disbanded by the current Harper Government, and currently Russia and even France (a non-Arctic state) employ such Ambassadors. Canada’s original Circumpolar Ambassador was designed to enable the government to conduct outreach activities within the country, so that all Northern constituents were kept aware of issues transpiring in Circumpolar affairs and provide information about the government’s response to them. In addition to this task, the Circumpolar Ambassador contributed to the country’s stance on Circumpolar issues. By appointing an Ambassador to specifically deal with Arctic-related issues, the countries of the region would be sending a strong message that the conclusion of a NWFZ and the implementation of the advised CBMs is a priority and will not be lost within all the other work that foreign ministries have going on. As such, it would be necessary to appoint an Ambassador that has the ear of the country’s leadership.
Providing the opportunity for people-to-people contacts is an important CBM. These contacts need to happen at the elite level, but they also need to happen at the more grassroots level. Researchers should be encouraged to meet with other researchers from across the region and the Indigenous population should be encouraged to strengthen their ties with one another. Such people-to-people contacts, however, require consular services and support. This includes being assured access to the various regions, which has historically been an issue. For example, as late as the mid-2000s access to areas of Barents and Kara Seas was denied by Russia to Norwegian fishery research vessels. There are an abundance of quality research facilities that are being built by the various Arctic governments and in the interest of collaboration researchers should have access to these facilities. However, increased people-to-people ties also require diplomatic and consular support. Action should be taken to strengthen consolatory presence across the region to provide support for those who wish to explore areas outside of their home in the Arctic.
Furthermore, special visa arrangements should be made to facilitate cross-border exchanges where zonal states do not enjoy visa-free travel with one another, building on the positive example of the Bering Strait Regional Commission, which was set up in 1989 between the United States and the former Soviet Union. Under the auspices of this organization, an agreement was signed in 1992 giving the Indigenous inhabitants from Iultinsky, Providensky, Chukotsky Rayons, and the eastern part of Anadyrsky Rayon in Russia the ability to travel visa-free for up to ninety days to Alaska. Similarly, the Nordic Saami Convention, which “hold[s] the vision that the national boundaries of the states shall not obstruct the community of the Saami people and Saami individuals” should be supported as an important CBM. To facilitate the Saami vision and cross-border Arctic travel, an expansion of organizations like the Bering Strait Regional Commission should be underway.
Another CBM that should be implemented in the lead-up to the negotiations for an ANWFZ is a harmonization of policies in the areas pertinent to the Arctic. This will get states from the region “on the same page”. The first step towards doing this is a ratification of the relevant international agreements. Most prominently, the United States Senate should accede to the UNCLOS. This would facilitate the peaceful resolution of the sovereignty dispute, as the Ilulissat Resolution indicates the zonal state’s commitment to have it arbitrate the issue. This is because without ratifying UNCLOS the United States does not have access to the formal dispute resolution measures. Therefore, in order to ensure a peaceful resolution of the sovereignty disputes and thus create a positive environment for the conclusion of a NWFZ Treaty in the Arctic.
In addition to ensuring that the zonal states have ratified the relevant international treaties, it would also be a prudent CBM for Arctic states to harmonize regulations on issues that are of concern to all. This could include designing a common code for ship design for vessels operating within Arctic waters. Such a code would lay out the required hull thickness, engine strength and navigation equipment that vessels must have if they wish to transit the Arctic. This code would work to reduce the likelihood of costly accidents in terms of both the environmental and human costs.
However, such a code is of greater significance than simply trying to mitigate the chances of environmental disasters. It might also form part of the legal basis under which the ANWFZ could operate. As has already been mentioned, the UNCLSO is the cornerstone upon which sovereignty disputes should be settled in the Arctic. That is what makes United States ascension so important.
Coastal states have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the exclusive economic zone, where particularly severe climatic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstructions or exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance. Such law and regulations shall have due regard to navigation and the protection and preservation of the marine environment based on the best available scientific evidence.
First, under this section, coastal states (Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States) have the right to make non-discriminatory regulations. As signatories to the ANWFZ, these coastal states would have the right to make common regulations. It is likely that a regulation stating that vessels transiting the Arctic must not be in possession of nuclear weapons would be deemed acceptable under this provision.
Secondly, because the ice causes obstructions and hazards to navigation there is a need to come up with a common code for what kinds of vessels can transit this area. Those carrying nuclear weapons could be deemed to cause major harm. This is because any use or accidents with these weapons would have catastrophic, or in the language of the article “major harm” and an “irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance”. The Thule and Deline examples demonstrate the harm that can be done by nuclear materials to the fragile ecosystems of the North. The argument can be made that this would mean that all nuclear materials should be prevented from transiting the Arctic, not just those carrying nuclear weapons. However, this would preclude nuclear-powered icebreakers and those vessels carrying any nuclear material for peaceful purposes from transiting. This would go against the right to the use of nuclear technology for peaceful civilian purposes that this paper advocates. The issue, though, is really one of scale. “Major harm” and “irreversible damage” would be caused by an accident with a nuclear weapon in the Arctic, which with sufficient ship-design measures would not be the same for nuclear waste or nuclear-powered ships. Consequently, Article 234 of UNCLOS could be used to strengthen the design of ships, while at the same time preventing the transit of nuclear weapons.
Third, this is justifiable, because it does give “due regard to navigation” and the right of innocent passage, by allowing vessels not carrying nuclear weapons to continue to transit the zone for economic purposes and even military purposes where there is no “exercise or practice with weapons of any kind” (Article 19(b)).
Subsequently, United States ratification of UNCLOS is essential for the success of this initiative, as UNCLOS might provide the justification for the various verification measures that are required to make the ANWFZ a success. Arctic states have proven themselves able to cooperate on matters of environmental protection through their joint adoption of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy in 1991. However, it should be recognized that much ambiguity remains in the application of UNCLOS to the Arctic. For example, as the ice melts it is unclear at what point the area is considered to no longer be “ice-covered”. While there is still much to be resolved in the jurisprudence around UNCLOS and its application to the Arctic, a reasonable argument can be made for justifying the limitation of transit with nuclear weapons under Article 234.
