Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama reaffirmed the country’s commitment and solidarity to calls for a nuclear free world in his statement to the United Nations today during the High-Level Plenary meeting marking the 20th anniversary of the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Held at the margins of the UNGA 76, the virtual meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio 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 mobilise international efforts towards achieving the common goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
“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 about the slow pace of nuclear disarmament,” Bainimarama said.
“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.”
Fiji urges all member states to join and ratify the new Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to free the world of nuclear weapons.
“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.
“Radioactive 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.”
Bainimarama said it is vital that nuclear disarmament progresses beyond its current state.