A Proposal for an Arctic Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone

By Thomas S. Axworthy *

1. Introduction

Since nuclear weapons were first used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there has been a global movement seeking their elimination. The 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 the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation – shows a strong preference for the outright removal of nuclear weapons from the Arctic region.[1] This desire for the creation of an Arctic Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone (ANWFZ) is the subject of this paper. 

President Barack Obama and former President Dmitry Medvedev have put nuclear arms control back on the international agenda. In his April 2009 speech in Prague, President Obama gave hope to humanity when he announced that his administration would work towards “a world without nuclear weapons.”[2] 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 to 1,550 each.[3] The new treaty entered into force on February 5, 2011. 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 (NPT). As former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and his colleagues have declared, “there has never been a better time to revive total nuclear disarmament.”[4]

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.”[5] Thus, Gorbachev proposed a “zone of peace.”[6] 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.”[7]

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.[8] Gorbachev matched his worlds with action, leading commentators 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.”[9]

Reaction in the West to Gorbachev’s Murmansk Speech were mixed as there was doubt about the authenticity of its security aspects but positive feedback on the proposals for functional cooperation in areas such as science and the environment.[10] 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 nuclear weapons 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 (NWFZ) 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 recommendations as to how to achieve the above with the main emphasis being on a Nordic Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone as a concrete first step on the road to achieving such a zone for all the Arctic countries.

1.1 The Case Against Nuclear Weapons

The world has had a moral revulsion against nuclear weapons since they were first used. 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 limiting arms control measures being steps toward this goal[11]. 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, leading to a period of détente.[12]

Mikhail Gorbachev initiated 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.”[13] 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.

Following Gorbachev, progress 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,”[14] 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.[15]

Malcolm Fraser, long-time chairperson of the InterAction Council, 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.[16]

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.[17] 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 to the background of international affairs; to reduce the number of nuclear weapons; to strengthen NPT 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; agree to the doctrine of no first use; credible force postures and verifiable deployments. Then create the conditions necessary to move from minimization to elimination.[18]

This paper concentrates on the second phase of this journey – the medium-term – and advocates creating an ANWFZ to add to the seven existing NWFZs as a stepping stone towards a world free of nuclear weapons. 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 Russian new commitment to deep reductions in existing stockpiles will be a welcome announcement for the NPT review process,[19] 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, former 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, the InterAction Council, Canadian Pugwash Group, Mayors for Peace, and the Middle Powers Initiative to urge concrete steps to end our reliance on nuclear weapons.[20] Of these groups, both the Canadian Pugwash Group,[21] in 2007, and the InterAction Council[22] in 2010, call for the creation of an ANWFZ. Today’s advocates were preceded by those who live in the Arctic. In 1977, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) 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.[23] 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.”[24] 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 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 agree d 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). [25]

Nuclear Weapons in the Arctic graph

Figure 1: Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, “Rethinking the Top of the World: Arctic Security Public Opinion Survey,” http://www.gordonfoundation.ca/publication/300.

It is not only public opinion in the Arctic states which is creating interest in the concept of an ANWFZ. One nation at least is actively promoting the concept. Danish Ambassador Theis Truelsen, Under- Secretary for Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Arms Control at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated in a presentation to the First Committee of the UN General Assembly in 2011 that Denmark supported such a zone.[26] Denmark, a member of NATO, is the first circumpolar state to support publicly an ANWFZ. Given the leadership shown by the Government of Denmark and the strong public opinion support in the other Arctic states, this paper turns next to how a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (NWFZ) could be created in the Arctic. 

2.0 An Introduction to Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

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.

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...”[27] It does so through mandating the non-possession, non-deployment and non-use of nuclear weapons within the zone.[28] This has the end goal, as 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.”[29] By isolating Nuclear Weapon States (NWS), NWFZs send the 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 NWFZ is “a confidence-building measure with political implications in addition to its military significance.”[30] Subsequently, a NWFZ can be seen as a building block towards a more comprehensive peace.[31] This momentum could then be used to create a world free of nuclear weapons.[32]

NWFZs contribute to non-proliferation through their rigorous verification procedures, which are more stringent than the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. This is because IAEA verification procedures are geared towards ensuring that non-NWS 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.[33] Consequently, the more stringent verification procedures not only ensure that there are no 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 boast 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 NWFZ 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.[34]

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 dismantle 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.[35] NWFZ, therefore, importantly contribute 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 NWFZ. The first principle is that the decision to create a NWFZ should be freely arrived at by the states that make up the region. Second, 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 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.[36]

There are currently seven existing NWFZ Treaties. These are: Antarctica (1959), Latin America (1967), South Pacific (1985), Southeast Asia (1995), Africa (1996), Mongolia (1998), and Central Asia (2006).[37] 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.[38] The Antarctica Treaty should be taken as a starting point for the negotiation of an ANWFZ, 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 regarding straits and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) which is analogous to the situation in the Arctic of both the Northeast and Northwest Passages.[39] It is helpful to learn from the experiences of the existing NWFZs when designing the ANWFZ.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

The concept of an ANWFZ 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.[43] According to Hamel-Green, the first proposal for an ANWFZ was put forward in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1964.[44] It has subsequently been picked up by Inuit organizations (including the ICC), regional and international peace organizations (like the InterAction Council and Canadian Pugwash Group), academic researchers and Arctic-region specialists.[45] The government of Denmark has also proposed an ANWFZ as an important step to eventually achieving global nuclear disarmament. 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.[46]

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.”[47] There is room for more intensified cooperation and one such cooperative project could be a NWFZ. The Arctic is a good potential candidate to be the next NWFZ because of its history of nuclear activities in the region and climate change. This change brings new challenges to state sovereignty and subsequently increasing military activity, the continued presence of 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 defence planners as a “military theatre” in which all interests – including those of the local indigenous population – were subordinated to national security concerns.[48] During the Cold War, in the event of a nuclear exchange, most of the Soviet and American nuclear arsenals would have transited over 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.”[49]

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)[50] 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 the two large islands of Novaya Zemlya, approximately 450 kilometers above the Arctic Circle between the Barents and Kara seas. Under the supervision of the Soviet Navy, a total of 130 tests have been carried out with 224 separate explosive devices equal to about 265 Mt (the 50 Mt Tzar Bomba, the largest nuclear explosion to date, was tested here on October 30, 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". Underground testing at Novaya Zemlya continued following 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). Novaya Zemlya also served as a graveyard for various defunct 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.[51] 

Aside from the mining of radioactive elements, the Canadian Arctic has also been contaminated by nuclear fuel. On January 24, 1978, COSMOS 954, a Soviet nuclear-powered surveillance satellite, crashed near Great Slave Lake, spewing radiation over much of the Northwest Territories and the northern portions of the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, an area of 124,000 km2. A major clean-up effort by American and Canadian authorities resulted in the estimated recovery of only 0.1 percent of COSMOS 954’s nuclear fuel.[52]

The Arctic has also been radioactively contaminated by accidents involving 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 routine 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.[53]

Unlike the invisible threat of radioactive contamination, climate change is having discernible 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 (ACIA) in 2004[54] 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.[55] 

