Press Statement

11 December 1996

Commonwealth Caribbean High Commissioners in London have been
informed that another shipment of nuclear waste from France to
Japan is imminent and are strongly objecting to the routing of
the shipment through the Caribbean Sea, Probably on board a
British ship.

As has been the case in the past, details of the proposed
shipment, including its route and timing, are shrouded in

Caribbean countries have repeatedly condemned such shipments
because of their highly dangerous nature and the unacceptable
threat they pose to the lives of their people, the fragile eco-
systems of the Caribbean Sea and the overall economy of the

The proposed shipment - likely over the next few weeks - is
reportedly larger than a previous shipment of this particular
waste.  It is so deadly that anyone within one metre of a single
unshielded glass block would receive a fatal dose of radiation in
less than one minute.

The countries of the Caribbean region are custodians of a
significant network of coral reefs which, apart from being of
high economic value to the people of the region, performs a
similar global function to that of the rain forests.

Given the preponderance of scientific data on the enormous
dangers of these shipments and the fact that a release of
plutonium would be impossible to clean up, Caribbean countries
remain adamantly opposed to the movement of hazardous waste
through the Caribbean Sea.

Caribbean Heads of Government have called for the region to be
declared a nuclear free zone for the purposes of shipment,
storing or dumping of any radioactive or hazardous substances or
toxic waste.  Caribbean High Commissioners repeat that call and
expect members of the international community to honour the
region's position by abandoning any plans to ship nuclear waste
through the Caribbean Sea.

H.E. Mr. Artur A. Foulkes - Bahamas
H.E. Mr. Laleshwar Singh - Guyana
H.E. Dr. Ursula Barrow - Belize
H.E. Mr. Derick Heaven - Jamaica
H.E. Mr. Aubrey Hart - Eastern Caribbean States
H.E. Mr. Peter Simmons - Barbados
H.E. Mr. Ronald M. Sanders - Antigua and Barbuda
H.E. Mr.s Sheelagh De Osuna - Trinidad and Tobago
H.E. Mr. George E. Williams - Dominica Charge d'Affaires - Grenada


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