21 Apr 2011

Forum blasted over silence about Japan nuclear disaster

3:10 pm on 21 April 2011

The Pacific Conference of Churches says it's unacceptable for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat not to speak out about the threat to Pacific eco-systems from the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

The PCC's general secretary, Fei Tevi, says the Forum designed and is the custodian of the 1985 South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and is mandated to protect the region from nuclear contamination.

He says the Forum needs to call Japan to account for the way it is handling its nuclear catastrophe.

Mr Tevi says the agency should also accessing from Japan reliable reports of the levels of contamination that's occurred and continues to occur.

He says its silence on the issue undermines the work of the founding members of the Forum in their vision to safeguard and protect the Pacific from nuclear contamination.

The PCC says Pacific governments also need to address the issue seriously since the source of most livelihoods, the ocean, is being polluted and flooded with radioactive material that could have catastrophic effects for years to come.