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.[56] For example, Canada has six outstanding boundary-related disputes, including most significantly in the Northwest Passage. In 1985 then External Affairs Minister Joe Clark announced Canada would draw straight baselines around its Arctic archipelago, claiming the Passage as internal waters, and since that time the United States, the European Union, and Japan have all refuted that claim.[57] 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. Then 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.[58]

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 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.[59] In 2005, the United States sent a Los Angeles-class submarine to spend two weeks under the North Pole, a feat that was considered to be a technological achievement that will have implications for future missions.[60]

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 possible. 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.”[61] 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.”[62] 

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.[63] It should be noted that in the May 2008 Ilulissat Declaration, the five coastal nations bordering the Arctic Ocean agreed to refer to and respect the law of the sea as the basis for resolving all of their outstanding maritime boundary disputes.[64]  While this did not specifically reference the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), it is hoped that the sovereignty disputes over jurisdiction will be resolved by UNCLOS without a need to resort to military means[65]. Indeed, in 2010 Russia and Norway peacefully negotiated a settlement to a forty-year-old boundary dispute in the Barents Sea.[66]

The Arctic is also a favourable candidate for a NWFZ because there are existing arrangements covering non-proliferation concerns in the Arctic, including the Seabed Treaty (1971) and the NPT though none of these are comprehensive enough to adequately address nuclear issues.[67] The Seabed Treaty requires that parties to the treaty do not place nuclear weapons on the seabed, ocean floor or subsoil, or facilities designed to store, test, or use nuclear weapons.[68] In addition, the NPT’s Article VII commits the Arctic states to conclude regional treaties to “assure the total absence of nuclear weapons from their respective territories.”[69] The fact that regional states were able to agree to these non-proliferation efforts is a positive starting point for the negotiation of an ANWFZ. 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 can be built. However, these agreements are not wide enough in their scope or specific enough to address the Arctic’s unique security issues.[70]

3.0 The Framework for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Arctic

3.1 Defining the “Nuclear” in a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone

Weerakoon-Gonnewardene cautions that when drafting the ANWFZ “it would be necessary to define the term ‘nuclear weapon’ very carefully. Usually it applies to nuclear bombs and warheads –explosives – only.”[71] Clearly, when defining what “nuclear” means in the context of a NWFZ, 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.[72]

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, an ANWFZ 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.[73] As mentioned above, the Arctic region has been the theatre of large-scale nuclear testing, especially in the 1950s.[74] 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 it.[75] The United States, specifically, needs to ratify the CTBT as the Senate failed to ratify this treaty when it voted in October 1999.[76] President Obama committed his administration to bringing about the quick ratification of CTBT in his Prague speech in April 2009. 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.[77]

While it is important to safeguard against nuclear installations becoming targets and research into nuclear weapons technology, an ANWFZ 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.[78] Nuclear energy is deemed integral to the strategy to produce energy at a lower greenhouse gas emissions rate, so as to address the negative effects of climate change.[79] 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.”[80] Equally there are those who argue that “not even a tenfold increase in power reactors will have a significant impact on nuclear proliferation.”[81] However, signatories to the NPT have the obligation not to divert nuclear technology from peaceful uses to military purposes.[82] 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 and Included Actors

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.”[83] 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.[84] 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.[85]

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, France, Japan, South Korea, 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.[86] 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”[87] (see above). This exclusive attitude has generally stemmed from fears regarding sovereignty or access to natural resources.

However, the issue of nuclear weapons is truly a global concern. 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 NWS under the NPT have to be engaged and it would be prudent to engage the de facto NWS (i.e. India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) as well.[88] 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.[89]

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[90]. It is therefore essential to the success of an ANWFZ that the Arctic Ocean be included in its territory in addition to the land territory and airspace above both.[91]

Included in the zone should also be all the continental shelves of party states. The Bangkok Treaty which set up the NWFZ in Southeast Asia in 1995 included this provision, because there were areas under jurisdictional dispute between the contracting parties.[92] 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 (they are where the vast potential oil and gas resources are located) they should be included in a NWFZ Treaty. This should not be difficult to secure as 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 ANWFZ that they be included.[93] This is because of the unresolved legal status of the Northwest Passage. The Northwest Passage winds through the islands of the Canadian Arctic archipelago connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. 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 Northwest Passage is Canadian internal waters could set a precedent for the legal status of other straits around the world.[94] The United States therefore argues that the Northwest Passage is an international strait meeting the definition set by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) 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.”[95] This is significant because under UNCLOS all states have a “right of passage” in an international strait.[96] However the argument can be made that it is in all concerned states interests to have this area covered by a NWFZ. As the Northwest Passage is narrow and shallow it is unfavourable for submarines, which are the main method of deployment for nuclear weapons.[97] Consequently, the Northwest Passage 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.[98]

Michael Wallace, the late Executive Member of the Canadian Pugwash Group, and Steven Staples have written that there are two major factors which complicate an ANWFZ. First, both the United States and Russia frequently deploy nuclear-armed 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.[99] This base houses Russia’s most advanced SSBNs.[100] Therefore in order for a NWFZ to be created, it would be necessary that Russia remove its nuclear-armed submarines from this base.[101] 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.[102] The United States, alternatively, does not deploy nuclear weapons in its Arctic territory at present.[103]

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.”[104] 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.”[105] The second reason that Xia Liping gives is, “it would be very difficult for governments of the three 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.”[106]

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 NWS to relinquish the sovereignty required to implement a NWFZ in the Arctic.

The second issue that Xia Liping raises is how the inhabitants of an ANWFZ 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 NWS – the United States and Russia among them – are not yet willing to relinquish their entire arsenals. It therefore recommends a minimization approach, whereby the use of nuclear weapons is gradually scaled down until NWS 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 NWFZ in the Arctic will be difficult, both diplomatically and politically, because it does include only parts of the two nuclear weapons superpowers.[107] 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.[108] 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.”[109] 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 NWFZ 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 should be consulted. The area to be covered includes all land, airspace, adjacent seas, and the entirety of the Arctic Ocean.

3.3 Verification Measures

There must be verification measures in place to ensure that the proposed ANWFZ is being respected. 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 as verify that an ANWFZ Treaty is being respected by participating states.

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.[110] Second, that all nuclear weapons present in the zone had been removed and that there has been no new deployments within the ANFWZ.[111] 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.[112]

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.”[113] 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 and information can be shared through cooperation and 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 will eventually result in a complete and total abolition of nuclear weapons. Consequently, it is recommended that such an organization be established in the Arctic, with the required resources to do its important verification job.

A third benefit of a permanent verification organization is that it can share the resources of member states. This includes the funding, development and installation of an advanced underwater listening system. Such a system is necessary to detect submerged nuclear-armed submarines, the main delivery system of nuclear weapons. Critics point out that detecting submarines is “nearly [an] impossible” task, and that for this reason the existing NWFZ treaties have chosen to make no reference to submarines transiting its region.[114] However, as the current home to much of Russia’s nuclear armed submarine fleet, such a system is required in the Arctic Ocean to properly support an ANWFZ. Indeed, the challenge of detecting submarines in the Arctic is even greater for in other NWFZ. The Arctic Ocean is “noisy.” Grinding and cracking sea ice means that acoustic monitoring methods and sonar devices are unable to function effectively.[115] Also, such systems are quite costly. For example, Canada attempted to build an underwater network of listening devices in order to track nuclear submarines transiting the Northwest Passage, but the hundreds of millions of dollars price tag meant that the project did not go through.[116] This left Canada with no means of knowing whether a foreign submarine was in its waters.[117] By pooling resources and sharing technology, such a system could be completed and installed to monitor the Arctic Ocean.

