Canada’s Role in Global Security : Global Partnership Program
August 13, 2021
Canada has a longstanding history of working with the international community to tackle some of the most serious security threats, making the world a safer place for all. The Global Partnership Program is one way our Government is actively addressing global security threats through our participation in projects within Russia and former Soviet states and republics.

The Global Partnership Program is intended to address one of the most serious security threats facing our world today, by preventing terrorist groups from obtaining weapons and materials of mass destruction (WMD) to carry out their campaigns. This need to address security threats became very clear following the events of September 11, 2021 when terrorists attacked the United States. Since that time, the damage and casualties caused by terrorists by this type of attack has been limited only by the destructiveness of their weapons in their possession.

The risk of WMD’s being used against innocent people significantly increased following the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. During that time, Russia took possession of the many quantities of nuclear, radiological, and chemical weapons and related destructive and dangerous materials. As a result, Russia now has approximately 40,000 metric tonnes of chemical weapons, tonnes of highly enriched uranium and weapon-grade plutonium, as well as decommissioned nuclear submarines with spent nuclear fuel. These stockpiles of highly dangerous materials need to be secured and destroyed, to prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorists. Furthermore, there are thousands of former weapons scientists unemployed or underemployed in the former Soviet Union, who are often vulnerable to financial offers for their expertise and knowledge from terrorists and countries involved in weapons proliferation.

The G8 countries (United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the European Union, and Canada) recognized these concerns and as a result, came together to launch the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. These countries agreed to raise up to US $20 billion to support cooperation projects, initially in Russia. In 2002, Canada chaired the G8 and reinforced its leadership on the initiative by committing up to $1 billion over ten years, starting in 2003.

Four priority areas were identified which included: destruction of chemical weapons, dismantlement of nuclear submarines, nuclear and radiological security, and employment of former weapons scientists. While the initial projects will be implemented in Russia, there are provisions to extend funding to other former communist countries.

On June 08, 2007, during the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, leaders (including Prime Minister Harper) reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Partnership and issued a Mid-Term Review document, a report on activities and contributions of the Global Partnership countries and a Statement on Non-Proliferation. In addition to this continued commitment to the Global Partnership, Canada’s Government committed $5 million (in May) to upgrade security systems at airports and other border crossings, in Ukraine, to prevent nuclear terrorism.

This is one more way Canada’s Government is playing a crucial role in preventing the spread of WMD’s and ensuring they remain beyond the reach of terrorists and proliferators who would use them to threaten democracy and freedom around the world.
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