Regional Denuclearisation—II Treaty of Rarotonga: Nuclear- Free South Pacific?

-Savita Pande,Research Fellow, IDSA


The second populated region to become a nuclear-free zone was the South Pacific. This was done by a treaty which was opened for signatures in Rarotonga in the Cooks Island in 1985. The treaty, inspired as it was by its predecessor, the Tlatelolco Treaty was a regional initiative and has considerable history behind it.

History of Negotiation

The Australian Labour Party (ALP) was attracted to the concept as early as 1962, after successful denuclearisation of Antarctica in 1959. The New Zealand Labour Party was drawn to it after the successful completion of the Tlatelolco Treaty in 1967. Between 1972-75, the Labour government of New Zealand pursued a strongly anti-nuclear stance in its foreign policy, banning port visits by nuclear-armed ships, opposing French nuclear testing in the South Pacific, supporting calls for an Indian Ocean Zone of Peace and laying the groundwork for a regional nuclear-free zone.

At the 1975 meeting of the South Pacific Forum in Tonga, the member countries unanimously commended the idea of a South Pacific Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (NWFZ) as a means of keeping the region free of the risk of nuclear contamination. A communique to that effect was issued on July 3, 1975, by the Forum. On August 15, Fiji and New Zealand wrote to the UN Secretary- General asking that the item on the NWFZ be included in the then forthcoming 30th session of the UN General Assembly. The explanatory memorandum and the draft resolution accompanying the note emphasised that the regional approaches to eliminating nuclear weapons had become important because of the meagre results obtained by the global efforts.1

At the time of presenting the draft resolution the then newly independent Papua New Guinea joined the two countries as a co-sponsor. The resolution was adopted in the First Committee by a vote of 94-0, with 18 abstentions, and in the General Assembly on December 11, 1975, with a vote of 110-0-20 (Resolution 3477).2. China was the only country to vote in favour. Britain, France, the USA and the USSR expressed general sympathy, but abstained on the vote because of fears for their rights upon the high seas.

The Labour Party's hold on office proved too short-lived to give a final shape to the South Pacific NWFZ. The National Party government of Robert Muldoon was unsympathetic to such notions. In March 1976, Australia and New Zealand used the South Pacific Forum meeting in Rotorua to obtain a joint declaration that a regional NWFZ would respect the freedom of the high seas and the existing security arrangements. Thus, as Ramesh Thakur says, "The return of American nuclear ships to New Zealand harbours was entirely consistent with the National's [Party's] approach."3

The return of Labour Governments in Australia and New Zeland provided the impetus. Australia took the proposal to the 14th meeting of the South Pacific Forum in Canberra in August 1983. The Forum countries condemned continued French testing in the South Pacific and dumping and storing of nuclear waste material in the Pacific.

The next step was the establishment of a working party, chaired by Australia and funded by Australia and New Zealand, to look into the gamut of legal, political and economic issues in establishing the desired treaty-based NWFZ. It held five meetings to negotiate a draft treaty: in Suva in November 1984, and later in Canberra, Wellington and Suva in February, April, May and June 1985 respectively. Various Forum countries participated in the deliberations. The actual drafting of the treaty was entrusted to a legal sub-committee set up at the Suva meeting in November 1984. The draft treaty was adopted by the full Forum meeting at Rarotonga on August 6, 1985. Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zeland, Niue, Tuvalu and Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea signed the treaty on September 16, 1985.4 For Papua New Guinea the day also marked the tenth anniversary of its independence. Vanuatu, however, broke the Forum tradition of consensual decisions when Prime Minister Walter Lini declared on the day after the treaty's adoption (August 7, 1985), that he would not be signing the treaty, despite the fact that the country had declared itself nuclear free. It eventually decided to accede to the treaty, albeit 10 years later. Only Forum members could accede to the treaty. The Director of the South Pacific Bureau for Cooperation (SPEC) is designated as the depository of the treaty.

On August 8, 1986, the Forum agreed on the wording for three protocols applicable to nuclear weapon states, which were opened for signatures on December 1, 1986. Australia become the eighth state to deposit the instruments of ratification in Suva, bringing the treaty into force. In May 1988, the Soviet Union ratified the second and third protocols. On January 4, 1989, China deposited its instruments of ratification to the second and third protocols. France, Britain and the United States, following the completion of French nuclear testing , signed the protocols on March 24, 1996.

The Arms Control Reporter of 1997 lists 12 parties to the treaty Australia (1986), Cook Islands (1985), Fiji (1985), Kiribati (1986), Nauru (1987), New Zealand (1986), Niue (New Zealand oversight, 1986), Papua New Guinea (1989), Solomon Islands (1989), Tuvalu (1986), Vanuatu (year not mentioned), Western Samoa (1986). The Federated States of Micronesia have observer status. The states outside the zone that are eligible to join include Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau. The first two became eligible to join the treaty by becoming members of the Forum in May 1987 and Palau become eligible when it did so in May 1994. Tonga has signed but not ratified the treaty.

