Pacific Islands Forum urges all members to sign and ratify the CTBT

The Pacific Islands Forum is a political grouping of 16 independent and self-governing states.

Leaders of the 16 nation Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Port Villa, Vanuatu have urged its members to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) as a practical step toward achieving nuclear disarmament.

In their communiqué, 5 August, from the 41st Pacific Islands Forum, the leaders also pointed out the practical value and potential of the CTBT monitoring system, including for earthquake and tsunami warning networks in the Pacific.

 Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), welcomed the declaration of support.

 “Entry into force of the treaty requires such commitment. It is now time for each and every country to act.”

The islands leaders’ communiqué also said the outcome of the 2010 Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference had been successful, and they welcomed the announcement by the United States of its intention to ratify all Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga, the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty. The treaty bans the manufacture, stationing, and testing of nuclear weapons in the zone and protects parties to the treaty against their use.

The Pacific Islands Forum, founded in 1971, includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshal Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Of its 16 members, Niue, Tonga and Tuvalu have still to sign and ratify the CTBT. Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands must still ratify it.