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 all bases, ships and equipment within the zone to ensure compliance. This has proven to be a powerful CBM in Antarctica and should be replicated in the Arctic.[118]

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 monitor each their respective militaries. OST is multilateral, and all of the Arctic states are already party to the treaty.[119] Essentially, Arctic states need only prioritize aerial reconnaissance of the ANWFZ with their quota of over flights to help them monitor the region.

Verification procedures are the key to the success of a NWFZ. The verification procedures should be extensive. To ensure compliance with the necessary conditions for an ANWFZ, zonal states should also pool resources and work together to jointly survey the Arctic. 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.

3.4 Summary of the Framework

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.”[120] 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 ANWFZ 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, and the Arctic Ocean should 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 their destructive power and the human suffering they can cause, it will still not be easy for states, especially the world’s two largest nuclear powers, to partially forgo the perceived safety of their nuclear umbrellas. It is precisely for this reason that extensive and far-ranging CBMs must accompany any attempts to reach an agreement on setting up an ANWFZ. Pre-existing CBMs, combined with new CBMs, should be supported and enhanced in order to reduce the likelihood of military incidents in the Arctic.[121]

Such CBMs are certainly easier to attain than the end-goal of a NWFZ. They contribute to a co-operative Arctic, and thus, are important in themselves, but they also contribute to travelling down the long road to reach minimization of nuclear weapons by 2025 and elimination thereafter. Some may not see a collection of CBMs as directly relevant to the attainment to an ANWFZ, but my argument is that persuading nuclear powers to no longer include the Arctic in their nuclear planning is such a leap that it will take years of close co-operation to give Russian and American decision makers the appetite to contemplate such a move.

4.1 Avoid Measures That Do Not Build Confidence

It is important to avoid actions and rhetoric that reduce confidence. The Arctic has been the 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 submarines to plant a titanium flag on the North Pole’s Sea floor.[122] This move caused significant outrage among the general public, with one public opinion poll showing that 56% of Canadians wanted to “plant a flag on the Arctic Seabed, just as Russia did.”[123]

The Russians are not the only ones pulling public relations stunts in the Arctic. 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. 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."[124] 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 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.”[125] In addition, Canadian government communications have increasingly referred to Canada as an “Arctic Power.”[126] This kind of zero-sum rhetoric only seeks to harden the stance of the other political actors. It is unhelpful, as are actions of flag planting and the burying of bottles of liquor. These actions threaten the NWFZ project by making the scoring of domestic political points contingent on bold and rash moves in the Arctic rather than combating the threat that nuclear weapons pose.

More importantly than indulging in political theatre for public consumption is the avoidance of policy decisions that directly undermine confidence in the strategic relations amongst the Arctic states. Recently, Russia announced that it will not renew the Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Program, a twenty-year partnership between the United States and Russia designed to secure ‘loose-nukes,’ is credited with removing WMDs and their supporting facilities from the former Soviet republics and destroying over 7600 Russian strategic nuclear weapons.[127] As the New York Times noted, this represents “a potentially grave setback in the already fraying relationship between the former cold war enemies,” and is a setback in the development of an ANWFZ by undermining trust and confidence in the strategic relationship between the two Arctic NWS.[128]

4.2 Pre-Existing Confidence-Building Measures

In addition to the previously mentioned New START and the OST – 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 first international agreement negotiated under the auspicious of the Arctic Council. 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.”[129] 

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 Agreement are expected as the participating states build up operation experience, and the Agreement has been drafted to anticipate and accommodate these updates.[130]

Between Sept 10-14, 2012, the first live search and rescue exercise known as SAREX 2012 was held off the east coast of Greenland involving the personnel and equipment from the various Arctic Council states.[131] But for the SAR Agreement to continue to be a successful CBM,it must be properly resourced by the participating states.  Some states – such as Canada[132] - 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.[133] 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.[134]

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.[135] 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 A Policy of Non-First Use of Nuclear Weapons for Arctic NWS

A non-first use policy is an essential component of an ANWFZ Treaty. This will require changes to American and Russian nuclear weapons policies. 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 renounced this pledge in 1993. Since that time, Moscow has both said that it would not use nuclear weapons against states that do not possess them, but at the same time has warned that it remains open to using nuclear weapons if other means fail to “repulse armed aggression.”[136]

Similarly, the United States continues to maintain a policy of first use. However under the Obama Administration, the range of scenarios under which American nuclear weapons would be used has been substantially narrowed, stating that they will not be used on NNWSs. Indeed, the focus of the policy is geared more towards non-state actors – terrorists – and rogue states seeking nuclear capabilities in contradiction to the NPT, than the traditional Cold War era posture.[137]

Due to the fact that a portion of both of the Arctic NWS will be covered by the NWFZ, 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 themselves.[138]

4.4 NATO and an ANWFZ

A NATO non-first use clause must be included in the Treaty, as many of the proposed ANWFZ zonal states are members of the NATO alliance, a nuclear alliance with a first use nuclear posture.[139] According to Prawitz, NATO’s 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.”[140]

Can NATO members reconcile their wartime alliance commitments with participation in an ANWFZ? Wallace and Staples argue that, “it might well be possible to draft an ANWFZ 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.”[141] Indeed, 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.”[142] 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 NATO ensures that a policy of deterrence and mutual aid will persist.[143]

4.5 Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD)

Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) is another stumbling block to future disarmament talks and an ANWFZ. Since the United States abrogated the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) in favour of pursuing BMD, Russia has been anxious to tie the issue to further nuclear arms reduction talks, worried that future BMD systems could undermine the Russian deterrent. In contrast, the United States has successfully worked to isolate BMD from post-ABM nuclear disarmament agreements, the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty (SORT) and New START.

Complicating the above is the presence of three American bases within the proposed ANWFZ directly involved in BMD. Two of these bases – Thule, Greenland and Shemya, Alaska – are old Cold War radar bases designed to detect ICBMs. They have recently been upgraded and integrated into the Ground-based Mid-Course Defence System and now help guide interceptors to incoming ICBMs. The third site, Fort Greely, Alaska, is home to 26 interceptor missiles, with plans to increase that number to 40.[144]  While current American BMD systems do not utilize nuclear warheads to destroy incoming ballistic missiles - and therefore the presence of these bases does not violate the principles of a NWFZ per se - it is unlikely Russia would agree to their continued presence without some form of reciprocity given that these bases are designed to intercept ballistic missiles coming over the North Pole, directly affecting the Russian deterrent.[145] However Russia’s concerns regarding BMD are less focused on current Arctic BMD bases and more focused on proposed future missile bases in Eastern Europe.[146]

On this issue, there seems to be room to manoeuvre a settlement favourable to an ANWFZ. The Obama Administration has demonstrated less attachment to BMD then the previous Bush Presidency. Of the six main BMD programs, Obama has cancelled one, and significantly downsized another due to costs.[147] Additionally, while Obama’s New START did not address BMD, the President seems willing to make concessions on the issue in exchange for additional disarmament measures with Russia, assuring Medvedev that he would have more flexibility to address BMD following the upcoming American Presidential elections, now re-elected.[148] Obama will now have to respond to President Putin, also re-elected in March, 2012. However the Russian-American relationship seems to be fraying under the strain of recent moves to end Nunn-Luger Cooperative Threat Program[149] and the expulsion of USAID from Russia on Oct.1, 2012.[150] Reengaging Russia should be in Obama’s agenda.