The British territory within the zone is Pitcairn; the French territories are French Polynesia, Wallis and Fortuna and New Caledonia; the United States has American Samoa and Jarvis Island; and New Zealand has Tokelau. In addition, New Zealand has two self-governing overseas territories which belong independently to the South Pacific Forum and, following accession, to the zone: Cook Island and Niue.

Under Protocol 1, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom were required to apply the basic provisions of the treaty to their respective territories in the zone established by the treaty. The other two protocols have been discussed later.

The nuclear weapon states had conducted 226 nuclear tests, including 89 atmospheric tests on the territory covered by the treaty in the South Pacific. France completed its final series of six nuclear tests on Murora in January 1996.

Collapse of ANZUS

The conclusion of the Treaty of Rarotonga coincided with the de facto collapse of the ANZUS alliance, the 1951 Australia-New Zealand- United States defence pact. The collapse was brought about by New Zealand's refusal to allow nuclear-armed as well as nuclear-powered naval units into its ports. The attitude reflected public opinion in the country, where an overwhelming majority of people desired that their defence be arranged in a way that ensured that the country remained nuclear-free. This anti-nuclear posture—subsquently embodied in a special law underpinning the South Pacific NWFZ—proved unacceptable to the United States, which cancelled its naval exercises with New Zealand, stopped its long-established relationship with that country and suspended its security obligations to it. At one point, even sanctions in the field of trade were contemplated. According to the United States, by barring US warships, New Zealand had placed in jeopardy the collective capacity of the alliance to resist an armed attack. 5

Scope and Obligations

The arms control objectives of the treaty are specified in its first three Articles. Accordingly, each signatory undertakes:

(1) Not to manufacture or otherwise acquire, possess or have control over any nuclear explosive device inside or outside the zone, or to seek or receive assistance with such activity, or give assistance to other states engaged in such activity (Article 3);

(2) To prevent the stationing of any nuclear explosive device in its territory defined as "emplantation, emplacement, transportation on land or inland waters, stockpiling, storage, installation and deployment" (Article 5);

(3) To prevent in its territory the testing of any nuclear explosive device and not to assist in the testing activity of any other state (Article 6).6

In relation to the latter two undertakings, "territory" refers to internal waters, territorial sea and archipelagic waters, the sea and the subsoil beneath the land territory and the airspace above them.

Protocol 3, prohibiting tests of any nuclear device anywhere in the zone, was opened for signature by all the nuclear powers, but it was clearly addressed to France, the only state which was engaged in such tests in the region at the time of signing.

By "nuclear explosive device" the treaty means any nuclear weapon or other explosive device capable of releasing nuclear energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used. The term includes such a weapon or a device in unassembled or partly assembled form, but does not include the means of transport or delivery of such a weapon if separable from and not an indivisible form of it (Article 10).7 The treaty's definition of nuclear weapons also excludes the communication and surveillance facilities which are also an integral part of nuclear weapons.

What this adds up to then is a prohibition on the presence of nuclear weapons, or on their manufacture or testing, anywhere in the territories of South Pacific states, up to the twelve nautical mile sea limit. There is one very significant qualification to this general prohibition. The treaty specifically allows each state to make an exception to the nuclear weapons that may be aboard ships that are visiting its ports or navigating its territorial sea or archipelagic waters, and for weapons that may be aboard aircraft that are visiting its airfields or which are transiting its airspace (Article 5). The treaty does not compel the signatories to allow such involvement. It leaves such decision to the state concerned. Both are beyond the legal jurisdiction of South Pacific states and are, in any case, activities protected by international law. This is enforced by a specific reference in the treaty to the fact that none of its provisions seek to contravene international law with regard to the freedom of the seas.

In an attempt to ban direct nuclear weapon presence on land while not prohibiting related activities or the transit of nuclear- armed ships or aircraft, the treaty resembles the Tlatelolco Treaty. The South Pacific Treaty goes, however, beyond Tlatelolco in two important respects: it bans peaceful nuclear explosions as well as explosions concerned with weapon testing; and it bans the dumping of radioactive wastes into the sea. On the other hand, the Tlatelolco Treaty appears to achieve a more complete geographical coverage of the region. This is because nearly all the Latin American region is land, which consequently falls within the jurisdiction of zonal states. In the South Pacific, most of the region is ocean, therefore, falling outside the control of the treaty signatories.

