30 Aug 2006

French Polynesian test veterans plan to lobby Forum

3:47 pm on 30 August 2006

The French Polynesian nuclear test veterans group, Moruroa e Tatou, says it plans to take its case to the United Nations and to the next Pacific Forum Leaders' Summit in Fiji in October.

The group has been lobbying on behalf of former weapons testing site workers in the Gambier islands who say their poor health is the result of exposure to nuclear fallout.

The president of the group, Roland Oldham, says despite evidence of health problems, the French government continues to ignore them.

Mr Oldham says the group wants to broaden the scope of its political and judicial campaigns.

"We are thinking about, with the connection we have with some parliamentarians from Australia and New Zealand and others to have this issue brought up in the discussion of the forum of the Pacific. The other avenue that we can explore is for someone, among parliamentarians, to raise this issue at the United Nations. 23"

Mr Oldham says the group also plans to submit a questionnaire to each political candidate in next year's French presidential election.