Throughout the 1990s the international community provided substantial resources to Russia through the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTRP) and the G8 Global Partnership to safeguard against threats towards its nuclear material and waste, especially that which exists in the fragile Arctic environment. The safe disposal of nuclear waste and safeguarding nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands remains a grave concern. The high costs associated with such programs necessitates that programs such as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program be supported financially by zonal states, so that the benefits of a NWFZ can be fully realized. As Nunn, Perry and Habiger have written the world needs to know that nuclear weapons are “safe, secure and accounted for”. This equally applies to nuclear waste.
The size of the challenge of nuclear waste in the Arctic should not be underestimated. For example, a decommissioned Russian nuclear submarine sunk into the Barents Sea with ten crew on board, as well as two nuclear reactors. Despite the fact that Russian officials assured the international community that there were no nuclear weapons onboard, concerns remained about the danger of nuclear contamination. This incident was not isolated, three years previously a nuclear submarine, The Kursk, sank in the Barents Sea killing all 118 crew onboard. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) data indicates that there are 150 nuclear reactors in decommissioned submarines just waiting in the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk waiting to be dismantled. Furthermore, the same agency estimates that there are more than 8500 tons of highly enriched spent fuel that needs to both be reprocessed and properly stored. Some estimate that there is enough uranium and plutonium in Russia to make 40,000 weapons. There are already eighteen nuclear reactors at the bottom of the ocean, which Russia dumped between 1958 and 1992 fully loaded with nuclear fuel. These statistics are intended to reveal the sheer scale of the amount of nuclear waste in just the Russian Arctic and the enormity of the task of not only cleaning up this waste, but ensuring that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
Upgrading the security of the nuclear icebreaker fleet fuel storage facilities in Russia has been the subject of international cooperation since 1996. Icebreaker fuel is thought to be weapon-grade uranium. All of the nuclear waste in the Russian Arctic that is not adequately protected and could be could be stolen and/or directed toward extremist groups. Experts have indicated while it may not be possible for extremist groups to create a fully fledged nuclear bomb from this material, but that it would be possible to create a “dirty bomb” that would cause significant loss of life. The psychological impacts that such an attack would have should not be underestimated. Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 states are obliged to improve the security of their stockpiles and includes provisions to facilitate specialists being deployed to those countries that do not have the infrastructure or experience to deal with their stockpiles. This could form the basis for enhanced cooperation with Russia in securing its nuclear arsenal and nuclear waste in the Arctic.
Another major problem in this regard is that the number of experts trained in nuclear-related issues is rapidly diminishing. This is caused by the changing demographics of the aging workforce and the fact that recruitment has not kept up with the retirement replacement rates. The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents made studying in the nuclear-related fields unpopular for a significant amount of time. Evans and Kawaguchi have written that, “it is simply not acceptable or safe that international assurance of non-proliferation is ultimately dependent on a handful of aging experts…” As part of the NWFZ CBMs, the Arctic states should work together to recruit new nuclear professionals. This can be facilitated by joint educational programs. Such a program would not only assure that the costs of training are manageable, but will increase confidence because all zonal states will have access to the same nuclear-related information.
The enormity of the nuclear waste problem that needs to be dealt with and the deadly consequences of not resolving the issue make it crucial that this issue is resolved. All parties recognize the need to act, but the costs are prohibitive. The simple fact of the matter is that “the Russian Government cannot afford to keep them, but it also cannot afford to dispose of them safely, without international assistance”. Consequently, Arctic states should extend technical and financial assistance to Russia to address this issue. This investment will yield positive results by reducing the threat that the unsecure and untreated nuclear waste causes, while facilitating a positive relationship between Russia and the other Arctic states. For example, Canada and the United States have been working closely with South Korea to create a proliferation-resistant method of recycling spent fuel in what is known as the DUPIC process. It is exactly this kind of technology that a NWFZ would facilitate sharing, because it meets the common objective of ensuring safety through effectively dealing with nuclear waste issues.
Due to the importance of the Arctic region to the Russian economy another key CBM is strengthening economic integration through the region. The premise behind this idea is the same of that which has contributed to over sixty years of peace in Europe, a continent that had previously been torn apart by two “wars to end all wars”. This is to say that economic integration facilitates peaceful, because the costs of going to war and breaking these economic links would be too high.
Developing the energy reserves of the Russian North is the key to the success of its economy. President Medvedev has even gone as far to say that Russia’s development and ability to remain globally competitive depends on its ability to extract resources from the Arctic. The Russian North accounts for 20 percent of Russia’s GDP with only 8 percent of the Russian population. Integrating the economy of Russia’s North with the economy of the greater Arctic region would build confidence in future security and help alleviate the perceived need for maintaining a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.
A possible means of facilitating this economic integration would be to establish an Arctic Chamber of Commerce that would attract business to the area. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council would also be an appropriate venue for undertaking these types of tasks. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization launched in 1993 to encourage cooperation in order to ensure long-term stability in political and other relations. The Barents Euro-Arctic Council and its members: Demark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the European Commission have worked with representatives from the Sami, Nenets and Vespians, as well as observer countries Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and United States to develop the region both socially and economically. Its permanent secretariat, which was set up in 2008, could serve as the organizational impetus to facilitate this economic cooperation. Whatever form this economic development takes it must be in congruence with Indigenous beliefs. This means respecting the health of the land, wildlife, plant and people.
To summarize, vital to creating the political will necessary to reach a conclusion on the treaty are CBMs. These measures will create the confidence and facilitate the cooperation that is required for countries to work together to rid the Arctic region of nuclear weapons. Such measures as avoiding “stunts” like planting flags on the seabed floor, increasing diplomatic resources, harmonizing regulations and working jointly to deal with SAR and nuclear waste should occur immediately and continue once the treaty is negotiated. To ensure that these projects continue it would be best to include some CBMs within the treaty framework itself.
5.0 Getting to “Yes”
The task of “getting to ‘yes’” is by no means an easy one. Hamel-Green, however, gives hope that this can be achieved when he writes that, “in all the existing zones, a number of factors, including skilful diplomats and visionary leaders, and, in some instances, vigorous grassroots campaigns from non-governmental academics, peace movements and indigenous communities, have, successfully won out against traditional arms race advocates of nuclear-based deterrence and ‘security’”. While there are opponents to the idea of a NWFZ in the Arctic, on balance the support is with the idea. The major players, Indigenous communities and civil society are all on board. For this reason, a NWFZ in the Arctic is possible.
