The Ottawa Dialogue is a distinguished group of academics and retired senior officials and military officers from India and Pakistan.
OTTAWA: An ongoing dialogue known as the Ottawa Dialogue has resulted in the adoption of an ambitious list of nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs). The Ottawa Dialogue is a distinguished group of academics and retired senior officials and military officers from India and Pakistan. It is led by Peter Jones, a professor from the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
The list of recommended CBMs was adopted at a meeting at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, from July 6 to 8, 2011. The meeting was hosted by former US Secretary of State George Shultz. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretary of Defence William Perry also participated in the discussions.
The sponsors of the Ottawa Dialogue were:
The Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies at the US Department of Defense/National Defense University in Washington, DC.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
The United States Institute of Peace
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Hoover Institution (which hosted the most recent meeting)
Nuclear confidence-building in South Asia
Statement adopted by the members of the Ottawa Dialogue at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, on July 6-8, 2011, is:
The members of the Ottawa Dialogue are heartened by the fact that high-level official talks on nuclear CBMs have begun again. We encourage the governments to continue them and to supplement them with regular meetings of high-level officials from the military and intelligence fields in order to broaden the dialogue. We also encourage the two countries to continue to observe their respective moratoria on nuclear testing.
It is important to note that nuclear CBMs cannot succeed independent of broader steps to ease the relationship. These must include conventional military CBMs/restraint measures and steps to encourage people-to-people engagements. While these broader matters are not in the purview of the Ottawa Dialogue, we recognise that they are essential to the CBMs we are suggesting here.
Thus, we recognise that some of the CBMs we advocate cannot be undertaken in the absence of measures to stabilise other aspects of the relationship. But we believe that others can be and will contribute to the creation of a ‘virtuous cycle’ an atmosphere in which progressively more ambitious steps can be taken in all fields of confidence-building.
Finally, there should be an informed public dialogue on the subject of the implications of a nuclear conflict in South Asia, and of the opportunity costs which attend the continuation of an uncontrolled nuclear rivalry. Such a dialogue should also include discussions of the underlying causes of the dispute.
The Ottawa Dialogue offers the following list of possible CBMs.
Unilateral and/or bilateral declaratory steps:
Assurances that missiles will not be tested during periods of tension;
Assurances that ‘bolt from the blue’ surprise nuclear attacks will not be planned for or undertaken;
Assurances that measures will be taken to prevent un-authorized and unintended launches (such as a mutual commitment to maintain the practice of the separation of warheads from delivery systems);
Commitment to inform the other side well in advance of tests of new systems; and
Building on the agreement not to attack nuclear facilities, assurances that sensitive targets will be avoided in the case of conventional conflict.
Strategic restraint measures:
Agreement to develop and adopt a common terminology on strategic issues;
Regular discussions on doctrinal issues and strategic stability;
Agreement to include cruise missiles in the agreement on pre-notification of flight testing of ballistic missiles;
Agreement that missile flight tests will be notified to each side as early as possible;
Agreement to test missiles only from notified ranges in notified directions;
Agreement to enter into a dialogue concerning ballistic missile defence in which views of the impact of such systems on strategic stability will be explored; and
Agreement to enter into a regular dialogue on the impact of the introduction of new technologies on strategic stability.
Agreement to expeditiously set up nuclear risk reduction centres (though possibly not under this name), through a comprehensive agreement, specifying the staffing, communication and functional aspects;
Agreement to upgrade the existing hotlines to introduce redundant and assured communications which can be activated at the request of either party;
Agreement to ensure a daily communication exchange when demanded by either party;
Agreement to harden each side’s communication lines downwards to provide protected and assured communications; and
Agreement to establish consultative mechanisms as required to implement these CBMs.
Agreement not to deploy tactical nuclear weapons;
Agreement to retire the Hatf-1 and Prithvi-1 short-range systems;
Agreement that the Hatf-2 and Prithvi-2 will be designated as conventional-only systems; and
Agreement to forego MIRVing of nuclear missiles.
Cooperation between the civilian nuclear establishments:
Agreement to exchange on a regular basis information relating to the management of nuclear accidents;
Agreement to share different experiences in creating and running nuclear regulatory authorities;
Agreement (bilateral or regional) on cooperation and exchange of safety related information of nuclear power plants;
Agreement to cooperatively develop civilian nuclear techniques in the fields of agriculture and medicine in such areas as:
Plant strains with characteristics of high yield and resistance to pest, disease, drought, and salinity.
Animal health through improved vaccines
Extension of shelf life of perishable foods
Practices for prevention and early detection of cancer
Practices for treatment of acute radiation sickness
The following participants attended the Palo Alto meeting of the Ottawa Dialogue:
Shamshad Ahmad, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan; RN Ganesh, Vice Admiral, retired, Indian Navy; Mohan Guruswamy, Chairman, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Delhi; Jamshed Hashmi, Chairman Emeritus, Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority; Rifaat Hussain, Professor, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; Islamabad; Happymon Jacob, Assistant Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Aziz Ahmad Khan, Ambassador, retired, Foreign Service of Pakistan (former High Commissioner to India); Feroz Khan, Brigadier General, retired, Pakistan Army, former Director Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs, Strategic Plans Division; Riaz Khan, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan; Lalit Mansingh, former Foreign Secretary of India; Talat Masood, Lt-Gen, retired, Pakistan Army; Shuja Nawaz, Director of the South Asia Centre, Atlantic Council of the United States; Washington, DC; TV Paul, Prof McGill University; Ramamurti Rajaraman, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Najmuddin Shaikh, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan; and Vijay Shankar, Vice-Admiral, retired, Indian Navy (former Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Strategic Forces Command).
Members of the Ottawa Dialogue unable to be present in Palo Alto:
Shahzad Chaudhry, Air Vice Marshal, retired, Pakistan Air Force (prepared a background paper on nuclear transparency for the Stanford meeting, but was not able to attend); Tariq Osman Hyder, former Additional Foreign Secretary, Pakistan (prepared a background paper on nuclear CBMs for the Stanford meeting, but was not able to attend); Amitabh Mattoo, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; Raja Menon, Rear Admiral, retired, Indian Navy (prepared a background paper on nuclear CBMs for the Stanford meeting, but was not able to attend); and Abdul Hameed Nayyar, Senior Research Fellow, Sustainable Development Policy Institute.