Etaretia Porotetani Maohi (EPM) sent a delegation to the United Nations (UN) 4th Committee on Decolonisation on 6 October as part of its “Waves of Destruction: Nuclear imperialism and anti-nuclear protest in Maohi Nui” project.

Speaking in his capacity as Pacific President of World Council of Churches, Rev. Francois Pihaatae highlighted the plight of Maohi Nui (French Polynesia) people suffering from the after-effects of French nuclear testing, calling it a “silent genocide”.

Rev. Pihaatae had previously tabled petitions at the United Nations (UN) 4th Committee for Decolonisation and denuclearisation issues in October 2019 as part of an EPM delegation, and appealed to the UN Human Rights Commission on behalf of the people affected by French nuclear testing in the Maohi Nui islands.

To date, more than 30,000 including newborn babies have succumbed to cancer, and recent research indicates that the entire Maohi Nui has been contaminated, he added. The consequences of nuclear tests performed above ground and underground in the Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls also exacted a toll on the land and sea.

In addition, Rev. Pihaatae claimed that the Pacific people will suffer when France builds a new geopolitical presence in the Indo-Pacific, and that French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaration on the maritime exclusive zone of 5 million km2 indicates the intention to exploit underwater resources. Finally, he drew the Committee’s attention to the climate emergency, which “is already a reality for the Pacific peoples”.

Dated 10 October 2022

Images via Pacific Conference of Churches Facebook page