States are looking for security. Many states still ascribe to the Cold War way of thinking that says that they are more secure when they live under a nuclear umbrella. For example, Norway’s opposition to a Nordic NWFZ was stated as such: “with justification it can be argued that the prospects of the Nordic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone stand or fall to the degree that Norwegian security requirements can be satisfied”. Therefore, an important part of “getting to yes” is convincing states that the arguments made in the first section of this paper – that nuclear weapons are more of a security threat than a protection against security threats – are valid. If states believe that their security interests are better served by living within a zone without nuclear weapons, then they will sign on to the treaty with all of its incumbent rights and obligations.
Integral to “getting to yes” is achieving buy-in from the highest echelons of the leadership in all Arctic regional states. While opponents do exist, there is a coalition of supports in the Canada, the Nordic countries, and yes, even in the United States and Russia.
One minute before midnight of the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, the Bush Administration issued a National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 66), which outlined a United States Arctic Region Policy. NSPD 66 stated that the United States should develop “greater capabilities and capacity” in the Arctic in order to protect US borders and that military vessel and aircraft mobility and transport throughout the Arctic should be preserved. Furthermore, it urged the Senate to ratify UNCLOS to ensure military transportation and sovereignty over resource-rich areas. This directive was important because it elevated the posture of the Arctic within American foreign policy priorities, which has the potential to expand even further when the United States assumes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015. This lends additional weight to the United States as an actor in Arctic cooperation and it is imperative that Washington shows leadership in moving towards an ANWFZ.
The initiative for an Arctic NWFZ was Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1987 speech in Murmansk. It is time that the current Russian leadership take up the “zone of peace” initiative once more. Given Russia’s ever-present fears regarding NATO expansion, its perceived self-isolation and its disadvantage in terms of conventional forces, the ANWFZ would be a chance for Russia to address many of its perceived security concerns.
Support from the remainder of the Arctic states would likely be easily forthcoming if the United States and Russia are both seen to be onboard. None of the other Arctic states have nuclear-weapon capabilities. Both Norway and Denmark (and therefore Greenland) have committed to not positioning nuclear weapon devices on their territory during peacetime. All Arctic zonal states have expressed apprehension about nuclear weapons and have been supportive of the global abolition movement generally. They have signed on to all relevant international protocols that have sought to reduce international threats, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and actively support efforts internationally to have their provisions enforced. Support from these states will likely be strong and sustained as long as the United States and Russia come to the table and that there is a chance of concluding a treaty, so that the time and energy of these small-to-medium states are not floundered on unattainable goals.
It must be understood that the Arctic is not just a strategic region in the global campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. The Arctic is the homeland to several Indigenous groups who have maintained their way of life there since time immemorial. It is imperative that they not be treated as just another “interest group” or “stakeholder” in this process, but that their consent and knowledge are “a critical and necessary element of decision-making in relation to the Arctic”. An ANWFZ needs to be actively endorsed from Indigenous Arctic communities, rather than just being “one more case of policies framed in a southern metropolis designed to dominate a northern ‘hinterland’”. Indigenous communities should be thoroughly involved in the negotiation of the NWFZ in a way that takes into account their own governance structures and philosophies even where this is not mandated by domestic law. Traditionally fears over the self-determination aspirations of Indigenous communities have precluded Traditional Knowledge (TK) from being incorporated into legally-binding international agreements applied to the Arctic. Historically, Inuit organizations and councils have been supportive of denuclearization which gives hope that they would support this initiative. This is reflected in the formal resolution of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) supporting such an initiative, as this paper discussed in its first section.
Creating public awareness is a precursor towards generating and sustaining the political will needed to initiate an ANWFZ. Civil society actors, such as the Pugwash Group, are making positive steps in this direction. The Pugwash Group is a Nobel Peace winning organization that seeks to provide “scholarly insights into the prevention and resolution of armed conflict, including nuclear abolition and nuclear and conventional disarmament...”. This group has already made calls for the creation of an ANWFZ in 2007 and is therefore a potential source of the civil society pressure needed to encourage government action.
Public opinion polls indicate that there is already a strong global majority who are against the use of nuclear weapons. 76% of people around the world support getting rid of nuclear weapons. Wallace agrees with this assessment and puts it clearly that if “it [NWFZ] repackages arms control from the arcane calculus of nuclear priesthood into a measure easily understood by the public – and is likely to have considerable practical appeal”. This indicates that there is a distinct possibility that there is enough civil society support to encourage politicians to take up the policy proposals cited in this paper. This must be achieved if the political will necessary to achieve the goal is to be found. As discussed above, publics in the Arctic Council states certainly support an ANWFZ. However, there is still much to be done to popularize the discourse on this issue, so that the situation becomes analogous to that which exists in Japan, where “the memory of the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain strong – domestic public opinion is so strongly opposed to nuclear weapons that it is almost inconceivable that it could be ignored” and in this regard groups like Pugwash have an important role to play as discussed above in the publics of the Arctic Council states..
The process towards creating an ANWFZ is not “doomed”. It is true that debates and negotiations on nuclear disarmament issues are often shut down outright by those who do not think that the major nuclear weapon states of Russia and the United States would be willing to ever give up their freedom to action with nuclear weapons. They envision any process working towards this end as “naive” and “doomed” from the outset. Such a view is overly deterministic. There has already been progress made towards restricting nuclear weapon use, including a plethora of arms control agreements – from the NPT Treaty to the recent New START - including the pledge by all five nuclear-weapon states to negative security assurances to not attack or threaten to attack with nuclear weapons those that do not have them.
