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Learning about RMI’s nuclear testing legacy

We are thankful to Franscine Anmontha and Ariana Tibon from the National Nuclear Commission, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI NNC) who were guest speakers at our Club meeting on 24 August 2021.

Twas an educational evening of Pacific history, and filled with emotion. These two amazing young women, who are advocates and activists for the nuclear legacy, shared the story behind the establishment of the RMI NNC. In 2017, the Nitijela (Marshall Islands Parliament) set up the National Nuclear Commission to develop a national strategy for nuclear justice and to honour the legacy of the Marshallese who fought and continue to demand accountability for their communities.

The Marshall Islands was the testing ground for nuclear/atomic bombs between 1946 and 1958 and the impacts of this still features prominently in the daily lives of the Marshallese people – given the impacts on the environment and health (of the people) – the latter included radiation poisoning, birth defects, leukaemia, etc.

The RMI NNC focuses on five broad themes for nuclear justice: compensation, health care, the environment, national capacity, and education and awareness. The presentation and information session was also timely given that on 29 August it is International Day against Nuclear Tests. On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests to emphasise that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people” and that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world”.

Our Club Toast: we toasted to the Rotary Club of Hilo in Hawaii, who have recently supported us in COVID19 a community response initiative.

And Congratulations to Rotarian (of the RC Awapuni in NZ) and friend of RCSE – Venkatesh Kannan (fondly known as Venky) – recipient of a Paul Harris Award last night from Immediate Past President Ashika Devi.

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