Pacific

Fiji supports fight against nuclear weapon use and testing in the Pacific

Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Nazhat Shameem Khan highlighted the effects of nuclear weapon use and testing on Fiji and other Pacific Island countries. Ambassador Khan highlighted this during the presentation of the Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament’s draft Report for the United Nations General Assembly last week. The United Nations General […]

Salote Qalubau

August 8, 2016 9:30 am

Fiji’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Nazhat Shameem Khan highlighted the effects of nuclear weapon use and testing on Fiji and other Pacific Island countries.

In Geneva, the Open Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament presented its draft Report for the United Nations General Assembly. (DEPTFO)
In Geneva, the Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament presented its draft Report for the United Nations General Assembly. (DEPTFO)

Ambassador Khan highlighted this during the presentation of the Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament’s draft Report for the United Nations General Assembly last week.

The United Nations General Assembly converged for two weeks in Geneva to discuss the draft report with member States and civil society groups to discuss effective legal measures  recognizing the rights of victims, development of the environment and recommendations for a legally binding treaty banning nuclear weapons, for a reporting system within the UN system.

Ambassador Khan told delegates that Fiji and other Pacific Island countries had experienced first-hand the destructive effects of nuclear weapons use and testing and were aware of the real and long lasting effects that nuclear weapons had on people and the ecosystem.

KHAN: “Tribunals, such as the Nuclear Claims tribunal, have been established but have failed to sufficiently compensate or provide redress for Pacific Islanders. A cause for great concern is the silence of some offending states. They take no responsibility for the past, they do not agree to legal steps enforcing change or providing redress in the present, and make no commitments for the future.”

Ambassador Khan said the Pacific saw the restriction of nuclear weapons as a moral and legal issue, however, the giving of redress to those who had suffered was still unresolved.

KHAN: “For Pacific Islanders who have suffered as a result of nuclear testing in the Pacific, such attitudes show a gross disregard for humanity.”

Meanwhile also discussed was the transit, visitation, stationing of nuclear weapons and the effectiveness of nuclear-free zones that exist in the Pacific according to the Rarotonga Treaty as well as the establishment of an effective reporting system to achieve the aim of  global restriction of nuclear arms

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