The progress towards the completion of an ANWFZ is not likely to be linear. It should be expected that the progress towards completing the treaty will likely be “two steps forward, one step back”. It is also possible, as Hamel-Green has argued that even if Russia and the United States were not willing to include their territories within the zone that the remaining Arctic states could establish a NWFZ in their regions and continue to push the two nuclear weapons superpowers to join. Dhanapala writes that, “...if the non-nuclear countries among the group together with indigenous peoples living in the region combine with civil society sufficient pressure could be exerted on the US and Russia to agree to a ANWFZ primary as an environmental measure to safeguard the Arctic”. The UN criteria for NWFZ does not prohibit this kind of strategy, because it simply mandates that it is desirable that all states in the region are involved, not that they must be involved. While this is not an ideal solution, it is a means by which there can be forward progress, instead of standing still in the dangerous position which exists today.
The United States has previously laid down three conditions for its support of any NWFZ. According to Wallace and Staples, these are:
1. The content of a NWFZ Treaty should in no way disturb existing security arrangements or interfere with the rights of individual or collective self-defence guaranteed to states under Article 51 of the UN Charter.
2. A zone should not affect the rights of the parties under international law to grant or deny transit privileges, including port calls and over flights.
3. No restrictions should be imposed on the high seas, freedom of navigation and over flights by military aircraft, the right of innocent passage through archipelagic seas, and the right of transit through international straits.
Based on these criteria, it seems unlikely that the United States would sign on to the proposed ANWFZ, as all three conditions are contravened by the proposed treaty. The first is contravened by the fact that it calls for rethinking of the NATO Strategic Concept. The second and third are contravened because the goal of the zone is to deny transit to all vessels and aircrafts transporting nuclear weapons or weapons related materials. Subsequently, a change in US policy will be absolutely essential if the ANWFZ is to move forward. This will require political leadership that is willing to use much political capital to accomplish this.
However President Barack Obama has indicated that his outlook is amendable at least in entertaining the policy stance advocated in this paper. In Prague he outlined a vision of a world in which nuclear weapons would not have the prominent role that they do today, and has since worked towards this goal with New START. Obama has proposed an extensive working program for the United States on nuclear non-proliferation which indicates a move in a positive direction. His working program includes reducing the US arsenal, reducing the role of nuclear weapons in the national security strategy and promising to ratify the CTBT. However, he has also been criticized by his base for failing “to break away from Bush era national security policy in some fundamental ways”. His support for this initiative would be a legacy issue and he is best placed out of any President to conclude these types of negotiations.
As mentioned earlier in this paper, Russia’s nuclear force structure poses the greatest threat to the establishment of an ANWFZ, as the bulk of the force falls within the proposed perimeter of the NWFZ. Bases located on the Kola Peninsula - such as Zapadnaya Litsa - are home too much of the Russian SSBM fleet. From there these submarines can find sanctuary below the noisy ice of the relatively unmonitored Arctic Ocean. When viewed through the lens of nuclear deterrence, Russia can be expected to be extremely reluctant to give up these bases and the Arctic patrols of its nuclear ballistic submarines.
However one should bear in mind the time element of this paper; what seems likely improbable now could become possible later. The major goal of the short term (2010-2012) action plan of this paper is to reduce the perceived need of nuclear weapons and the international prestige that comes with them. Indeed, it is not until the medium term (2012-2025) action plan, after substantial advances in nuclear arms reduction and control measures, does the paper envision establishing an ANWFZ.
While this paper focuses on the medium term, in the short term, the success of moving Russia towards accepting an ANWFZ would be greatly enhanced by positive framing and communications; minimizing the international prestige of nuclear weapons. Michael Byers has said that “the Russian government seeks to remind people that Russia is a powerful country...” by strengthening its Arctic posture. Communications and engagement strategies must be cognoscente of this fact in treating Russia as the great power that it is in the Arctic. There is a distinct Russian fear that they will lose their international status if they agree to reduce or eliminate their nuclear arsenals, and so to get Russia engaged there needs to be great sensitivity to this fact. Furthermore, the argument has rightfully been made that “great power status” is no longer contingent on the possession of a large nuclear arsenal. Citing the “peaceful rise of China,” which is believed to have one of the smallest arsenals out of the nuclear weapon states the argument is made that it is economic strength that demarcates who is and who is not a great power. Consequently, instead of trying to get Russia to relinquish Great Powers ambitions, communication strategies and diplomatic interactions with Russia should emphasize that it can maintain its great power ambitions despite committing to an ANWFZ.
Ultimately, the important part of “getting to yes” is to not become deadlocked in circular argumentation. The argument that it is necessary to get rid of all conflict and only then will it be possible to get rid of arms is fallacious. The presence of nuclear weapons encourages their use. Rydell argues that there is little logic to the argument that the elimination of nuclear weapons or any other weapon of mass destruction “is to await the prior establishment of world peace and security...”. It is thus necessary to get rid of nuclear arms, because only then can there be a world without nuclear war.
This paper has outlined: ‘why’ nuclear weapons are undesirable, ‘what’ should be done to help diminish their use (NWFZ Arctic) and ‘who’ needs to be involved in this process. This section addresses the ‘how’. How do we move towards this goal? The first thing that needs to be done is to identify a forum in which the important questions related to this initiative can be discussed and debated, which all participants agree is a legitimate forum. While the Arctic states participate in many multilateral forums together, for the most part the Arctic is tangential at best to their activities. The most relevant forum, therefore, is the Arctic Council. The Arctic Council counts among its membership all of the Arctic states, as well as permanent representation from a number of Indigenous organizations. However, the Arctic Council currently is prohibited from discussing security issues, because it was excluded from its original mandate in order to secure US buy-in. This provision is outdated and unnecessary. It should be immediately changed, so that the Arctic Council can begin debating the important issue of abolishing nuclear weapons from the region. This organization could get the ball rolling. It meets the United Nations criteria that the idea for a NWFZ is indigenous to the region setting up the zone. It also shelters the Arctic states from undue interference or the complicating presence of non-zonal states during the initial stages of negotiation. It is therefore recommended that the embargo on debating of security-related issues be lifted and that the Arctic Council become the organizational mechanism through which the NWFZ Treaty is debated. Once this is done it would be possible to expand negotiations to another forum in which all nuclear weapon states are engaged, which could perhaps be the proposed Office for Disarmament Affairs in the United Nations Secretariat that was proposed by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2007.
The Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons powerfully wrote in 1996 that:
So long as any state has nuclear weapons, others will want them. So long as any such weapons remain, it defies credibility that they will not one day be used, by accident, miscalculation or design. And any such use would be catastrophic for our world as we know it.
