Regulating new tools of warfare: Insights from humanitarian disarmament and arms control efforts

Jessica West Emerging Technologies, Featured, Reports, Space Security

As the tools and methods of warfare continue to evolve, it is critical that arms control, disarmament, and normative regimes also advance. Warfighting applications of today’s emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), outer space, and cyber capabilities are becoming more apparent andhold enormous potential for expansion if left unregulated. Such capabilities clearly have the potential to be used in harming civilians, violating international humanitarian law, and creating unpredictable and even unintended escalation of conflict. In this context, compliance with existing arms control measures and humanitarian principles is essential. Yet new arms control frameworks are also needed to mitigate these risks and maintain global commitments to disarmament.

Canadian military aid to Ukraine in 2022

Kelsey Gallagher Analysis and Commentary, Conventional Weapons, Featured, News

In response to Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, Canada has announced successive shipments of military goods to the Ukrainian government. As of mid-May 2022, the value of all committed transfers was in excess of $150-million, with military aid worth a further $500-million proposed in Canada’s 2022 federal budget.

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: Ongoing Weapons Exports to Saudi Arabia

Ploughshares Featured, News

The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, antiwar, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits for weapons destined to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, April 2020 and September 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing transfer of weapons to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. Critically, we regret that Canada finds itself in violation of its international arms control agreements.

Comparing National Positions on Military Exports to Saudi Arabia

Kelsey Gallagher Conventional Weapons, Featured, Reports

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of weapons and the global north—in particular, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—its main supplier. And this trade is growing. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Saudi arms imports for the period 2016-2020 were 61% greater than imports for the prior five-year period.  

An analysis of Canadian arms export data for 2020

Kelsey Gallagher Analysis and Commentary, Conventional Weapons, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor

The government of Canada publishes federal arms export data in its annual Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada. The report for 2020 reveals that Canadian military exports were at historically high levels, and that some of the customers were among the world’s worst abusers of  human rights. While the 2020 edition includes minor improvements in transparency, significant information is still missing or obscured.

SPECIAL REPORT: “No Credible Evidence” – Canada’s flawed analysis of arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Ploughshares Featured, Reports

Click on the image to download the Special Report by Amnesty International Canada and Project Ploughshares. Introduction The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a multilateral international agreement aiming to regulate international …

5 lessons from the cancellation of Canadian arms exports to Turkey

Cesar Jaramillo Analysis and Commentary, Featured, Ploughshares Monitor

On April 12, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) announced the cancellation of 29 permits for the export of Canadian-made surveillance and targeting sensors to Turkey. The decision was based on what GAC described as “credible evidence” that the exports in question were being unlawfully diverted by Turkey to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The same report that announced the cancellation indicated that Turkish drones had also been diverted to support Turkish military operations in Syria.