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May 3, 2000


The 66th Council Meeting of the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarian’s Union (APPU) has commenced in the Pacific Island state of Nauru. The Union was established as a forum for Asia Pacific countries to raise issues relating to the Pacific region.

In his opening address, the President of Nauru, the Honorable Bernard Dowiyogo, welcomed delegates and called on the conference to support West New Guinea’s struggle for independence.

Speaking strongly on the matter he said, "The right to self-determination was a principle of international law that did not die with the end of old colonialism."

Among other issues raised, President Dowiyogo also spoke of the concerns of Nauru and other Pacific nations in relation to the shipping of radioactive waste from Japan through the islands of the Central Pacific.

He stated that previous international activity around this issue had failed to resolve the question of compensation, should an accident occur, with ships traveling through the region.

He said, "There has so far been a lack of appreciation of the fragility of the economies of the island states dependent so much on tourism and fishing who could not withstand a nuclear accident whether or not direct physical harm was inflicted."

He appealed to Japan and France to meet the requests of the Pacific Forum in order to resolve the matter.

Attending the meeting are delegations from Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Republic of China, Korea, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa, Vietnam and the Philippines.

For further information contact:

Helen Bogdan Public Affairs Consultant Republic of Nauru (Melbourne Office) Tel: (61) 3 9653 5763/6 Fax: (61) 3 9653 5782 Email: 

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