This article has taken this idea that nuclear weapons are “catastrophic” for our world and sought to contribute to the extensive literature on how to eliminate them. It seeks to build on Evans and Kawaguchi’s framework of minimization followed by elimination, by putting forth a concrete proposal for the medium-term. The Indigenous population whose home the Arctic is has been a proponent of this idea for some time and as the agenda develops it could be a powerful part of the second phase. As a result, this paper makes a proposal for a possible framework for an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, including its geographical limits, the scope of what “nuclear-free” really means, verification procedures and surveillance mechanisms.
Opponents would argue that the idea of making such a militarily strategic region free of nuclear weapons is utopian. It is true that at present the political will for concluding such a treaty does not exist. It is for that reason that this paper has proposed a variety of CBMs. These include: establishing joint Search and Rescue patrols, increasing diplomatic resources, harmonizing regulations, multilateral efforts to deal with nuclear waste, scientific cooperation, and economic integration. These CBMs are designed to lay the groundwork for intensified cooperation among the Arctic states in order to create the environment in which a NWFZ Treaty becomes conceivable.
While it should be recognized that the United States and Russia have important roles to play in this process as not only the two most powerful states in the region, but also because they are the world’s two largest nuclear weapon powers, this should not distract from the impact that other regional states can have on this issue. The middle powers, like Canada and Norway, should also work hard to facilitate movement towards this treaty and as the Ottawa Process to Ban Landmines demonstrates, they can be successful. Civil society groups like Pugwash also have important roles to play in stimulating public opinion. Above all, however, it must be recognized that the Arctic is more than a strategic theatre, it is the home - and has been since time immemorial – of Indigenous peoples and they should be at the table when these initiatives are debated and discussed.
The Framework for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Arctic
1. The Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone should cover all adjacent seas, sea beds, continental shelves, disputed territories, international waters and airspace of Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Northern Russia and Alaska (USA) should also be covered by the Treaty.
2. Along the edges of the zone, there should be a gradual “thinning out” of nuclear weapons.
3. All zonal states and NATO should subscribe to a policy of non-First Use of nuclear weapons both during peacetime and wartime in the Arctic.
4. Non-nuclear weapon states in the region should renounce the nuclear umbrella.
5. “Nuclear Weapon Free” should mean all nuclear weapons and armaments, as well as the targeting of nuclear facilities and nuclear testing.
6. The peaceful use of nuclear technology for civilian purposes should continue.
7. Verification procedures need to ensure that civilian nuclear technology is not being deferred towards weapon building capabilities.
8. All nuclear weapons must be removed from the zone.
9. There should be no new deployment of weapons.
10. Transiting the zone with nuclear weapons should not be permitted.
11. A permanent organization should be established to ensure verification of the rules and this organization should have the resources that it needs to operate fully.
12. Joint aerial patrols of the region should be carried out.
13. States should prioritize aerial reconnaissance of the proposed ANWFZ with their OST quota of flights.
14. The ANWFZ should incorporate the PSI into its framework.
15. An advanced underwater listening system built by and accessed to by all zonal states should be created.
16. Information-sharing of relevant information should be commonplace.
17. The place of nuclear weapons within the military strategy of the zonal states should not be replaced with another equally (or more) destructive Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD).
18. Measures that do not build confidence (i.e. flag planting, whiskey burying and fly-bys) should be avoided.
19. Arctic Council member states should resource their Arctic SAR capabilities to honour their SAR Treaty commitments. This process should be monitored by the Arctic Council’s new Secretariat.
20. INCSEA should be ‘multilateralized’ to include all of the Arctic States.
21. Both the United States and Russia should take their nuclear arsenals off high alert status.
22. Nuclear Weapon States should unfix the guidance systems of their weapons from targets within the zone immediately.
23. An Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs from each state should be appointed to handle negotiations.
24. Consular services and support should be increased within the region and researchers and Indigenous Peoples should have simplified access to visas.
25. The United States should ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to facilitate a peaceful resolution to the existing sovereignty disputes in the region.
26. A common code for ship design should be agreed upon in order to mitigate the chances of environmental damage.
27. Financial and technical support for programs such as the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program that aims to safely dispose of nuclear waste in the Russian North should be forthcoming from all zonal states.
28. The security of nuclear fuel storage facilities should be bolstered.
29. Common training programs for nuclear officials should be initiated in order to create the people with the required expertise to carry out the other recommendations.
30. Economic integration should be encouraged. One possible method would be for an Arctic Chamber of Commerce to be established or through the Barents Euro-Arctic Council Secretariat.
Getting to “Yes”
31. The rules of the Arctic Council should be amended to allow for debates concerning peace and security issues such as arms control.
32. If the Arctic Council is unable to address these peace and security concerns, than another forum must be created which can discuss peace and security issues such as Arctic arms control.
33. If it is not possible to get all Arctic states to ratify the NWFZ Treaty then those states which support the initiative should sign on to the treaty and continue to lobby non-signatories to sign on.
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 President Obama also committed to: maintaining a safe, secure and effective arsenal for deterrence; reduce the nuclear arsenal; ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; conclude a treaty ending the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons; and strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty’ and secure vulnerable nuclear materials to keep them out of the hands of terrorists - Secretary, Office of the Press. “Remarks by President Barack Obama,” The White House, April 5, 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/The-press-office/Remarks-By-President-Barack-O....
 This represents a reduction of roughly 30 percent from the 2,200 limit set in 2002’s Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), and a reduction of 74 percent from New START’s direct successor’s limit, the 1991 START I Treaty, of 6000 weapons each. However it should be noted that New START only addresses strategic, and not tactical, nuclear weapons. Arms Control Association. “New START at a Glance,” http://armscontrol.org/print/4287.
 Gorbachev used the “zone of peace” notion for a number of regional initiatives including” Asia-Pacific (Vladivostok, July 1986), the Arctic and Northern Europe (Murmansk, October 1987), and the Mediterranean (Belgrade, March 1988). Kristian Atland, "Mikhail Gorbachev, the Murmansk Initiative, and the Descuritization of Interstate Relations in the Arctic." Cooperation and Conflict 43 (2008):293.