Similarly, NATO seems to be downplaying BMD. During the development of the NATO Strategic Concept 2010, the NATO 2020 Group of Experts listed an attack by a ballistic missile (nuclear tipped or not) as first amongst most probable threats to the Allies, recommending that missile defence should become an essential mission for the Alliance.[151] In comparison to the recommendation, the current NATO Strategic Concept 2010 marginally endorses BMD, stating that the Alliance will continue to develop the capability to defend against ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. What the Concept does emphasis is the concern regarding Russia’s large stockpile of short-range, tactical nuclear weapons. Stating that further reductions must take this category of nuclear weapons into account (neither SORT or New START deal with tactical nuclear weapons), the document goes on to highlight that NATO’s strategic partnership with Russia is based on reciprocity.[152] One can imagine a negotiated outcome where tactical nuclear warheads are reduced in exchange for a stationing of BMD bases elsewhere.

4.6 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 latter is 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.[153]

An excellent CBM would be to hold joint exercises between the militaries of the zonal states. For example, Danish officers have recently participated in an annual Canadian military Arctic exercise known as Operation NANOOK.[154] Additionally, the Canadian, American, and Russian militaries have begun to hold an annual military exercise, Vigilant Eagle, in the Arctic.[155] 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.[156]

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.

4.7 Stand Down of the Nuclear Arsenals and Establish a Joint Data Exchange Centre

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.[157] 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.[158] 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.[159] 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[160].

To help facilitate this, the United States and Russia should finally construct the Joint Data Exchange Centre (JDEC), agreed to over fourteen years ago by then-Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin. Designed to share early-warning data on ballistic missile launches, JDEC would help negate future missile launch false alarms between the superpowers and enhance confidence in their strategic relationship, easing the way for a future ANWFZ.[161]

4.8 Diplomatic Resources

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,[162] 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.[163] 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. The Indigenous population should be encouraged to strengthen their ties with one another.[164] 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.[165] 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.[166] 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.[167]

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.[168] 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.[169]

4.9 Harmonization of Policies on Arctic-Related Issues

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.[170] 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.[171] 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.[172] 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.

The basis for a total prohibition on transiting the Arctic with nuclear weapons might be found in Article 234, which states[173]:

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.[174]

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 example 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)).[175]

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.[176] 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. 

4.10 The Disposal and Safety of Nuclear Waste

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.[177] The safe disposal of nuclear waste and safeguarding nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands remains a grave concern.[178] The high costs associated with such programs necessitates that programs such as the CTRP 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.”[179] This equally applies to nuclear waste.

The size of the challenge of nuclear waste in the Arctic should not be underestimated.[180] For example, a decommissioned Russian nuclear submarine sunk into the Barents Sea with ten crew members on board. 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 from the vessel’s two nuclear reactors. This incident was not isolated, three years previously a nuclear submarine, the Kursk, sank in the Barents Sea killing all 118 crew onboard.[181] IAEA data indicates that there are 150 nuclear reactors in decommissioned submarines in the ports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk waiting to be dismantled. Furthermore, the same agency estimates that there is over 8500 tons of highly enriched spent fuel that needs to be reprocessed and properly stored.[182] Some estimate that there is enough uranium and plutonium in Russia to make 40,000 weapons.[183] There are already eighteen nuclear reactors at the bottom of the ocean, which Russia dumped between 1958 and 1992 fully loaded with nuclear fuel.[184] 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.[185] All of the nuclear waste in the Russian Arctic that is not adequately protected could be stolen and/or directed toward extremist groups.[186] Experts have indicated that while it may not be possible for extremist groups to create a fully-fledged nuclear bomb from this material, 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.[187] Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 states are obliged to improve the security of their stockpiles and include provisions to facilitate specialists being deployed to those countries that do not have the infrastructure or experience to deal with their stockpiles.[188] 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.[189] 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[190]. The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents made studying in the nuclear-related fields unpopular for a significant amount of time.[191] 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…”[192] 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.”[193] 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.[194] 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.

5.0 Getting to “Yes”

The task of “getting to ‘yes’”[195] 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’.”[196] While there are many opponents to the idea of an ANWFZ, there are also supporters such as the Government of Denmark, Indigenous communities and important organizations in civil society. For this reason, a NWFZ in the Arctic is possible, though it will be very difficult to achieve. 

5.1 What Are States Looking For?

States are looking for security.[197] Many states still ascribe to the Cold War way of thinking 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.”[198] 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.

5.2 Achieving Government Buy-In

Integral to “getting to yes” is achieving buy-in from the highest echelons of the leadership in all Arctic regional states. That is why the 2011 endorsement by the Government of Denmark is so important. However, there are still many road blocks.

One minute before midnight of the day of Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, for example, the Bush Administration issued a National Security Presidential Directive 66 (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.[199] This directive elevated the posture of the Arctic within American foreign policy priorities. Since the Obama Administration, through the activities of Hilary Clinton, has been much more active on Arctic then the Bush Administration, it is likely that President Obama will issue a new Directive to supersede NSPD 66. Such a Directive will likely occur before the United States assumes the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015.[200] 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.[201]

The initiative for an ANWFZ was Mikhail Gorbachev’s, originating in his 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 NPT and the CTBT 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.[202]

5.3 Indigenous Inhabitants of the Arctic Region

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.”[203] 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’.”[204] 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.[205] 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[206]. Historically, Inuit organizations and councils have been supportive of denuclearization which gives hope that they would support this initiative.[207] The ICC is on record in supporting an ANWFZ but since this occurred many years ago, it would be very useful if this important organization revisited their position in light of today’s realities.  

5.4 Civil Society

Creating public awareness is a precursor towards generating and sustaining the political will needed to initiate an ANWFZ. Civil society actors, such as the InterAction Council and Canadian 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...”[208] 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[209].

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.[210] 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.”[211] 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.[212] As discussed above, publics in the Arctic Council states certainly support an ANWFZ.[213] 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[214] as discussed above by the public of the Arctic Council states..

5.5 Is an Agreement Possible?

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 NWS 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.[215] 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 to the recent New START - including the pledge by all five declared NWS to negative security assurances to not attack or threaten to attack with nuclear weapons those that do not have them.[216] The fact that the government of Denmark has recently promoted the concept of an ANWFZ as a useful step towards more general disarmament is evidence that at least one NATO government endorses the thesis of this paper.

The progress towards the completion of an ANWFZ, however, 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.[217] 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.”[218] The UN criteria for a 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.[219] 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.[220]

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,[221] 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.[222] While he has been criticized by his supporters for failing “to break away from Bush era national security policy in some fundamental ways,”[223] it is hoped he will continue his efforts on nuclear disarmament through his second term in Office.

