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The only "guarantee for a safe, free and peaceful world lies only in the total elimination of nuclear weapons", Ambassador Luteru at the 10th Review Conference on the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Tuesday, 02 August 2022

Speaking on behalf of Pacific SIDS, Samoa's Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr. Pa'olelei Luteru, told the General Assembly that the "world and our pacific region do not need nuclear weapons to survive."

He went on to highlight the plight of the Pacific Peoples and in particular, the intergenerational devastations left behind by nuclear testing and radioactive contamination because of more than 300 nuclear tests carried out in the Pacific's atmosphere, underground and underwater since 1946. This led to the relocation of communities and resulted in an upsurge of medical problems, including cancers and birth defects.

Ambassador Luteru also made specific reference to a series of nuclear blasts carried out on Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands. He said a dome was built containing 3.1 million cubic meters of radioactive soil and debris. This dome or "coffin", according to scientist is being eroded by rising sea levels and could leak its radioactive content into the Pacific Ocean.

Ambassador Luteru Highlighted the need to focus on the victims of nuclear weapons and underscored the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. He concluded, "It is high time for member states to reaffirm their commitments to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, as set out in the NPT, and come to believe that the only guarantee for a safe, free and peaceful world, lies not in more rather in the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons underpinned by improved trust and respect between and among nations, backed up by a solid verification regime."