Fiji has reaffirmed its commitment and solidarity with the international community to support all efforts in making the world free of nuclear weapons.
This was emphasised by Prime Minister, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama in his statement today to the United Nations on the occasion of the High Level Plenary meeting to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Total Elimination of Nuclear weapons.
The virtual meeting held at the margins of UNGA76 was convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Heads of Governments to raise awareness on threats posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the need for their elimination, in addition to mobilize international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said the fact that the first resolution adopted by this General Assembly was on nuclear disarmament, reflects the supreme importance of this issue to Member States.
“After 75 years, the destructive power of nuclear weapons remains heavily on the world’s consciousness. The Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) came into force more than 50 years ago with the overall aim of making the world free of nuclear weapons. The NPT was a great achievement, but we must do a great deal more to realise a world free of nuclear weapons. Fiji remains concerned at the slow pace of nuclear disarmament.
“The stockpiling and further development of nuclear weapons is a threat to the entire world, and the world is not made safer by increasing the number and sophistication of nuclear weapons in the hope that they will never be used.”
He said Fiji signed and ratified the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) because it was the right thing to do, for ourselves, our communities, and for the global family.
“Fiji urges all Member States to join and ratify the new TPNW, to free the world of nuclear weapons and make our world safer for today and for future generations.
“Since the first nuclear test in the Bikini Atoll in 1946, more than 300 nuclear tests were conducted across the Pacific. Inter-generational impacts of nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underground and beneath the sea across the vast Blue Pacific, continue to take a toll on the health, wellbeing, environment and livelihoods of Pacific peoples.
“Radio-active waste and machinery that were either buried or dumped into the Pacific Ocean threaten the health of our Oceans. The commitment of the Pacific Island nations to the elimination of nuclear weapons is not based on an abstraction. It is based on real experience with the consequences of nuclear fallout, and it is at the root of our sense of urgency.”
Prime Minister Bainimarama said it is vital that nuclear disarmament progress beyond its current state.
“Indeed, we appear to be stuck in place. We will need a concerted collective effort by all if the world is to advance towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
“All Member States must abide by international laws and norms, and transparency, dialogue, and confidence building measures are essential. Existing nuclear disarmament treaties like the NPT and the TPNW need our collective support. Constant political commitment, vigilance, and attention are needed for them to remain relevant, and to advance our goals towards a world free of nuclear weapons,” he said.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS