CTBTO and the Pacific Islands Forum in Suva, Fiji Islands

A delegation from the Preparatory Commission has participated in the 33rd Pacific Islands Forum, in Suva, in August 2002, by invitation of the Republic of the Fiji Islands. The delegation also used the opportunity to discuss the planned CTBTO International Cooperation and National Implementation Workshop in the Pacific, which will take place in June 2003, in Nadi, Fiji. This workshop will aim to further understanding of the Treaty and the work of the Preparatory Commission. A PTS delegation also participated in the 32nd Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru, in 2001, by invitation of the Government of the Republic of Nauru. Relations and cooperation between the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Preparatory Commission have been developing steadily. The Pacific Islands Forum States, which cover one-sixth of the Earth's surface in the Pacific region, support the prohibition of nuclear testing, with leaders from the PIF calling in a 1995 statement for the conclusion of the CTBT not later than 1996. Nine of the Forum members host 40 of the 337 International Monitoring System facilities mandated under the Treaty verification regime. The facilities are located in Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands. In addition, representatives from the PIF States have been assisting and participating in the Preparatory Commission's training and international cooperation programmes, so as to enhance understanding of Treaty significance and of the potential benefits of applying verification technologies for other peaceful purposes, thus contributing to making the world safer and more secure. As of August 2002, 12 of the 16 Forum States have signed the Treaty, (Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and six have ratified it (Australia, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru and New Zealand).