Abolition 2000 & Indigenous Recognition

Sun, 12 Jan 1997 09:54:07 -1000 (HST)

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P A C I F I C - I M P A C T

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Collegues, (FREE CIRCULATION)

You are invited into a discussion during the Abolition 2000 Conference in Tahiti January 20 - 28, 1997 (see press release below for discription). You will receive notice of reports only which will be uploaded to a web site you may access at your convenience (I will post the URL within a couple days). There will be a discussion group on-line and we will be facilitating your e-mail to and from the conference as requested.

Beyond the agenda of Abolition 2000 is the question on the imparative need for Decolonization in the Pacific. These debates and discussions will be deep and we need our Indigenous global caucus to assist us. There has been a question of relevancy raised by some of the european and USA members of the Abolition 2000 which has been disturbing to us as Indigneous Peoples in preparation for this conference. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions will be utilized and appreciated especially by our Te Ao Maohi brothers and sisters whose lives are now at extreme and high risk.

If you do not want to receive our reports please send a quick note immediately so that we can adjust the lists. Thank you.


HIGHLIGHTED request for solidarity from Indigenous Tahitian Youth for a Global Peace Vigil January 27th - 1 year commemoration of the ending of French Nuclear testing and in support of the total abolishment of nuclear weapons.

ABOLITION 2000 MOVEMENT TO MEET IN TAHITI IN JANUARY 97 - INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION FOR THE ABOLITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS CALLED FOR. of over 680 citizen groups on six continents, will meet in the French- occupied islands of Tahiti and Moorea to assess the current state of the nuclear world and craft strategies for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Over 100 people from all over the world are expected to attend.

The meeting will take place as a landmark study on the health effects of French nuclear testing in the area , which ended last year, is in preparation. The results of the study will be released later in 1997 and a briefing about the study will be presented at a concluding press conference on January 27th, exactly one year after the last French nuclear test. Hiti Tau, a regional NGO affiliated with the Pacific Island Association of NGOs (PIANGO), and the Pacific Program of the American Friends Service Committee (based in Hawaii), will host the meeting.

This meeting place presents the network with unique possibilities as a way to continue the momentum generated by the international attention focussed on French nuclear testing activities over the last year. The study on the long term health effects of the French testing program has been conducted by the indigenous Maohi people of the five island groups of French-occupied Polynesia, with the help and financial assistance of the World Council of Churches, and several European support organizations.

Meanwhile, the South Pacific Forum, the regional intergovernmental group, is cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency in a study that will make use of the French data (gathered over the course of the entire testing program) for the first time. Last year, the member countries of the SPF kicked France out of the Forum for resuming its nuclear testing program. This year, as a provision for allowing France back into the Forum, they required France to release its scientific data.The results of this study will also be available later in the year.

To coincide with the meeting there will be a day of internationally coordinated actions on JANUARY 27, 1997 to oppose the resumption of nuclear testing by the United States and to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has announced plans to conduct "subcritical" underground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site as part of a larger program to maintain and expand its nuclear weapons capabilities under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). January 27 marks the 46th anniversary of the first U.S. nuclear test in Nevada, and the 1st anniversary of the last French nuclear test in the Pacific. Indigenous youth of French Polynesia (Tahiti) have called for a worldwide vigil on January 27 to support the movement to abolish all nuclear weapons.

In the U.S., January 27 has been designated as a national call-in day to President Clinton. In Tahiti, the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons will be concluding its international meeting. NGOs everywhere are being encouraged to: 1) call on their national leaders to oppose the U.S. subcritical tests, take nuclear forces off alert, and support negotiations on a treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons; 2) send messages of solidarity to those gathered in Tahiti; and 3) hold vigils in their own communities to support and publicize these objectives.

Having brought about an end to the French nuclear testing programme and having campaigned to achieve a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty the Abolition 2000 Global Network intends to finish the job by working to tackle the health and environmental effects of testing and to ensure that nuclear weapons are abolished for all time.

Press Coordinator - Kekula P. Bray-Crawford: Tel 001 808 5733122 e-mail: kekula@aloha.net

Conference Coordinator - Kilali Alailima: Tel 011 808 9881124 e-mail: kilali@igc.apc.org


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