Keep Pacific nuclear-free

LAST month, the heads of the Pacific’s largest churches met in Auckland, New Zealand, and voiced concern over continued nuclear activities in the region. They also raised the fact that despite the continued cries of the victims of nuclear testing in the Pacific, larger nations have done nothing to act justly.

The Pacific leaders who gathered in Auckland were from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kanaky (New Caledonia) Kiribati, Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. They represented several denominations but raised a united voice for the people of the region despite ideological, dogmatic and cultural differences. One leader went as far as to proclaim that the Pacific could not be free until all its people were liberated from the present threat and past injustices linked to nuclear testing.

This is their statement which we endorse: Having met in Auckland, New Zealand, in August 2017, the leaders of Pacific Churches reflect with sorrow on the French government’s nuclear testing on Mururoa and Fangataufa in Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) from 1966 to 1966 causing irreparable damage to the fenua (land, sea and the people). And we note there has been, as yet, no just reparation or compensation for the loss of land, life and for the severe illnesses and deformities caused by these tests.

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