Papua New Guinea
24TH JANUARY 1997
SHIPMENT OF VITRIFIED HIGH LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE MUST RESPECT CONCERNS OF FORUM ISLANDS COUNTRIESThe Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Kilroy Genia, MP expressed strong concerns today, that the views of Forum Island countries must be taken seriously on board by Japan, France and the United Kingdom.
Minister Genia stated this in solidarity to the position taken by Forum Island countries concerning the potential risks involved in the shipment of vitrified high level nuclear waste.
"Whilst I appreciate that it is a commendable action on the part of the three (3) countries concern in ensuring that all necessary safety measures have been taken in relation to the shipment, it is my belief and conviction that consideration must be given to the fact that Forum Island countries have in place two instruments, namely the Convention on hazardous waste and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty which bans all nuclear activity, installation and even shipment of substances throughout the designated area under the Treaty and Convention.
The Papua New Guinea Government is concerned like all other Forum Island countries that in the event of a sinking, collision or accident at sea during transshipment, that we do not have the experience, expertise and resources to have emergency response facilities in place. This is a serious concern and I would like to stress that Japan, France and the United Kingdom must undertake to ensure that all safety measures are taken and that there is every guarantee that the ship carrying the substances is in sound working order and manned effectively to ensure that there is no such mishap that would have a detrimental effect on countries enroute," he said.
Minister Genia said that the tripartite team of experts from Japan, United Kingdom and France will be meeting with officials from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Environment and Conservation and Transport from 9.00 am to 11.00 am on 27 January 1997 to explain safety measures and other issues relating to the shipment of the vitrified high level nuclear waste.
HON. KILROY GENIA, MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
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