STATEMENT: 52nd PIF Leaders Statement on the Fukushima ALPS-Treated Nuclear Wastewater Issue

09 November 2023



9 November 2023

As Leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum, we re-emphasise the statement by our Forum Foreign Ministers on 15 September 2023, recalling our strong concerns for the significance of the potential threat of nuclear contamination to the health, security, environment, and economies of the Blue Pacific as per the 2022 and 2023 Forum Communiques.

We note the extensive Forum dialogue and engagement process taken over the last three years on this matter has been based on our Forum priorities of international consultation, international law, and scientific independent and verifiable assessments.

As we meet today in the Cook Islands for our 52nd Pacific Islands Forum, we are reminded of our commitment 38 years ago to our Rarotonga Treaty for a Nuclear Free Zone in the Pacific. Today, we reaffirm this important Treaty and our commitment to a region free of nuclear weapons and nuclear waste, in view also of our ongoing nuclear testing legacies, including in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, French Polynesia and Kiribati.

While recognising the sovereignty of Members, we maintain our solidarity to a nuclear free Pacific, and to safeguard our ocean, our environment and our people, in pursuit of our collective Vision under our 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

We acknowledge the intensive dialogue with Japan, as well as with the IAEA, and we note the IAEA Comprehensive Report of 4 July 2023 on the Safety Review of the ALPS-Treated Water.

We also acknowledge the work of the PIF Panel of Independent Experts and their initial advice in response to the IAEA Report, and we acknowledge efforts for scientific dialogue between the Panel and the IAEA.

We are committed to embedding nuclear related discharge as a standing item on the PIF agenda and relevant Pacific partner summits, including PALM, and to a political dialogue annually to consider safety issues based on international safety standards and ongoing independent monitoring by the IAEA.

We are also committed to building national and regional scientific capacity and monitoring capabilities to independently assess impacts to our ocean, our environment, food systems and human health.

We look towards further discussion at the 53rd Forum Leaders meeting in Tonga in 2024.