Pacific Life Community – Northwest Region is pleased to announce the participation of Motarilavoa Hilda Lini in our 2009 PLC Annual Retreat, Friday February 27 – Sunday March 1, 2009. Hilda will also be one of the presenters in Seattle on Thursday evening, February 26 at the public forum entitled, “Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific: An International Law Perspective.”
Motarilavoa Hilda Lini is a chief of the Turaga nation of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, and has been an activist for progressive political causes since she was a teenager. Her name is synonymous with the nuclear-free and independent Pacific movement, with women’s rights, with indigenous rights, and with environmental issues. In 1987, she became the first woman elected to Parliament in Vanuatu, following that nation’s independence in 1980. During the early nineties, as Minister of Health, she was instrumental in persuading the World Health Organization to bring the question of the legality of nuclear weapons to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. In 2004 she stepped down as the Director of the Pacific Concerns Resource Center (PCRC) in Suva, Fiji, to travel to New York and represent the Pacific region at the UN Nonproliferation Review Conference. There she was most disappointed by the stonewalling tactics of the U.S. delegation, but remained heartened by the, growing in momentum, majority vision of a nuclear-free world.
“Indigenous Peoples,” Hilda Lini tells us, “have always believed that peace is central to human security and all life forms that exist in a community, a nation, Mother Earth and the universe… As custodians of the Pacific Ocean we continue to condemn the continuous use of the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific for US military target practice of missile heads, which are being used in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Pakistan, Israel and Libya… While the indigenous tribes are custodians of the uranium deposits, all mining on tribal lands are carried out by transnational corporations owned by traditional nuclear weapons states or their allies to serve their nuclear industries, with no benefits to the Indigenous Peoples… Let us learn from the Indigenous Peoples of BIKINI ATOLL, MARALINGA, MONTE BELLO, EMU FIELD, HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI, MALDEN AND CHRISTMAS ISLANDS, SAHARA DESERT, MORUROA AND FANGATAUFA, NEVADA, BELARUS, LONG ISLAND AND INDIA…
“Drawing from the tragic lessons of nuclear atrocities experienced by the Indigenous Peoples we recognize that the testing, development and use of nuclear weapons is a crime against all humanitarian law…
“LET US LEARN FROM NUCLEAR RADIATION VICTIMS AND PREVENT HISTORY FROM REPEATING ITSELF.”
And if you can read German well, you might be interested in extra information included in the 2005 Nuclear Free Future Awards booklet which was not repeated in English.
Also in 2005, Hilda Lini was among 1000 women peacebuilders’ names from 150 countries nominated as part of the 1000 Women For The Noble Peace Prize Project. Read her listing in “Heroes For A Better World” >>here<<.
Two years later in 2007, The Atomic Mirror held a panel discussion celebrating the 40th birthday of the world’s first Nuclear Weapon Free Zone at the United Nations. (October 25, 2007).
You can read Hilda’s statement from this October 2007 panel session entitled, “The Contribution of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones to Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation” in which she explains the significance of the Rarotonga Treaty.
Please help us welcome Motarilavoa Hilda Lini to the Pacific Northwest by sharing this flyer on the February 26th, 2009 forum in Seattle with others. We also hope you will attend the Pacific Life Community 2009 Annual Retreat in Lacey, WA February 27 – March 1.