Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Leaders reaffirm collective stance on nuclear waste

Pacific Island Leaders have reaffirmed their collective stance on Japan’s dumping of nuclear waste water into the Pacific Ocean and maintain their solidarity to a nuclear-free Pacific.

They are also committed to safeguard the ocean, environment and people, in pursuit of the collective vision under the ‘2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent’.

This collective agreement comes after Pacific Island Leaders held its 52nd Leaders Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, outlining its strong concerns for the significance of the potential threat of Japan dumping nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.

The Communiqué outlined Pacific Island Leaders concerns after significance evidence of nuclear contamination to the health, security, environment, and economies of the Blue Pacific as per 2022 and 2023 agreements.

The report highlighted that there had been significant dialogue and engagement the last three years on this matter based on the forum’s priorities of international consultation, international law, and scientific independent and verifiable assessments.

The report said that: “Leaders were reminded of their commitment 38 years ago to the Rarotonga Treaty for a Nuclear Free Zone in the Pacific – Reaffirming the Treaty and the Pacific’s commitment to a region free of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste, in view also of our ongoing nuclear testing legacies, including in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and Kiribati.”

“While recognising the sovereignty of members, we maintain our solidarity to a nuclear-free Pacific, and to safeguard our ocean, our environment and our people, in pursuit of our collective Vision under our ‘2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent’.”

The Pacific Islands Forum also acknowledged the intensive dialogue with Japan, as well as with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and notes the IAEA Comprehensive Report of 4 July 2023 on the Safety Review of the ALPS-Treated Water.

The report said leaders also acknowledged the work of the PIF Panel of Independent Experts and their initial advice in response to the IAEA Report, and had acknowledged the efforts for scientific dialogue between the Panel and the IAEA.

“We are committed to embedding nuclear related discharge as a standing item on the PIF agenda and relevant Pacific partner summits, including PALM, and to a political dialogue annually to consider safety issues based on international safety standards and ongoing independent monitoring by the IAEA.”

“We are also committed to building national and regional scientific capacity and monitoring capabilities to independently assess impacts to our ocean, our environment, food systems and human health.”

The 53rd Pacific Island Leaders Meeting is scheduled to happen in the Kingdom of Tonga, next year.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist |


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