 Mikhail Gorbachev, "Mikhail Gorbachev's Speech in Murmansk at the Ceremonial Meeting on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Order of Lenin and the Gold Stat to the City of Murmansk" Murmansk, Russia, October, 1987.
 Previous to Gorbachev’s proposal, the Arctic has been a critical front of the Cold War, and subsequently the site of numerous nuclear activities. the site of numerous nuclear weapons tests at both Amchitka Island, Alaska and Novaya Zemlya, Russia; the transit route for nuclear weapons carrying bombers and submarines, and even the site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in history in 1968 near Thule, Greenland.
 Randy Rydell, “The Future of Nuclear Arms: A World United and Divided by Zero,” Arms Contol Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_04/Rydell.
 The Antarctic Treaty, signed in 1959, predates the LTBT. However while the Antarctic Treaty excluded nuclear weapons from being introduced to Antarctica, the LTBT actually controls the use of existing nuclear weapons and devices.
 Mikhail Gorbachev, “The Nuclear Threat,” The WallStreet Jounrnal Online, January 31, 2007, http://www.gsinstitute.org/docs/WSJgorbachev.pdf (accessed January 28, 2010).
 Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Guide for Global Policymakers, International Comission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, http://www.icnnd.org/reference/reports/ent/pdf/KNND_Annex_A.pdf (accessed March 17, 2010).
 Mark S. Smith and Robert Burns, “U.S., Russia sign off on nuclear pact”. The Globe and Mail, March 26, 2010, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-russia-sign-off-on-new-nuclear-pact/article1513074/.
 It should be pointed out that these groups differ in their methods. Global Zero (see http://www.globalzero.org/en/about-campaign) favours a policy of across-the-board nuclear weapons reductions, but does not support the establishment of an Arctic-Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone as advocated by this paper. Pugwash - through Canadian Pugwash - favours such Zones and currently advocates for one specific to the Arctic (see http://www.pugwashgroup.ca). Mayors for Peace is open to cooperating with Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones (see http://www.2020visioncampaign.org/en/background/mayors-for-peace.html) whilst the Middle Power Initiative deals with NWFZ proposals but is in the middle of revising its strategy (see http://www.middlepowers.org/about.html). While different in their methods, all of these NGOs share the common goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
 Inuit Circumpolar Council, “Resolution on a Nuclear Free Zone in the Arctic,” http://cwis.org/fwdp/Resolutions/ICC/Inuit.txt.
 Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, “Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Arctic Sovereignty,” http://www.itk.ca/circumpolar-inuit-declaration-arctic-sovereignty.
 Canada was unique in the poll as it was divided between “Northern Canada” – the three Territories of Canada; the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut - and “Southern Canada,” comprising Canada’s ten provinces. “Rethinking the Top of the World,” http://www.gordonfoundation.ca/publication/300.
 Michael Hamel-Green, “Existing Regional Nuclear Weapon Free Zones: Precedents that Could Inform Development of an Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone,” (2009): 2. http://www.diis.dk/graphics/Events/2009/Presentation%20Hamel-Green.pdf.
 Again, Schmidt et al. supports this notion. They quote the International Court of Justice who has written that, “serious endeavors by the U.S. and Russia towards a nuclear-weapon-free world would make it easier to reach an agreement on adequate behavior with all other nuclear-weapon states, regardless of whether these are permanent UN Security Council members or not.” Helmut Schmidt, Richard Von Weizacker, Egon Bahr, and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, “Declaration on Freedom From Nuclear Weapons,” http://www.diplomatie.diplo.de/en/atom-frei.html.
 Xia Liping, “Viewpoint: Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones: Lessons for Nonproliferation in Northeast Asia,” The James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, http://cns.miis.edu/npr/pdfs/xia64.pdf (accessed January 28, 2010).
 For example, there is the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (OPANAL), the Consultative Committee of the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone, the Commission for the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon Free Zone and the African Commission on Nuclear Energy. Ibid.,: 84.
 United Nations, “Guidelines and Principles for the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone,” United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/NWFZ2.shtml.
 Scott G. Borgerson, "Arctic Meltdown: The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming." Foreign Affairs March/April 2008, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/63222/scott-g-borgerson/arctic-me....
 Michael Wallace and Steven Staples have released their own paper on an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, which is an instructive read for anyone interested in this concept. See Michael Wallace and Steven Staples, “Ridding the Arctic of Nuclear Weapons: A Task Long Overdue,” Canadian Pugwash Group, http://pugwashgroup.ca/events/documents/2010/2010.03.11-arctic-nuclear-r....
 Bill Graham, “Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade - Canada and the Circumpolar World: Meeting the Challenges of Cooperation in to the Twenty-First Century,” April 1997. http://www.parl.gc.ca/35/Archives/committees352/fore/reports/07_1997-04/....
 Impacts of Uranium Mining at Port Radium, NWT, Canada. September 2005. http://www.wise-uranium.org/uippra.html (accessed April 6, 2010).
For more information about the Arctic Council see: Timo Koivurova and David VanderZwaag, "The Arctic Council at 10 Years: Retrospect and Prospects" in University of British Columbia Law Review 40 (2007).
 Sovereignty has been defined by Jean Bodin as “supreme authority over a citizen and subject unrestrained by law”. It has historically been viewed in absolute terms. That is to say, one is either sovereign or they are not. Robert L. Friedheim, "The regime of the Arctic - Distributional or integrative bargaining?" Ocean Developpment and International Law 19, (1988): 502.
 Friedheim, “The regime of the Arctic”: 503; Rob Huebert, “Northern Interests and Canadian Foreign Policy,” Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, http://www.cdfai.org/PDF/Northern%Interests%and%20Canadian%Foreign%20Pol....
 “We must finalize and adopt a federal law on the southern border of Russia’s Arctic zone.” Dmitry Medvedev quoted in Reuters, “Medvedev: Russia needs to mark its Arctic territory,” The Independent, September 17, 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/medvedev-russia-needs-to-....
 Andrew Osborn, “Russia deploys Arctic brigade to defend oil and gas reserves,” The Telegraph, March 31, 2011, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8419514/Russia-e....
