NEWS

Fiji Ratifies Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons

The Fiji Mission in the UN tweeted yesterday: “A momentous occasion for Fiji, we stand in solidarity with many others in calling for a complete ban to nuclear weapons.”
09 Jul 2020 09:43
Fiji Ratifies Treaty On The Prohibition Of Nuclear Weapons

Fiji has become the 39th state in the world to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The treaty sets out a set of prohibitions against participating in any nuclear weapon activities. These include not to develop, test, produce, acquire, process, stockpile, use or threaten to use nuclear weapons.

The UN adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on July 7, 2017.

The Fiji Mission in the UN tweeted yesterday: “A momentous occasion for Fiji, we stand in solidarity with many others in calling for a complete ban to nuclear weapons.”

According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Fiji’s ratification was all the more important because of its experience of the impacts of nuclear testing.

Between 1957 and 1958, Fijian soldiers participated in nine British nuclear weapons tests at Malden and Kiritimati (Christmas) Islands.

Despite assuring coverage of Fijian troops’ service-related health problems during the tests, the UK provided no assistance or compensation to victims.

The government stepped in 2015 and awarded the 24 survivors $9855 each from a compensation pool of $2.95m.

ICAN said that even today, the regions where the tests occurred remain unsafe to live, grow food, or go fishing. The tests have permanently displaced people and disconnected them from their traditional way of life.

“Moreover, soldiers and civilians present during the testing have developed health problems because of exposure to radiation, which have also been passed on to their descendants,” the coalition of non-governmental organisations said.

“Fifty ratifications are required for the treaty to enter into force and become legally binding.”

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedbackinoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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