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 are home too most 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 action plan of this paper is to promote a variety of confidence building measures that will gradually enhance cooperation, thereby increasing mutual security. Indeed, it is not until the medium term 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.[224] 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.[225] 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.[226]  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.[227] 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...”[228] It is thus necessary to get rid of nuclear arms, because only then can there be a world without nuclear war.

5.6 Putting Ideas Into Action – A Nordic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as a Next Step

How do we move towards the goal of an ANWFZ? 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.[229]

The best possible venue to discuss an ANWFZ would be the Arctic Council, the premier Arctic forum in which regional issues are discussed.[230] The Arctic Council counts among its membership all of the Arctic states, as well as permanent representation from a number of Indigenous organizations. 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. However, the Arctic Council currently is prohibited from discussing security issues because it was excluded from its mandate in order to secure US buy-in.[231] 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 ANWFZ 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.[232]

In the absence of a security mandate for the Arctic Council, the most promising regional forum to advance an ANWFZ proposal at this stage would be the Conferences of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region (CPAR).[233] This Conference occurs every two years. Additionally, the Conference has a standing committee that meets regularly. The CPAR is not as restricted as the Arctic Council with regards to discussing security issues. Raising an ANWFZ with CPAR would allow the parliamentarians attending have capacity to take ideas back to their own parliaments, and inject the proposal into the public sphere and possibly influence the mandate of the Arctic Council.

The second step is to delineate a path towards the ANWFZ outlined above. The adoption of a Nordic NWFZ (NNWFZ) which would also include Canada would be an excellent stepping-stone to a larger pan-Arctic one. What makes a Canadian-Nordic NWFZ attractive as an intermediate step towards an ANWFZ is that it narrows the numerous challenges impeding the creation of such a zone – the large presence of Russian strategic assets in the region, partial coverage of two NWS etc. – to one: tension between NATO commitments and a NWFZ.

The NNWFZ concept is an old and well-though out one, first proposed by the Soviet Union in 1958. Since then, the NNWFZ has been the major Arctic disarmament proposal consistently discussed. The topic was taken up by Finland’s President Urho Kekkonen in 1963, who continued to promote it over his long period in office. By the mid-1970s, Sweden began discussions, expanding to Norway by the early 1980s. By the late 1980s, a Nordic senior officials group examined the concept. The NNWFZ was never adopted because of Cold War restraints. The fear within NATO was that such a zone would severely curtail the nuclear weapons superiority the Alliance used in Europe to balance against the Soviet Union’s then superior conventional ground forces. Such a zone could have split the Alliance and left Nordic Europe vulnerable to a conventional Soviet invasion if war occurred. An occupied Nordic Europe would have subsequently threatened NATO supply lines to Western Europe. In addition, the Soviet Union consistently rejected that the heavily militarized Kola Peninsula would be included in any conceptualization of a NNWFZ to the chagrin of the Nordic states.[234]

However with the Cold War long over, that rationale for avoiding the implementation of a NNWFZ no longer exists. Indeed, this idea is strongly supported by Arctic residents themselves. A recent poll by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation shows that nearly 80 percent of respondents from across Canada and the Nordic states back an ANWFZ (see Figure 1).

In 1993, the Nordic Council recommended establishing such a zone. In 2010, a draft law on an Icelandic NWFZ was submitted to the parliament of Iceland, and in 2011, the Danish ambassador for disarmament H.E. Theis Truelsen, spoke to the first committee of the United Nations saying “Denmark believes that we should explore how the establishment of nuclear-weapons-free zones, including in the Middle-East and the Arctic, could become an integral element of a comprehensive multilateral strategy to implement global nuclear disarmament.”[235]

NATO’s May 2012 Deterrence and Defence Posture Review stated “the alliance is resolved to seek a safer world for all and to create the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons.” With this principle now established, it is not a bride too far for NATO to commit to a no-first use doctrine and to withdraw all tactical nuclear weapons from Europe, as the InterAction Council has recommended. With that accomplished, it should be possible to accommodate Iceland, Denmark and Norway, none of whom allow the storing of nuclear weapons during peacetime, if they wish to declare a NWFZ. Finland and Sweden, members of the Nordic Council but not NATO, should also be members. Like the Nordic countries, Canada does not allow nuclear weapons on our territory. So six Arctic countries already fulfill the conditions necessary for a NWFZ. Recognizing this, Larry Bagnell, a Member of Parliament from Yukon, in 2011 proposed a Canadian NWFZ as a private members bill.

This leaves the problem of reconciling Alliance commitments with the responsibilities of a NWFZ. Both Denmark (and therefore Greenland and the Faros Islands) and Norway have agreements with NATO that nuclear weapons cannot be stationed on their soils during times of peace. Canada, though lacking a formal agreement, removed the last of nuclear weapons acquired for NATO and North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) commitments from its territory in 1984. Still, it does leave the issue of wartime commitments but, as section 4.4 of this paper has shown, this problem can be overcome.

The establishment of a Canadian-Nordic NWFZ would create ‘facts on the ground,’ the norms and rules expected for a larger ANWFZ, and place political pressure on both the United States and Russia to participate in it. Valuable in itself, a Canada-Nordic NWFZ would ensure that the Arctic dimension would at least be considered in future Russian and American arms control and disarmament negotiations.


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.[236]

This paper 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 ANWFZ, 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, and scientific cooperation. 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. Denmark has taken the lead in advocating that serious consideration be given to an ANWFZ and middle powers like Canada and Norway should join their Arctic and NATO ally in this quest. 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.  In the 1970s, ICC was an advocate of an ANWFZ and it would be very useful if that critical indigenous organization return to the specifics of the subject.

The 2010 ratification of the START Treaty between Russia and the United States has broken the nuclear weapons stalemate. It is possible that further reductions will occur now that US President Barack Obama has won reelection. The thesis of this paper is that when these critical discussions commence, the needs of the Arctic and the hardy people who reside there should not be forgotten.

6.0 Recommendations

The Framework for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Arctic

1.     “Nuclear Weapon Free” should mean all nuclear weapons and armaments, as well as the targeting of nuclear facilities and nuclear testing.

2.     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.

3.     All nuclear weapons must be removed from the zone.

4.     Along the edges of the zone, there should be a gradual “thinning out” of nuclear weapons.

5.     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.

6.     Transiting the zone with nuclear weapons should not be permitted.

7.     The peaceful use of nuclear technology for civilian purposes should continue.

8.     Verification procedures need to ensure that civilian nuclear technology is not being deferred towards weapon building capabilities.

9.     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.

10.  States should prioritize aerial reconnaissance of the proposed ANWFZ with their OST quota of flights.

11.  Information-sharing of relevant information should be commonplace.

12.  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).

Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs)

13.  Measures that do not build confidence (i.e. flag planting, whiskey burying and fly-bys) should be avoided.

14.  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.

15.  INCSEA should be ‘multilateralized’ to include all of the Arctic States.

16.  The United States, NATO and Russia should adopt a policy of non-first use of their nuclear weapons.

17.  The United States should consider trading BMD capability for a reduction in Russian tactical nuclear weapons.

18.  Arctic states should continue to hold joint excercises.

19.  Both the United States and Russia should take their nuclear arsenals off high alert status.

20.  Both the United States and Russia should construct the agreed to the Joint Data Exchange Centre.

21.  An advanced underwater listening system built by and accessed to by all zonal states should be created.

22.  An Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs from each state should be appointed to handle negotiations.

23.  Consular services and support should be increased within the region and researchers and Indigenous Peoples should have simplified access to visas.

24.  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.

25.  A common code for ship design should be agreed upon in order to mitigate the chances of environmental damage.

26.  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.

27.  The security of nuclear fuel storage facilities should be bolstered.

28.  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.

Getting to “Yes”

29.  The rules of the Arctic Council should be amended to allow for debates concerning peace and security issues such as arms control.

30.  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.

31.  A Canada-Nordic NWFZ should be established as a stepping stone to a large ANWFZ.

32.  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.


* Secretary-General of the InterAction Council and a Senior Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs and Massey College, University of Toronto, Canada. Mailing: Dr. Thomas Axworthy, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5S 3K7. 

[1] Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, “Rethinking the Top of the World: Arctic Security Public Opinion Survey,” Toronto, ON, January 25, 2011, http://www.gordonfoundation.ca/publication/300.(accessed January 26, 2011).

[2] 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... (accessed January 28, 2010).

[3] 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 (accessed May 4, 2011).

[4] Malcolm Fraser, "Eliminating Nuclear Weapons: No Longer the Impossible Dream" (paper presented at the National Consulative Committee on Disarmament, Wellington, New Zealand, May 24, 2009).

[5] Richard Sakwa. "Gorbachev and the new Soviet foreign policy," Global Society 2 (1988): 22.

[6] 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.

[7] 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.

[8] Raphael V. Vartanov and Alexi Yu Roginko, "New Dimensions of Soveit Arctic Policy: Views from the Soviet Union," American Academy of Political and Social Science 507 (1990): 70.

[9] Ibid., at 71.

[10] Clive Archer, "Arctic Cooperation: A Nordic Model," Security Dialogue 21 (1990): 165.

[11] Randy Rydell, “The Future of Nuclear Arms: A World United and Divided by Zero,” Arms Contol Association, 2009, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2009_04/Rydell (accessed February 18, 2010).

[12] 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.

[13] Mikhail Gorbachev,  “The Nuclear Threat,” The WallStreet Jounrnal Online, January 31, 2007, http://www.gsinstitute.org/docs/WSJgorbachev.pdf (accessed January 28, 2010).

[14] Ibid.,

[15] George P Schultz et al. "A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2007: A15.; Gorbachev (2007), supra note 14.

[16] Fraser, supra note 4.

[17] Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi, Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Guide for Global Policymakers, Report prepared by International Comission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, http://www.icnnd.org/reference/reports/ent/pdf/KNND_Annex_A.pdf (accessed March 17, 2010).

[18] Ibid.

[19] 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/ (accessed March 26, 2010).

[21] Canadian Pugwash Group, “Arctic Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone,” http://arcticnwfz.ca/index.php?portalid=1&option=com_artportal&Itemid=5 (accessed February 4, 2010).

[22] InterAction Council, “Final Communiqué, 28th Annual Plenary Meeting,” http://www.interactioncouncil.org/final-communiqu-27 (accessed May 1, 2010).

[23] While the call for an ANWFZ was originally made in 1977, it was formalized in 1983. See Inuit Circumpolar Council, “Resolution on a Nuclear Free Zone in the Arctic,” Frobisher Bay, NWT [This place is now called Iqualuit, Nunavut] 1983, http://cwis.org/fwdp/Resolutions/ICC/Inuit.txt. (accessed March 23, 2010).

[24] Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, “Circumpolar Inuit Declaration on Arctic Sovereignty,” http://www.itk.ca/circumpolar-inuit-declaration-arctic-sovereignty (accessed March 23, 2010).

[25] 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. Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation (2011), supra note 1.

[26] H.E. Theis Truelsen, Under- Secretary for Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Arms Control at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, speech at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, General Debate of the 1st Committee. New York: October 7, 2011.

[27] Nedra Weerakoon-Goonewardene, "A Nordic Nuclear-Free Zone," Global Society 1 (1987): 26.

[28] Ibid., at 26.

[29] Michael Hamel-Green, “Existing Regional Nuclear Weapon Free Zones: Precedents that Could Inform Development of an Arctic Nuclear Weapon Free Zone,” (2009): 2, paper presented at “Arctic Nuclear Weapons Free Zone,” Danish Institute of International Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 10, 2009, http://www.diis.dk/graphics/Events/2009/Presentation%20Hamel-Green.pdf. (accessed January 26, 2010).

[30] Weerakoon-Gonnewardene, supra note 26, at 26.

[31] 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 et al., “Declaration on Freedom From Nuclear Weapons,” http://www.diplomatie.diplo.de/en/atom-frei.html (accessed January 26, 2010).

[32] Daisaku Ikeda, “Say No to Nukes in the Arctic,” Japan Times, January 31, 2008,  http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20080131a1.html, (accessed February 4, 2010).

[33] Xia Liping, “Viewpoint: Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones: Lessons for Nonproliferation in Northeast Asia,” The Nonproliferation Review 6, no. 4 (1999): 84, http://cns.miis.edu/npr/pdfs/xia64.pdf (accessed January 28, 2010).

[34] 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., at 84.

[35] Ibid.

[36] United Nations, “Guidelines and Principles for the Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone,” United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, New York, NY, April, 1999, http://www.un.org/disarmament/WMD/Nuclear/NWFZ2.shtml, (accessed February 4, 2010).

[37] Jan Prawitz, "A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central and Eastern Europe," PPRN Issue Review 11 (1997): 5.

[38] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 2.

[39] Ibid., at  11.

[40] Liping, supra note 32, at 83; Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 13.

[41] Hamel-Green, ibid.

[42] 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.... (accessed March 23, 2010).

[43] Weerakoon-Goonewarden, supra note 26, at  31-32.

[44] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 3.

[45] Ibid., at 3.

[46] 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, March 2010, http://pugwashgroup.ca/events/documents/2010/2010.03.11-arctic-nuclear-r... (accessed March 23, 2010).

[47] 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/... (accessed January 27, 2010).

[48] Atland, supra note 6, at  290.

[49] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 1.

[50] A nuclear weapon with a 1 Mt yield has the explosive force of 1,000,000 metric tonnes of TNT.

[51]Impacts of Uranium Mining at Port Radium, NWT, Canada,” World Information Service on Energy: Uranium Project, last modified September 7, 2005, http://www.wise-uranium.org/uippra.html (accessed April 6, 2010).

[52] “The COSMOS 954 Accident,” Health Canada, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/ed-ud/fedplan/cosmos_954-eng.php (November 7, 2012).

[53] Jens Zinglersen, “Speech at the University of Copenhagen” (presented at the Conerence on an Arctic-Nuclear-Weapons-Free-Zone, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 10-11, 2009).

[54]For more information about the Arctic Council see: Timo Koivurova and David VanderZwaag, "The Arctic Council at 10 Years: Retrospect and Prospects," University of British Columbia Law Review 40 (2007).

