News

UK to Ratify Protocols to Treaty of Rarotonga

Foreign Office bulletin, 22 September 1997

The UK will ratify the Protocols to the Treaty of Rarotonga, which establishes a Nuclear Free Zone in the South Pacific. Derek Fatchett, Foreign Office Minister of State, has announced.

Mr Fatchett, visiting the Cook Islands, said:

'This is the first such ratification by the UK for nearly 30 years. It marks an important milestone in the UK's commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and our strong support for the efforts of regional states to establish a zone free from nuclear weapons.'

Notes
1. The Treaty of Rarotonga was opened for signature and entered into force in 1986. It prohibits the acquisition, stationing or testing of nuclear explosive devices and the dumping of radioactive waste within the zone by States Parties.

2. The UK signed the three Protocols to the Treaty in March 1996; the first brings the Treaty into force in Pitcairn (our only Dependent Territory within the zone); the second consists of a negative security assurance (that the UK will not use nuclear weapons against States Parties); and the third, a commitment that the UK will not test any nuclear device within the Treaty zone. The UK's instrument of ratification will be deposited in Suva within the next two days, bringing the Protocols into force for the UK.