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Pacific Campaigner Urges Pacific Govts for Support

September 6th 2011

Pacific Campaigner Urges Pacific Governments to “Join the Team”

On the eve of the official opening of the Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific campaigner for Peace and Disarmament, Ema Tagicakibau has called on Pacific states to “Join the Team” of State Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).

Tagicakibau, a long-time Pacific campaigner for nuclear disarmament and demilitarization now based in Auckland, says, “To date, 109 states have signed the Treaty, of which 60 are State Parties including four Pacific Forum members: New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and very recently, the Cook Islands. Three others, Australia, Nauru and Palau remain signatories and we hope they can begin their process towards ratification in the near future.”

“In fact, as Pacific Islanders, our support for victims of weapons of war have been influenced by our own experience of colonialism, which saw the testing of nuclear weapons, and the second world war being fought in our peaceful region,” she added.

A sports day by a group of Fijian families in South Auckland was held over the weekend at the AUT Manukau campus to mark a belated first anniversary of the Entry into Force (EIF) of the Treaty in Fiji. The theme “Join the Team” reiterated the call to other states in the region to get on board the Cluster Bomb Treaty.

With the Second Meeting of States Parties (2MSP) to the CCM due to be held in Beirut, Lebanon next week, from 12-16 September 2011, we remain hopeful that many more Pacific states can attend the meeting in a cluster bomb affected country. “It was the cluster bombing of Lebanon by Israeli forces in 2006 that triggered the Oslo process, culminating in the signing of the Treaty in Oslo, Norway in December 2008. The process was necessitated by the urgency that such evil and deadly weapons of mass destruction must no longer be tolerated against fellow human beings” Tagicakibau reiterated.

We strongly urge Pacific leaders to act with urgency to rid this world of such evil weapons of deaths.

ENDS

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