[55] Borgerson, supra note, 41.

[56] 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.

[57] Ibid., at 503; Rob Huebert, “Northern Interests and Canadian Foreign Policy,” Paper prephared for Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, 2003, http://www.cdfai.org/PDF/Northern%Interests%and%20Canadian%Foreign%20Pol.... (accessed January 18, 2010).

[58] “We must finalize and adopt a federal law on the southern border of Russia’s Arctic zone.” Dmitry Medvedev quoted in Reuters, September 17, 2008, http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/09/17/us-russia-arctic-idUSLH4643632..., (accessed October 8, 2008); “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-..., (accessed October 8, 2008).

[59] 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..., (accessed April 1, 2011).

[60] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 4-5.

[61] Borgerson , supra note 41.

[62] Jayantha Dhanapala, “Arctic Security Problems – A Multilateral Perspective,” Global Security Initiative, “Arctic Security Problems- A Multilateral Perspective,” (lecture, Simon Fraser University, BC, March 2008).

[63] 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.... (accessed February 2, 2010)

[64] Tony Penikett, “At the Intersection of Indigenous and International Treaties,” Arctic Governance Project, http://www.arcticgovernance.org/at-the-intersection-of-indigenous-and-international-treaties.4666885-142902.html (accessed February 2, 2010).

[65] Friedheim, supra note 54 at 495.

[66] 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).

[67] 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, supra note 12. 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.  Rydell, supra note 12.

[68] 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 , supra note 61 at 3.

[69] De Querioz Duarte, supra note 67, at 7.

[70] 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.(accessed February 4, 2010)

[71] Weerakoon-Gonnewardene , supra note 26, at 28.

[72] 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.... (accessed March 25,2010)

[73] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 13.

[74] Vartanov, supra note 8, at 73.

[75] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 82.

[76] Ibid., at 102.

[77] For example, when North Korea did a small-scale test in 2006, 22 IMS seismic stations (including one 7,000km away) detected the test. A minute quantity of gas was even detected in Canada twelve days later. See Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 104.

[78] Louise Fréchette,  "Global Governance and the Future of Nuclear Energy," (presented at the Munk Centre, Toronto, Canada, March 3, 2010); Prawitz , supra note 36, at 6.

[79] Fréchette, supra note 77.

[80] Noor and Burt, supra note 71.

[81] 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, supra note 18, at 50-55.

[82] Ibid., at  83.

[83] “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.”  Graham, supra note 46

[84] 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.

[85] Graham, supra note 46

[86] Archer, supra note 11, at 169; Friedheim, supra note 54, at 494.

[87] The Arctic Governance Project, supra note 62, at 7; Centre for Strategic and International Studies, supra note 62, at 2.

[88] 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.

[89] The Antarctica Treaty takes this form. Each tier has differentiated rights and responsibilities. Dhanapala, supra note 61, at  7.

[90] Atland , supra note 6, at ”Mikhail Gorbachev”: 298.

[91] Liping, supra note 32.

[92] Ibid., at 90.

[93] Ibid.,

[94] Friedheim, supra note 54, at 502.

[95] Huebert, supra note 55, at 6.

[96] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 5.

[97] Adele Buckley, “Toward a Nuclear-Free Arctic,” SQI Quarterly, no. 2 April, 2009, http://www.pugwashgroup.ca/index.php?option=cpm_content&view=article&id=.... (accessed January 19, 2010)

[98] 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 (accessed October 8, 2008)

[99] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at  7.

[100] Buckley, supra note 96; Huebert, supra note 55, at 9.

[101] Wallace and Staples argue that most submarines being stationed 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, supra note 45, at 7.

[102] 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."  “Fleet gives Russia Crimean clout” February 12, 2008, BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7239206.stm, (accessed March 5, 2010

[103] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 10.

[104] Ibid., at 10.

[105] Xia Liping, supra note 32, at 87.

[106] Ibid..

[107] Rolf Ekeus, "Military Security in the Arctic," (presented at the Arctic Security in the 21st Century Conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 11-12, 2008).

[108] Prawitz , supra note 36, at 5-6.

[109] Ibid.,at 6.

[110] Prawitz, supra note 36, at 6.

[111] Ibid..

[112] Weerakoon-Gonnewardene, supra note 26, at 29.

[113] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 9.

[114] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at  13.

[115] Freidheim, supra note 54, at 496.

[116] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 4.

[117] Huebert, supra note 55, at 9.

[118] De Queiroz Duarte, supra note 67, at 7.

[119] Arms Control Association, “Open Skies at a Glance.” http://armscontrol.org/print/2604 (accessed March 12, 2012).

[120] Rydell, supra note 12.

[121] The Arctic Governance Project, supra note 62, at 14.

[122] 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; Terry Fenge and Tony Penikett, "The Arctic Vacuum in Canada's Foreign Policy," Policy Option, 2009: 66.

[123] 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).

[124] 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/.

[125] “Canadian PM Vows to Defend Arctic,” CNN, August 9, 2007. http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/08/09/canada.arctic.ap/index.html (accessed: October 8, 2008).

[126]Wallace and  Staples, supra note 45, at  4.

[127] David M. Herszenhorn, “Russia Won’t Renew Pact on Weapons With U.S.,” The New York Times, October 10, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/world/europe/russia-wont-renew-pact-with-us-on-weapons.html?_r=0.

[128] Ibid,.

[129] Arctic Portal, “Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement,” http://www.arcticportal.org/news/arctic-portal-news/arctic-search-and-rescue-agreement.

[130] Ibid., In addition to the SAR Agreement, the Arctic Council is working on concluding a second agreement dealing with oil spill response in the Arctic. See “Task Force on Arctic Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response,” Arctic Council, accessed August 28, 2012, http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/about-us/task-forces/280-oil-.... It was decided during negotiations in Alaska that the instrument being discussed would be a legally binding agreement like its predecessor, the SAR Agreement. Anton Vasiliev, “Meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Stockholm,” The Arctic Herald no.2 (2012): 60-3.

[131] “First Live Search and Rescue Exercise – SAREX 2012,” Arctic Council, accessed November 7, 2012, http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/oceans/search-and-rescue/620-first-arctic-search-and-rescue-exercise-sarex-2012.

[132] 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,(accessed October 23, 2011).

[133] Jill R. Junnola, ed. Maritime Confidence-Building in Regions in Tension (Washington, DC: Henry L. Stimson Center,1996), http://www.stimson.org/images/uploads/research-pdfs/Report21-web.pdf. (accessed October 23, 2011).

[134] 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/4791html (accessed October 23, 2011).

[135] Ibid,.

[136] Arms Control Association, “Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: Russia,” Jan, 2010 http://armscontrl.org/factsheets/russiaprofile. (accessed January 26, 2010).

[137] See “Nuclear Posture Review,” United States Department of Defense, http://www.defense.gov/npr/ (accessed November 8, 2012).

[138] Evans and Kawaguch, supra note 18, at 65.

[139] Weerakoon-Gonnewardene , supra note 26, at 27; Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 65.

[140] Prawitz, supra note 36, at 2.

[141] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 10.

[142] Roscini as quoted in Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 13.

[143] Ibid., at 66.

