The lack of urgency eight decades ago to remove UXO remains after World War 2 is a great cost to Solomon Islands in finance and lives.
The Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made the statement when issuing the country’s national statement at the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America.
“I call on responsible countries to remove the UXOs and compensate lives affected and lost”, Hon. Sogavare stated.
Presenting the country’s statement on Friday last week, Prime Minister Sogavare said, the Battle of Guadalcanal is recorded in history as one of the fiercest battle of World War 2, a war that was not of our making.
Thanking the Government of the United States of America for their continued assistance in dealing with WW2 remains to date, Prime Minister Sogavare said, more needs to be done to address this threat.
He accentuated, the Pacific has been a victim of power politics long before becoming a member of the United Nations.
Prime Minister Sogavare added that since the inception of the United Nations in 1945, the Pacific Islands remained a stage for power projection by developed nations.
Honourable Sogavare further stated that as a consequence, from 1946 to 1996, approximately 300 nuclear devices were tested in the Pacific, including in the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and Kiribati.
“The Pacific were never consulted nor have a say on these nuclear tests. WE NEVER DID”, the Prime Minister emphasized.
Honourable Sogavare further highlighted that these countries and their people must be compensated commensurably.
The Prime Minister stated that the nuclear footprint of big powers in the Pacific is intrinsically carved into our history and genes. Certain populations to this day continue to suffer from health issues because of nuclear testing and dumping in the Pacific.
Honourable Sogavare expounded that, as a signatory to the 1985 Treaty of Rarotonga, Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons… “Our commitment to keep our Blue Pacific Continent nuclear free is non-negotiable. We ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty earlier this year which is a testament to our conviction and principle for a nuclear free Pacific”.
The development of military nuclear investment within Pacific region and its potential to trigger nuclear arms race and its implication for our nuclear free status is a grave concern, the Prime Minister concluded.