Happy 90th, Murray! A tribute to Ploughshares co-founder Murray Thomson

Wendy Stocker

…he was at the University of Toronto. Like many other young men at that time, he left school and signed up with the air force. By 1944 he had earned his wings, but he never went overseas. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima had a profound effect on him. He would later say, “Hiroshima made me a pacifist.” Somewhere along the way he became a Quaker.

In the years before Project Ploughshares, Murray’s interests and work took him to southeast Asia, where he worked in international development and adult education. After his time with Ploughshares, he founded or co-founded Peace Brigades International, Peacefund Canada, and Canadian Friends of Burma, among other organizations that have played important roles in…

Waterloo Statement on Just Peacemaking: Canadian Church Perspectives and Contributions

Tasneem Jamal

United in a strengthened commitment to peace, we met in Waterloo, Ontario on February 3, 2012 as Canadian church leaders to reflect upon the just peace global ecumenical framework for building peace, resolving conflict, and preventing war, as articulated in the recent World Council of Churches’ (WCC) documents, An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace and the Just Peace Companion.

We shared our perspectives from the traditions and official statements of the Anglican, Friends (Quaker), Christian Reformed, Presbyterian, Mennonite, United Church, Lutheran, and Unitarian communions. We discussed the use of force as understood historically and in contemporary situations of conflict in Canada and abroad. We heard and reflected on particular situations, including the challenge of current official Canadian defence and foreign

Canadian Quakers and “Just Peace”

Tasneem Jamal

peacebuilding. The first focuses on the concept of Responsibility to Protect and the case of DR Congo, where local Quakers are doing courageous peacebuilding work. The second provides a framework for understanding the different types of peacebuilding work that are common these days.

State sovereignty as responsibility: Our experience accompanying Congolese Quakers

There are roughly six times as many members of the Friends Church in Burundi as there are members of the Religious Society of Friends in Canada: 6,000 Evangelical Friends in Burundi, 3,000 in Rwanda, about 1,000 in North and South Kivu—the provinces of DR Congo most afflicted in the conflict that has been going on since 1994. Also, there are about 100 Quakers in Kinshasa, the distant capital…

Civil Society Efforts Make Impact: The 2005 UN Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons

Tasneem Jamal

…the opportunity to provide an overview of the small arms issues that civil society is working on. Representatives from the pro-gun lobby, the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA), also spoke briefly.

Canadian civil society was represented by members of the Small Arms Working Group of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee: Project Ploughshares, The Group of 78, and The Coalition for Gun Control. As well, a representative of the Quaker United Nations Office based in Canada was part of the official Canadian delegation. Along with Canada, 21 other governments had civil society representatives as part of their official delegation. In fact, Ambassador Patokallio specifically asked states to have civil society representatives on their delegations. Civil society…

Reducing the Demand for Small Arms and Light Weapons: Priorities for the international community

Tasneem Jamal

Author Ernie Regehr

Working Paper 04-2

This paper was presented at the roundtable, The demand aspects of small arms and light weapons, jointly sponsored by the Quaker United Nations Offices (QUNO) and the Canadian Mission at the UN, October 16, 2003.

Small arms and light weapons (SALW) claim an average of 10,000 lives each week. On the world’s three-dozen and more battlefields, on city streets, and in our homes, weapons from small handguns to automatic assault rifles have become de facto weapons of mass destruction.

There are no certain numbers available to document the volume of SALW now in circulation (the best estimates place the figure in excess of 600 million3), and certainly no numbers can record the true meaning

Small Arms and Security in Iraq

Tasneem Jamal

Author David Jackman

The Ploughshares Monitor Autumn 2003 Volume 24 Issue 3

David Jackman is a private consultant on peacebuilding, small arms control and conflict management. In 2002 he served as Quaker Associate Regional Representative in the Middle East. He remains actively involved in small arms issues in the region.

This article is based on a paper presented at the conference “The UN Program of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in the Arab Region: Successes and Challenges,” June 23-24, 2003. The conference was organized in Amman by the Regional Human Security Center.




The genesis for this article was an email message I

Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Horn of Africa

Tasneem Jamal

…last July, a number of meetings were held in the Greater Horn by civil society organizations and their Northern partners. Clearly, these show that the SALW issue has gained momentum. In November 2000, the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa Experts Meeting on the Problem of the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons was held in Nairobi. In the same month, the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) held a meeting on Curbing the Demand for Small Arms: Lessons in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. In November 2001, Pax Christi International held a meeting on small arms trafficking in the border regions of Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya. In April 2002, SALIGAD, together with the Ugandan government, held a…

Enhancing the Small Arms Demand Reduction Agenda

Tasneem Jamal

…demand-side concerns already acknowledged in other regional declarations (e.g., the Nairobi Declaration) are incorporated into the final Program of Action. In their presentations and participation in three Working Group Sessions, workshop participants proposed a range of measures based on their regional experiences, and focused on developing specific language and content for the Program of Action. These measures could contribute positively to the outcome of the UN Conference and to post-conference follow-up and implementation. In the meantime, strategists must continue to work to shift the framework from the state security to the human security agenda, and to ensure that demand reduction gets more attention from policy makers.

1. In 1999 the Quaker UN offices held a seminar in Durban, South Africa,…

Addressing the Demand Side of the Small Arms Complex

Tasneem Jamal

…on this front, Quaker UN Offices (QUNOs) held a seminar in 1999 in Durban, South Africa, where 12 groups from major geographic regions were brought together to share thoughts and experiences on different aspects of demand-side issues. The seminars identified lessons in such areas as community engagement, transparency, economic dimensions, attitude, and identity. Building on the positive results of this seminar, in December 2000 another session was held in Nairobi, Kenya and attended by 35 organizations, many of them actively engaged in community programs (mainly from the East Africa and Horn regions). The participants reviewed developments and examined programs undertaken since Durban and through the presentation of new cases and sharing of approaches, arrived at a number of new lessons.

Small Arms and the UN Conference: Forging International Norms

Tasneem Jamal

…link small arms control and collection programs specifically to local economic development and anti-poverty measures.

Later this year Project Ploughshares will work with the Quaker UN office and local partners in the Horn of Africa on identifying specific actions and policies designed to mitigate the demand for small arms.

Codifying norms

As the international political community begins to articulate and build consensus around certain norms on possession and use of small arms, individual states face the challenging process of codifying those norms in national laws. Here too international action can help to identify specific laws that ought to be enacted by any state that wishes to seriously support the international effort to deal with the small arms problem. Needed are