[144] Arms Control Today, “U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance,” www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/usmissiledefense (accessed March 27, 2012).

[145] Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, “Protection: Thule, Denmark (Greenland),” www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org/web/page/959/sectionid/557/pagelevel/4/in... (accessed March 27, 2012).

[146]Greg Thielmann, “ACA Senior Fellow speaks about Territorial Missile Defense at Paris Conference,” Arms Control Today, http://www.armscontrol.org/events/ACA-Senior-Fellow-speaks-about-Territo... (accessed March 27, 2012).

[147] Arms Control Today, supra note 122

[148] Matthew Rojansky, “Russia and geopolitics on the campaign trail,” globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/28/why-the-u-s-must-often-cooperate-with-russia/ (accessed March 27, 2012).

[149] New York Times, supra note 160.

[150] USAID, “Russia,”www.usaid.gov/where-we-work/europe-and-eurasia/russia (accessed November 12, 2012).

[151] North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), “NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement. Analysis and Recommendations of the Group of Experts on a New Strategic Concept for NATO,” May 17, 2010, http://www.nato.int/strategic-concept/expertsreport.pdf (accessed March 27, 2012).

[152] Ibid.,

[153] 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 (accessed January 28, 2010).

[154] 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/ (accessed March 24, 2010).

[155] 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 (accessed August 10, 2011).

[156] Atland, “Mikhail Gorbachev”: 299.

[157] Gorbachev, supra note 14.

[158] Fraser (April 6, 2009), supra note 4.

[159]  Katsuko (2009), supra note 120.

[160] Robert S. McNamara, "Apocolypse Soon," Foreign Policy (2005): 29-35.

[161] “Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC),” Federation of American Scientists, http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/jdec/index.html (accessed November 7, 2012); “U.S. Working on Joint Launch Notification,” Arms Control Association, http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_07/JointLaunch (accessed November 7, 2012).

[162] Fenge and Penikett, supra note 143, at 68.

[163] Graham, supra note 46.

[164] While initiatives do currently exist for such activities, the costs of operating in the North remain prohibitive for many and there needs to be greater support for these efforts.

[165] Atland, supra note 6, at 302.

[166] 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.... (accessed October 8, 2008).

[167] Graham, supra note 46.

[168] Chukota Autonomous Okrug, “Visa-free Travels Between Chukotka and Alaska,” http://www.chukotka.org/en/no_visa/ (accessed April 6, 2010)..

[169] Nordic Saami Council, “Nordic Saami Convention Translations,” http://www.saamicouncil.net/?newsid=2223&deptid=2192&languageid=4&news=1.

[170] Graham, supra note 46.

[171] Borgerson, supra note 41.

[172] Borgerson, supra note 41. A Polar Code has been adopted by the International Maritime Organization. This code could form the basis for a binding treaty, as the code is currently voluntary.

[173] 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, supra note 61, at 7.

[174] 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. (accessed April 9, 2010)

[175] Ibid.

[176] “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, supra note 61, at 2.

[177] Centre for Strategic and International Studies, “Geopolitics in the High North Project: Proceedings of the Global Challenges in the Arctic Conference,” (Washington, DC, May 7, 2009): 1.

[178] Schultz et al., supra note 16.

[179] Sam Nunn, William Perry, and Eugene Habiger, “Still Missing: A Nuclear Strategy,” http://belfercentre.ksg.harvard.ed/files/nunnperryhabiger-wpost-052102.pdf. (accessed January 28, 2010).

[180] Peter Gizewski, “Military Activity and Environmental Security: The Case of Radioactivity in the Arctic,” in Northern Perspectives 21, no. 4 (1993-4): 16-21.

[181] BBC News, “Russian submarine sinks in Arctic,”  BBC News, August 30, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3193625.stm. (accessed January 26, 2010).

[182] Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, “Northern Dimension of Canada’s Foreign Policy,” http://www.international.gc.ca/polar-polaire/ndfp-vnpe2.aspx?view=d. (accessed January 28, 2010).

[183] Douglas Hurd et al.,“Start worrying and learn to ditch the bomb,” The Times , June 30, 2008, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/a.... (accessed June 30, 2008)

[184] Borgerson, supra note 41.

[185] Oleg Burkharin, "Russia's Nuclear Icebreaker Fleet," Science and Global Security 14, no. 1 (2006): 29.

[186] Fraser, supra note 4, “Eliminating Nuclear Weapons”.

[187] BBC News, supra note 181.  

[188] Douglas Hurd et al., supra note 183. .

[189] Fréchette, supra note 77; Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 90. 

[190] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 91.

[191] Ibid.

[192] Ibid.

[193] BBC News, supra note 181. .

[194] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 128.

[195] Roger Fisher and William L. Ury, Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (London: Penguin Group, 1981).

[196] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at, 3.

[197] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 61.

[198] Weerakoon-Gonnewardene, supra note 26, at 29.

[199] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 7.

[200] Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, supra note 154.

[201] Borgerson, supra note 41.  

[202] 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, supra note 154.

[203] Terry Fenge and Bernard W. Funston, “Arctic Governance Project (AGP) White Paper,” The Arctic Governance Project, www.articgovernance.org (accessed 2 February 2010).

[204] Graham, supra note 46.

[205] 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, supra note 63, at  5.

[206] Terry Fenge and Bernard W. 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-... (accessed 2 February 2010).

[207] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 10.

[208] “About Canadian Pugwash Group,” Canadian Pugwash Group http://www.pugwashgroup.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=... (accessed January 6, 2010).

[209] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 9.

[210] Noor and Burt, supra note 71.

[211] Michael D. Wallace, "A nuclear-weapon-free Arctic." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2008: 60.

[212]  Katsuko, supra note 120.

[213] Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, supra note 1.

[214] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 79.

[215] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 14.

[216] Prawitz, supra note 36, at 3.

[217] Hamel-Green, supra note 28, at 14; Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 13.

[218] Dhanapala, supra note 61, at 7.

[219] Wallace and Staples, supra note 45, at 12-13.

[220] Ibid., at 10-11.

[221] Office of the Press Secretary, supra note 2.

[222] Ibid.

[223] 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.... (accessed March 9, 2010).

[224] 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 (accessed October 8, 2008).

[225] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 69.

[226] Queen Noor and Richard Burt, supra note 71.

[227] Randy Rydell, supra note 12. .

[228] Ibid.

[229] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 75.

[230] See “About the Arctic Council,” Arctic Council, http://www.arctic-council.org/index.php/en/about-us (accessed November 15, 2012).

[231] See Thomas S. Axworthy, “Changing the Arctic Paradigm from Cold War to Cooperation: How Canada’s Indigenous Leaders Shaped the Arctic Council,” The Yearbook of Polar Law 5 (forthcoming).

[232] Randy Rydell, supra note 12.

[233] See “About,” Conferences of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region, http://www.arcticparl.org/about.aspx (accessed November 15, 2012).

[234] Ronald Purver, “Prospects for Arms Control in the Arctic,” in “Strategy and the Arctic,” ed. R. B. Byers and Michael Slack, Polaris Papers 4 (1986): 54-8.

[235] Truelsen, supra note 27.

[236] Evans and Kawaguchi, supra note 18, at 61.