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Vol. 6, No. 1 (Fall 1998)

Feature Essays

Reviews / Critiques de livres

Research Bibliography / Bibliographie d'ouvrages de recherche

Human Rights and the Internet

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy

In this article, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy argues there is a need "to examine how we can maximize the Internet’s potential for good as a tool to promote and protect human rights and its use for human rights education, as a means of organizing human rights defenders and getting information on human rights violations out to the world." While proposing that we focus on the opportunities presented by "the instruments of change" that new information and communications technologies represent, Axworthy cautions that "our concern...is how to achieve our goals of more democratic societies and better governance, with respect for the rule of human rights law."

UN Sanctions: Policy Options for Canada

Barry Burciul

This article examines the sanctions debate in the context of recent experience in Iraq, Haiti and to a lesser extent South Africa. The purpose of the article is to locate this debate in a way that provides policymakers with concrete suggestions for improving the effectiveness of sanctions and mitigating their humanitarian impact. It also provides a realistic appraisal of the limitations of sanctions and the relative merits of other instruments of statecraft, including positive inducements, constructive engagements and the threat and use of force. Finally, the article demonstrates how Canada can use its unique diplomatic resources to encourage efforts to reform the perception and practice of UN sanctions, even in a political climate that appears resistant to such innovations.

Foreign Policy and the Circumpolar Dimension

Paul Koring

Canada is disconnected from the circumpolar world. Circumpolar relations are disconnected from the rest of world affairs and from the preoccupations and priorities of the centres of decision to the south. Too often perhaps, the north is regarded in isolation, perhaps especially by those northerners and the small cadre of professionals whose preoccupation is with things northern. Yet without some broader relevance to non-northerners, this article argues that the paradox of Canadians at once feeling northern yet giving the North short shrift on the national agenda seems likely to extend to foreign policy.

Albania and Kosovo: Roots of Instability

Robert C. Austin

Both Albania and Kosovo are extremely unstable at the moment. For Albania, stability in the long-term is a realistic possibility, but the prospects for stability in Kosovo in the foreseeable future are far less promising. Instability in either country directly affects the broader Balkan region. Along with security concerns, this article argues that Canada also has humanitarian and human rights interests in Albania and Kosovo.

International Fire/Small Arms Control

Wendy Cukier

The purpose of this article is to point out some of the striking links between different perspectives on the international fire/small arms control debate and to propose an analytical framework which can encompass divergent views. The article argues that a society of consent is required for regulatory regimes to be effective. As long as the social, economic and political conditions in a given country generate demand, however, there is no possibility of controlling small arms.

Light Weapons Proliferation and Misuse of Firearms: The Ottawa Working Group Proceedings

Chris Smith

This report on the Ottawa Working Group on the Illegal Proliferation and Misuse of Light Weapons and Small Arms summarizes the findings of a multidisciplinary group of experts on innovative approaches to the problems created by and rebated to bight weapons proliferation. In addressing this issue, the Working Group is attempting to promote a research culture and the development of a robust paradigm to help explain what is becoming a critical security issue in the post Cold War world.

International Summits and Civil Society

John Hay

This article is a progress report on DFAIT’s attempts to open up the foreign policymaking process through public consultations. Based on interviews with leaders in the NGO community, scholars and members of the Department, the report draws chiefly on experiences surrounding the Vancouver and Santiago summits but reflects as well the lessons of earlier events. The purpose is to identify the best practices of the recent past—and to illuminate persisting discontents.

Children in Armed Conflict and Canada's Foreign Policy Agenda

Nigel Fisher

This rights of children are a stated priority on Canada’s domestic and foreign policy agenda. This article briefly reviews the rationale for such a foreign policy focus and then suggests that particular attention to the rights and well-being of children exposed to armed conflict makes sense as one of the cornerstones of Canada’s emerging human security agenda. The article also provides recommendations on how Canada might encourage the UN Security Council to reflect on the impact of armed conflict on children in its deliberations on international security.

No First Use: The Time Has Come

Thomas Graham, Jr.

This article argues that a "no first use" agreement among the five nuclear weapon states would be an important step because it would reinforce national political statements and end any dispute over whether or not the first use of nuclear weapons violates international law. Such an agreement would go a bong way to demonstrating to the non-nuclear weapon states party to the NonProliferation Treaty that nuclear weapon states take their disarmament commitments seriously.

Enforcing International Human Rights Law

Anne F. Bayefsky

This report is a summary of the issues raised at a June 1997 conference on the problems of implementation faced by the human rights treaty system. The aim of the conference was to consider steps to improve the enforcement of international human rights law and to develop a vision for the advancement of the treaty regime.

Mining and Sustainable Development: Options for Canada in the Americas

Nola Kate Seymoar

This report is a summary of the issues raised in a series of workshops, questionnaires and individual discussions about the implications and policy options for Canada concerning mining and sustainable development in the Americas. The report attempts to highlight the tone of the debate rather than the specific content of the arguments regarding the sustainability of mining.

The Procedure of the UN Security Council (Third ed.) by Sydney D. Bailey and Sam Daws

David Malone

Niche Diplomacy. Middle Powers After the Cold War ed. by Andrew Cooper

Heather Smith