New remediation options are potentially opening up for Pacific Islands countries affected by nuclear testing.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is coming into force after it reached its 50th ratification at the United Nations, including from ten Pacific Island nations.
This paves the way for nuclear weapons to be deemed illegal under international law, within three months.
The treaty has an article providing for victim assistance procedures to be developed. Likewise, there is potential for the environmental remediation for parts of the world where testing has been conducted.
A Fijian academic and member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Vanessa Griffen said the treaty breakthrough could be significant in addressing the destructive nuclear legacy in the region.
"Article six in the treaty could be a new means of looking at the Pacific's experience of nuclear testing and how states now, I think, can act collectively to look at how victim assistance and environmental remediation may be implemented under this treaty," Vanessa Griffen said.
The Pacific Islands' experience of nuclear testing was "unfortunately unique", Griffen said. There have been other parts of the world where testing took place. But the Pacific is the only one where testing was ocean-based, and therefore more difficult to contain and measure.
Although not party to the treaty, countries which possess nuclear weapons could be pressed to address the ongoing environmental risk posed by the impact of nuclear waste from their tests in the parts of the region like French Polynesia's atolls or precariously sealed under the Runit Dome in the Marshall Islands.
According to Edwina Hughes of ICAN Aotearoa New Zealand, the Pacific is "one of the regions most irreparably harmed by the insane pursuit of nuclear weapons supremacy".
But she said staunch opposition and resistance to nuclearisation had continued over decades across the region.
"The tragic legacy of nuclear detonations by Britain, France and the US remains and the risk of collapse of both Moruroa and Fangataufa atolls - which so far as we can ascertain are not monitored - causing a radioactive tsunami is an ongoing threat to the region," Hughes said.
Ahead of this month's treaty breakthrough, the United States urged countries that have ratified it to withdraw their support.
In 2017, when the treaty was approved by a majority of the 193 member states of the United Nations, diplomats from the US, Britain and France said their countries didn't intend to ever become party to the treaty, saying it disregarded "the realities of the international security environment".
Meanwhile, Griffen said it was important for Pacific people to be able to exercise their voice on this issue.
"I'm always concerned about Maohi Nui/French Polynesia which is still a colony of France, it's occupied area," she said.
The Pacific Islands' experience with nuclear testing meant it must take a leadership role in pushing for accountability for the destructive legacy of nuclear weapons.
"We may seem small as states, and had always taken that position of feeling that we're small, insignificant states, but in terms of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament, we should absolutely be there in the forefront of implementing this treaty," Griffen said.
The push to encourage more nations to ratify the treaty is ongoing.