The Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown will receive a high-level mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led by Director-General Rafael Grossi in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 10 – 11 July.

The IAEA delegation will present their report on the Safety Review of the ALPS-treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Prime Minister Brown met with the Pacific Island Forum’s Troika and the Secretariat last week to discuss the forthcoming IAEA visit and the proposed way forward for Prime Minister Brown’s further discussion with all Forum Leaders in the coming week.

“Recognising our strong collective Forum advocacy on this issue to date, and in the spirit of transparency and dialogue, I have invited my colleague Forum Leaders to attend the IAEA presentation through virtual means next week,” said Prime Minister Brown.

Prime Minister Brown acknowledged the support and guidance of the Forum Troika who were represented by the Prime Minister of Tonga, Siaosi Sovaleni, and the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fiji, Lenora Qereqeretabua.

“As a collective, we have maintained from the beginning the importance of international consultation and keeping with international law. We have agreed on the need for decisions that are informed by independent and verifiable scientific assessments, particularly as they relate to the safety of any radioactive nuclear wastewater release into our shared ocean. We also respect the sovereignty of each Member on this complex issue,” said the Forum Chair.
“We have continued to uphold our commitments under the South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty (the Rarotonga Treaty), including the prevention of nuclear contamination, whether by direct means or through transboundary impact,” he added.

PM Brown acknowledged the effort by the IAEA to visit our Blue Pacific region in person to present their report findings. PM Brown confirmed that following the IAEA visit and in consultation with the Forum Troika, he would propose a way forward for Forum Leaders consideration that would be respectful of the views of all Members.

“As stewards of the Pacific Ocean, it is incumbent upon us to leave no stones unturned in our collective effort to leave behind for our future generations a healthy and resilient ocean.”

The IAEA delegation will arrive in Rarotonga on Monday 10 July, departing on Tuesday 11 July.