 L. Col. Moore, “Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty: An Examination of Prime Minister Harper's Arctic Initiatives,” http://www.wps.cfc.dnd.ca.
 Jayantha Dhanapala, “Arctic Security Problems – A Multilateral Perspective,” Global Security Initiative, http://www.gsinstitute.org/pnnd/events/Pugwash2008/pres_arctic_Dhanapala.pdf.
 The Arctic Governance Project, “Arctic Governance Project (AGP) White Paper,” www.articgovernance.org; Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Geopolitics in the High North Project: Proceedings of the Global Challenges in the Arctic Conference, http://csis.org/files/attachments/090507_global_challenges_in_the_arctic....
 Tony Penikett, “At the intersection of indigenous and international treaties,” www.articgovernance.org.
 Walter Gibbs, “Russia and Norway Reach Accord on Barents Sea,” The New York Times, April 27, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/world/europe/28norway.html (accessed August 15, 2011).
 Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty does lay down the foundation upon which an Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty could be negotiated. It states that it obliges all parties “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.” Randy Rydell, “Nuclear Disarmament and General and Complete Disarmament”. In 1996 the International Joint Commission (IJC) issued an advisory opinion that parties to this treaty have the duty to conclude negotiations to achieve the aforementioned goal. Randy Rydell, “The Future of Nuclear Arms: A World United and Divided By Zero”.
 Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, "Keynote Address," (presented at the Arctic Security in the 21st Century Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 11-12, 2008). “The 1971 Treaty on the Prohibition on the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the Seabed and Ocean Floor and in the Subsoil thereof or the Seabed Treaty has all 8 circumpolar countries as parties to it. That means that they all agree not to place nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction in the seabed, ocean floor or its subsoil outside of a 12 mile seabed zone. Nor will they have structures, launching installations or any other facilities specifically designed for storing, testing or using such weapons.” Dhanapala, “Arctic Security Problems”: 3.
 John Vincour, “A Heads-Up on Russia's Role in the Arctic,” New York Times, December 7, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/world/europe/09iht-politicus.html?_r=1.
 Queen Noor and Richard Burt, “Podcast: Her Majesty Queen Noor and Ambassador Richard Burt discuss Zero at LSE,” November 20, 2009, podcast, Global Zero, http://www.globalzero.org/en/podcast-her-majesty-queen-noor-and-ambassad....
 For example, when North Korea did a small-scale test in 2006, 22 IMS seismic stations (including one 7,000km away) detected the test and a minute quantity of gas was even detected in Canada twelve days later, according to Evans and Kawaguchi “Eliminating Nuclear Threats”: 104.
 The type of nuclear reactor used by states has a significant impact on the likelihood that reactors can contribute to non-proliferation. Therefore, states should be encouraged to use those technologies least adaptable to creating nuclear weapons. See Evans and Kawaguchi, “Eliminating Nuclear Threats”; 50-55.
 “It should be noted that this definition was given before the creation of the territory of Nunavut out of the Northwest Territories, but that this area is also covered by Young’s definition.” Oran Young quoted in Graham, “Report of the House of Commons.”
 Some have argued that the delineation mark for the Arctic should be anything above 60 degrees North longitude, i.e. the Arctic Circle. However, were this definition to be used all of Finland and Norway, and Sweden down to Stockholm would be included. These areas are either boreal or temperate, due to warming from the North Atlantic Drift and therefore do not have the same profile, concerns, or challenges that make the Arctic region unique – Carina Keskitalo, "International Region-Building: Development of the Arctic as an International Region," Cooperation and Conflict 42 (2007): 192.
 It must be remembered that these are viewed as medium-term steps. Therefore, while it is difficult to see these countries, especially Israel, which has not formally declared itself as having nuclear weapons, agreeing to participate in such an activity, it is hoped that the short-term steps will make this possible.
 Adele Buckley, “Toward a Nuclear-Free Arctic,” Canadian Pugwash, http://www.pugwashgroup.ca/index.php?option=cpm_content&view=article&id=....
 Such an agreement would not preclude Canada and the United States concluding an agreement to jointly manage the Northwest Passage as a non-for-profit in the same way as the St. Lawrence Seaway, which is a popular proposal in policy circles . Peter Calamai, “Keeping tabs on the Arctic,” The Toronto Star, September 18, 2007, http://www.thestar.com/article/286025.
 Wallace and Staples argue that the fact that most of the submarines be located in the Northern Fleet, “… is unlikely to change, as the poor transportation infrastructure connecting central Russia with the Far East, and the cost of building new facilities at such a distance, make the transfer of additional submarine bases and their support structure to the East an unattractive proposition for the Russian Navy in an era of strained budgets.” Wallace and Staples, “Ridding the Arctic of Nuclear Weapons”: 7.
 This mirrors the well-publicized concerns of the people of Sevastopol where Russia has promised to remove its Black Sea Fleet. For example a BBC report states that: “Local officials estimate that some 20,000 Ukrainians rely on the Black Sea Fleet for their jobs."If the Russian armed forces left, this town would be finished," says Natalia, a local shopkeeper. "There are so many areas like this one where everyone, all the shops, survive on the Russian military. If they left, that would be the end of us. We'd be left out on the streets, without work." Quoted in: “Fleet gives Russia Crimean clout” February 12, 2008, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7239206.stm.
 Arms Control Association, “Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Russia,” http://armscontrl.org/factsheets/russiaprofile.
 Kataoka Katsuko makes this point about Japan, writing that: “Japan must abdicate its dependence on American nuclear deterrence and support voices in the U.S. to reduce and abolish nuclear weapons”. Katsuko Kataoka, "Toward Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: Message from Hiroshima," (presented at the International Symposium for Peace, Hiroshima, Germany, August 1, 2009).
 Arms Control Association, “Open Skies at a Glance.” http://armscontrol.org/print/2604.
 An example of this would be the information that Canada has been gathering since May 2009 through its RADARSAT II satellite program. RADARSAT II tracks surface vessels that are present in Canada’s northern waters. Moore, “Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty”: 18.
 Michael Byers, “Russia and Canada: Partners in the North?” Canadian Pugwash, http://www.pugwashgroup.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=187:russia-and-canada-partners-in-the-north&catid=39Lthe-arctic&Itemid=79; Borgerson; Fenge and Penikett: 66.
 Angus Reid. Canadians Adamant on Arctic Sovereignty. August 22, 2008. http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/canadians_adamant_on_artic_sovereig... (accessed October 8, 2008).
 Patrick White, “Danes join Canadians in Arctic Mission,” The Globe and Mail, March 4, 2009, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/danes-join-canadians-in-arctic-mission/article1488994/.
 CNN, “Canadian PM vows to defend Arctic,” CNN, August 9, 2007. http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/08/09/canada.arctic.ap/index.html.
 Arctic Portal, “Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement,” http://www.arcticportal.org/news/arctic-portal-news/arctic-search-and-rescue-agreement.
 Thomas S. Axworthy and Ryan Dean, “We’re pushing our luck in the North,” The Ottawa Citizen, August 30, 2011, http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/pushing+luck+North/5325572/story.html.
 Jill R. Junnola, ed., “Maritime Confidence-Building in Regions in Tension.” Henry L. Stimson Center, http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/Report21-web.pdf.
 U.S. Department of State, “Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas,” http://www.state.gov/7/ism/4791htm.
 Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, “The Northern Dimension of Canada's Foreign Policy,” http://www.international.gc.ca/polar-polaire/ndfp-vnpe2.aspx.
 Patrick White, “Danes Join Canadians in the Arctic,” The Globe and Mail, March 4, 2010, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/danes-join-canadians-in-arctic-mission/article1488994/.
 The Canadian Press, “Vigilant Eagle, Joint Exercise Between Canada, US And Russia In Arctic Concludes Successfully,” The Huffington Post Canada, August 9, 2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/08/09/vigilant-eagle-joint-exercise-arctic_n_922699.html.
 For example, Norway has set up a world-class research facilities in the Svalbard Islands in the North Atlantic –Paul Kaludjak, “Sovereignty and Inuit in the Canadian Arctic,” Arctic Peoples Indigenous Council Secretariat, http://www.arcticpeoples.org/2006/11/18/sovereignty-and-inuit-in-the-can....
 Chukota Autonomous Okrug, “Visa-free travels between Chukotka and Alaska,” http://www.chukotka.org/en/no_visa/.
 Nordic Saami Council, “Nordic Saami Convention Translations,” http://www.saamicouncil.net/?newsid=2223&deptid=2192&languageid=4&news=1.
 The proposed ANWFZ, therefore, consciously rejects the model of the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga, which set up the NWFZ in the South Pacific. Article 5 (2) of that Treaty says, “Each Party in the exercise of its sovereign rights remains free to decide for itself whether to allow visits by foreign ships and aircraft to its ports and airfields, transit of its airspace by foreign aircraft, and navigation by foreign ships in its territorial sea or archipelagic waters in a manner not covered by the rights of innocent passage, archipelagic sea lane passage or transit passage of straits”. According to Dhanapala, “It was this provision that enabled Australia to join the treaty while at the same time allowing US nuclear weapon armed ships to call at its ports, while most other parties to the treaty disallow such visits, and New Zealand went as far as to prohibit and criminalise any support or involvement in nuclear weapons.” Dhanapala, “Arctic Security Problems”: 7.
 Oceans and Law of the Sea, “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” United Nations, http://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf.
 “The objectives of this Strategy”, according to Dhanapala, “were to protect the Arctic ecosystem; to protect, enhance and restore environmental quality and the sustainable us of natural resources; recognize the traditional and cultural needs of the indigenous peoples regarding the state of the environment; and, to identify and reduce pollution”. Dhanapala, “Arctic Security Problems”: 2.
 Sam Nunn, William Perry, and Eugene Habiger, “Still Missing: A Nuclear Strategy,” http://belfercentre.ksg.harvard.ed/files/nunnperryhabiger-wpost-052102.pdf.
 BBC News, “Russian submarine sinks in Arctic,” BBC News, August 30, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3193625.stm.
 Douglas Hurd, Malcolm Rifkind, David Owen and George Robertson, “Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb,” The Times Online, June 30, 2008, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/a....
 Deutche Welle, “Harper warns of Russian claims to Arctic,” http://www.dw-world.de/dw/function/0,2145,12215_cid_3658520,00.html.
 Barents Euro-Arctic Council, “Barents Euro-Arctic Council”. http://www.beac.st/contentparser.asp?deptid=25225.
 Joanne Barnaby, “Arctic Governance Project (AGP) White Paper,” The Arctic Governance Project,, www.articgovernance.org.
 For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Canada has stated in “Towards a Northern Foreign Policy for Canada” that “The Government recognizes that a northern foreign policy can be sustained and properly supported in political and resource terms only if it emanates from and resonates with core Canadian values and long-term national objectives that are not subject to being overtaken by events for made irrelevant by external developments” – Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. “Towards a Northern Foreign Policy for Canada”.
 Barnaby; Terry Fenge and Bernard W. Funston, “Arctic Governance Project (AGP) White Paper,” The Arctic Governance Project, www.articgovernance.org.
 For example, the Tlicho Agreement with the Dogrib, the Government of Canada has committed that, “prior to consenting to be bound by an international treaty that may affect a right of the Tlicho Government, the Tlicho First Nation, or a Tlicho Citizen, flowing from the Agreement, the Government of Canada shall provide to the opportunity for the Tlicho Government to make its views known with respect to the international treaty either separately or through a forum.” Penikett, “At the intersection”: 5.
 Fenge and Funston, “"Arctic Governance: Traditional Knowledge of Arctic Indigenous Peoples from an International Policy Perspective," The Arctic Governance Project, http://www.arcticgovernance.org/arctic-governance-traditional-knowledge-....
 Canadian Pugwash, “About,” http://www.pugwashgroup.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=....
 “Rethinking the Top of the World,” http://www.gordonfoundation.ca/publication/300.
 David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker, “White House Is Rethinking Nuclear Policy,” The New York Times, February 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes/com/2010/03/01/us/politics/01nuke.html?pagewanted=1&s....
 CTV, “Arctic Sovereignty an ‘important issue’: Harper,” CTV News, August 2, 2007, http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070802/arctic_claims_070802/20070802?hub=TopStories.