In its continuing efforts to outlaw nuclear weapons, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has issued public support for French Polynesia’s petition to the UN for redress for ongoing effects of nuclear testing there.
French Polynesia, or Maòhi Nui in its indigenous name, includes Tahiti and a 117 other islands and atolls, covering more than 4 million square kilometres. It is not a self-governing nation but retains a complex legal relationship with France.
Led by Maòhi Protestant Church and supported the Pacific Conference of Churches there, the island nation has recently asked the United Nations to conduct a fact-finding mission to assess the continuing spillover health and environmental effects of France’s regional nuclear testing, which did not cease until 1996.
Praising the church’s efforts and calling for “justice and compensation” to the islands, the WCC’s executive committee in a minute issued at its 2-8 November meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, noted that “The injustice perpetrated on the people of Maòhi Nui ... has much to do with the system and attitudes of colonial dominion.”