REMARKS: Kiribati statement at UN Commemoration of the Int. Day for total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Remarks and Speeches
27 September 2023



26 September, 2023.

to be delivered by Hon. Bootii Nauan,


Minister for Tourism, Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives

Mr. President of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we gather to renew our call and re-energize our solidarity and commitment to work

collectively towards a better world free of nuclear weapons.

I am honored to represent Kiribati at this commemoration of the International Day for the Total

Elimination of nuclear weapons. Kiribati will continue to strive forward and to join forces with

other like- minded countries, organizations and peoples until such time this noble mission is fully


Citizens on Kiritimati Island in Kiribati suffered from the impacts of nuclear weapon testing. On

the 28th of April 1958, Operation Grapple, the largest thermonuclear test in the world at the time,

was blasted. The 500 I-Kiribati living on Kiritimati received little protection and inadequate

warning. Unaware of the dangers of such tests, most of them lifted the tarpaulin cover provided

for them to catch a glimpse of the spectacular display of the intensely hot cloud of fire above them.

Many would later complain about all sorts of untreatable illnesses and health complications, most

of which resulted in death. Six cases of these kinds persist with descendants of those on the island

when tests were carried out.

As a nation affected by nuclear testing, Kiribati recognizes its leading role in coordinating jointly

with Kazakhstan the implementation of Articles 6 and 7 of the Treaty on the prohibition of nuclear

weapons with a focus on providing assistance for persons, communities and environments harmed

by past use and testing of nuclear weapons. As part of our commitment to accelerate the realization

of this noble dream for a world free of nuclear weapons, and from presence of discharged nuclear

waste material into our Blue Pacific Ocean affecting our lives and livelihood, our government is

offering Kiritimati Island to be a global or sub - global centre for the United Nations’

Denuclearization Agenda.

Kiribati calls on all leaders and peoples of the world to renew their commitments and to foster

greater cooperation and collaboration for the achievement of a nuclear free world, one free of wars,

and rich in human fraternity, respect, trust, peace, harmony and happiness as envisioned by the

founding fathers of our United Nations.

Let us recommit ourselves to the task of eliminating nuclear weapons by calling on the safe

dissemble of all nuclear weapons, remove all nuclear arsenals and re-direct their ‘nuclear’ profits

and growth towards peace and health building industries and activities. Let us put all our trust in

the mechanisms of the Pacific settlement of disputes as enshrined in Chapter VI of the UN Charter

turning war and aggression into outdated and obsolete means of settling disputes, no longer fit for

our modern and enlightened civilization.

I thank you.