Fiji Speaks at Debate on General and Complete Disarmament
Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) are committed to finding genuine and durable solutions so that nuclear weapons are never again used. Speaking on behalf of PSIDS at the United Nations General Assembly today, Fiji's Permanent Representative Ambassador Peter Thomson, called upon nuclear-weapon States to reduce and ultimately eliminate all types of nuclear weapons.
The General Assembly's First Committee is currently debating "General and Complete Disarmament". Ambassador Thomson's statement before the committee affirmed that PSIDS regard the total elimination of nuclear weapons to be an essential perspective, "to protect our fragile environment for the benefit of all future generations, and to reallocate precious resources away from defense matters towards sustainable development."
Between 1946 and 1996, the PSIDS region suffered more than 315 nuclear test explosions carried out in the Pacific, in French Polynesia, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. Fiji's Ambassador said these explosions had spread radioactive fallout around the PSIDS region and rendered entire atolls permanently uninhabitable.
The PSIDS statement welcomed the renewed focus of the international community on the horrendous humanitarian impact of the use and testing of nuclear weapons. It cited the higher rates of cancer, particularly thyroid cancer, arising from exposure to radiation from these tests.
The PSIDS statement said it was essential that nuclear-armed States took all appropriate measures to reduce the risk of an accidental or unauthorized launch of nuclear weapons. Fiji's Ambassador also called on such States to ensure that nuclear weapons and dirty bombs do not fall into the hands of terrorist groups.