Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


GREENPEACE: Forum Nius Issue 2

GREENPEACE: Forum Nius Issue 2

Welcome to the second Forum Nius email bulletin from Greenpeace

In this issue: No Transparency at PIF – NGOs denied access Don’t Be Fooled: Look at the Facts on Nuclear Shipments Solar Café Opens Again



Around the world, non-government organisations (NGOs) and civil society are given access to international meetings, a practice that promotes transparency and reflects good governance and responsible leadership. Governments recognise the important role of these organisations and welcome their contribution.

Even the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the benchmark of secretive meetings and processes that lack transparency, allows NGOs observer status at its meetings.

Yet the Pacific Islands Forum defies these good democratic practices, and continues to stop NGO observers from attending its meetings.

Until 2000, NGOs were given media accreditation, enabling access. From 2001 onwards, this ceased, and no alternative arrangements were put in place, leaving NGOs out in the cold (not very pleasant in Auckland’s winter!).

This extraordinarily backward approach defies the rationale of the Cotonou Agreement which all 14 smaller island members of PIF have signed, and is contrary to the stated government policies of the bigger island members Australia and New Zealand, who profess to welcome NGO participation. And what about all of PIF’s great policies on good governance, transparency and accountability?

Whilst steps have been taken to draw up a framework, the process has dragged on far longer than it should have. It has been underway for more than 18 months, meaning NGOs have been refused access to the Forum in 2002 and 2003 while this process grinds slowly on. It is time for the Forum and its member governments to catch up with international practice, and ensure that an accreditation mechanism is in place for PIF35 in 2004.



Don’t Allow Meaningless Dialogue to Prevent Real Action On Nuclear Shipment

*Fact 1: The proposed dialogue meetings with shipping States will achieve nothing to protect Pacific Islanders from the very real risk of nuclear accidents at sea.

The shipping states have made no real commitments in the four previous meetings. In the meantime they keep sending nuclear shipments through the Pacific.

*Fact 2: The United Kingdom (UK) have still not met a single Pacific demand.

Don’t be hoodwinked by the new friendly UK tone. The only thing that will stop these shipments is real action by the Pacific states: continued diplomatic protests, legal steps and diplomatic initiatives undertaken on a regional basis. Ongoing talks of the kind that have taken place over the past three years will have the same result: continued shipments through the Pacific, with no changes in liability, notification, emergency response or environmental impact assessment. They promise safety but take no responsibility.

At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting in Vienna, which Greenpeace attended, none of the shipping States offered anything of substance on liability or notification, despite a weeklong meeting focused solely on nuclear transports and repeated statements of concern by Peru, Ireland, New Zealand and other states.

*Fact 3: Legal and diplomatic measures work and have been taken by Chile, with real effect.

Strong protests and statements by the CARICOM states have stopped shipments going through the Caribbean. Even France (a shipping state), Spain, Portugal and other states have taken unilateral action to ban substandard single hulled oil tankers from their waters, following the Prestige oil spill, the environmental effects of which continue to be felt. And France has the cheek to say the Pacific can’t take the same steps.

Legal steps taken by Ireland have made shipping States consult more. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in the Ireland v UK MOX case said that “the duty to cooperate is a fundamental principle in the prevention of pollution of the marine environment”. The shipping States owe this duty of cooperation to the Pacific States over nuclear shipments.

More recently, the ITLOS arbitral tribunal in the Irish case in June of this year made specific recommendations on cooperation. It recommended that the UK reviews with Ireland the whole system of intergovernmental notification and co-operation in respect of Ireland’s concerns about the Sellafield nuclear re-processing plant and imposed reporting requirements.

*Fact 4: The Pacific has started the process - don’t stop now.

In February this year, the Fiji Government and other governments took a formal position to explore and act on legal and political measures to protect the coastal waters of Fiji from future nuclear shipments by the shipping nations of UK, France, Japan and Australia. The Fiji Government’s position to explore and act on legal and political measures was in direct response to the frustration many Pacific Nations are experiencing about the serious lack of progress on liability. Other Pacific Nations, such as Vanuatu, are also exploring legal and political measures to protect their coastal waters from nuclear shipments.

The governments of UK, France and Japan have continued to insult the Pacific by carrying on with their nuclear shipments while refusing to seriously address Pacific demands for full liability for the consequences of a nuclear accident, failing to notify coastal states of shipments and failing to cooperate in emergency response planning and failing to carry out an environmental impact assessment.

The choices for Pacific Nations are to continue being quietened by the shipping states in closed door discussions or to take effective legal and political action to force the shipping states to stop shipping their lethal materials through the Pacific.

*Fact 5: Shipments continue despite problems.

The last nuclear shipment through the region – British Nuclear Fuels vessels Pacific Pintail and Pacific Teal breached several Pacific EEZs. They came through without prior warning, consultation with Pacific governments, environmental impact assessments, or clear emergency planning strategies in place. The current liability regime is totally inadequate because it provides no guarantees that damaged island communities would be able to obtain compensation if there should be a sinking, collision, or terrorist attack involving a shipment of ultrahazardous nuclear material.

In the latest insult to coastal States, shipping states at Vienna raised security as a justification for not notifying coastal states. Real security for the Pacific requires protecting the environment and populations from nuclear accidents. Real security for shipments is provided by real security measures such as armed escorts and proper preparation for possible incidents and response and consultation between states. It is not achieved by refusing to tell coastal states or the public about proposed shipments and routing. Provision of information will enhance security by enabling coastal states to engage in preparation and emergency response planning.

Secrecy undermines democracy, provides an illusion of security and makes essential coordination and consultation about emergency response and preparedness more difficult or impossible. Security issues are real and should be addressed comprehensively in a way that has not been done to date.



The Greenpeace solar café will open again in the morning tea break. All welcome for free coffee and fresh juices from the sun.

“Forum Nius” will be published during the Pacific Islands Forum and distributed at Forum venues.

For details please email mailto:Shirley.Atatagi-Coutts@fj.greenpeace.org http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/pif

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election