After boycotting the Oslo conference, the P5 are signaling their non-participation in another multilateral process.
Canada declined to sign on to a joint statement that pointed out the incompatibility of nuclear weapons and international humanitarian law, likely because that would violate its NATO commitment to nuclear deterrence.
A Canadian-led resolution represents the first effort in over a decade to begin substantive work on a treaty. One can only hope this will build enough momentum.
As next year gets underway it will require determined action by states like Canada to turn these openings into real vehicles for making progress.
The benefits outer space affords humanity could easily be negated if it ever became a battleground.
The great majority of states, which support the negotiation of such a treaty, must move beyond paying lip service to this goal and agree to arrangements to get actual work underway.
In multilateral diplomacy, as with other forms of international relations, states frequently are inclined to defer dealing with problems, rather than undertake the heavy lifting that is often required to resolve them.
Australia released an innovative consultation on its cyber future. Canada should consider following suit.
On July 11, Foreign Minister John Baird announced that Canada would be boycotting the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament in Geneva during the four-week period that North Korea was serving as its chair. This gesture of pique against North Korea, however, does little to address the underlying problems of the conference and the multilateral disarmament machinery in general.
The Obama administration has moved promptly to fill what some see as a policy void with huge implications for global prosperity and security: the international management of cyberspace.