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Prime Minister wants Tonga to become a member of IAEA

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 28/09/2016)

The Prime Minister Hon. ‘Akilisi Pōhiva told the UN General Assembly in New York during its 71st session that Tonga will apply to be member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Pōhiva made the announcement after he expressed his dismay over the latest nuclear test by North Korea. He said he was convicted that the proliferation of weapons by the super powers in all their forms, threatened international peace and security.

He said this was a sheer waster of financial resources and those funds might be better spent on international sustainable development initiatives and improving people’s lives.

The Prime Minister told the general assembly, there is a need for controlled and managed use of nuclear capability and power by international standards for peaceful purposes.

He said Tonga is thus at the final stage of the acceptance process of the statute of IAEA, to formalize its state membership of the organization.

He said Tonga hopes to deposit the instrument with the US State Department by the end of this month.

The Prime Minister raised concerns over other issues such as the West Papua desire for self-government and Cuba’s wish for the United States to lift it’s embargo on them.

He also expressed his concern over transnational crime and drug trafficking in Tonga and the Pacific.

Along with his call for the equitable development of all states, the Prime Minister renewed Tonga’s commitment to the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals to be completed by 2030, and said it is important that no one is left behind.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016