Geographical Area

The scope of the treaty in geographical terms is defined by membership of the South Pacific Forum, the regional organisation comprising the independent states of the region. Although the actual area of application of the nuclear prohibitions is confined to the territory of the Forum countries, and the dependencies for which administering powers sign, the treaty defines the geographical scope of the South Pacific NWFZ in a much broader fashion. The boundaries stretch from the border of the Latin American NWFZ in the east to the west coast of Australia in the west, and from the border of the Antarctic zone in the south to the equator—with some extension into the northern hemisphere to include Kiribati—in the north.

More specifically, the South Pacific NWFZ ranges from 115 degrees east to 115 degrees west, and from the equator to 60 degrees south . To the east, the zone is joined with the Latin American zone at 115 degrees west; its southern boundary coincides with the outer limit of the Antarctic at 60 degrees south; its western boundary is formed generally by the equator, with a few ups and downs to fit certain specified contours.

This includes a vast area of ocean over which the treaty signatories do not have jurisdiction, and in relation to which the treaty does not seek to apply any nuclear prohibitions. It included the French territories which fell outside the jurisdiction of the treaty, unless France signed. This concept of the region, then, termed a "picture frame" approach, represented an intended area of approach.8 In effect, it was a political concept. The fact that French Polynesia was included in it did not mean that nuclear testing would have ceased there. French Polynesia's inclusion was intended to facilitate the political objectives of the treaty members who wanted testing to be halted. In addition, the picture frame approach was used to project that the South Pacific zone was building onto existing nuclear-weapon-free zones in Latin America and Antarctica.9


The Treaty of Rarotonga establishes two levels of control machinery to verify compliance of parties with treaty obligations: regional and international. 10 Regionally, the control system comprises the three elements of reports and information exchange, consultations and complaint procedure. Any significant development affecting the operation of the treaty has to be reported to the Director of the SPEC who then circulates the report to all the members. The parties are also encouraged to exchange pertinent information through the Director; and the Director is required to submit an annual report to the Forum on the status of the treaty. The Director is further authorised to convene an ad hoc Consultative Committee at the request of any party for consultation and cooperation on any matter in connection with the treaty. Each party is required to appoint one member to the commitee; a quorum is constituted by half the parties, and decision is made by consensus or two-thirds majority voting. A party suspecting violation of the treaty by any other party must raise the issue with the latter. If the matter is not explained to the satisfaction of the committee, the latter is empowered to direct that a special inspection be carried out by three qualified inspectors appointed in consultation with the complainant and "defendant" parties. The inspectors are to be given full and free access to all the places within the territory of any party. They will operate under the direction of and shall report in writing to, the Consultative Committee. The committee then reports to the Forum members on whether a party is breaching treaty obligations. If the conclusion does not establish such a breach then the subject is to be referred to a promptly convened meeting of the South Pacific Forum (Articles 9, 10 and Annex 4).11

At the regional level, therefore, the Treaty of Rarotonga emulates the Latin American model, establishing procedures and machinery to facilitate on-site challenge and spot inspections.

Internationally, the South Pacific NWFZ requires submission to full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards i. e. to be applied to all sources of fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of the party, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere. Each party is required to negotiate, conclude and bring into force IAEA safeguards within 18 months of the South Pacific NWFZ being in force for it.

Each party is given the right to ask for the copies of the overall conclusions of all IAEA inspection reports on the nuclear activities of zonal members.

Entry into Force

According to Article 15, the Rarotonga Treaty entered into force upon the deposit of the eighth instrument of ratification. This procedure was much simpler than provided for in the Treaty of Tlatelolco. Also the renunciation formula of the Treaty of Rarotonga is different. It is more restrictive than that of the Treaty of Tlatelolco because it concedes the right of withdrawal only in the event of violation of a provision essential to the objectives of the treaty, and it requires a 12 months' notice (Article 13) 12. Reservations are not allowed (Article 14).

Security Assurances

Protocol 2 of the Rarotonga Treaty provides for nuclear powers to give assurances not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against parties. As regards this protocol, the Soviet Union stated that in case of action taken by a party or parties violating their commitments concerning the status of the zone, it would consider itself free of its non-use commitments. The same would apply in case of aggression committed by one or several parties to the treaty supported by a nuclear weapon state, or together with it, involving the use by such a state of the territory, airspace, territorial sea, or archipelagic waters of the parties for visits by nuclear weapon-carrying ships and aircraft or for transit of nuclear weapons. Eventually, however, the Soviet Union ratified Protocols 2 and 3 without reference to the above statement.

China signed the same protocols with an understanding that it might reconsider its obligations if other nuclear weapon states or parties to the treaty took action in gross violation of the treaty and its protocols, thus changing the status of the zone and endangering the security interest of China. This understanding was not referred to at the time of ratification.

The Unites States stated that its practices and procedures in the South Pacific were not inconsistent with the treaty and its protocols, while the United Kingdom said that it would respect the intentions of the states in the region. In October 1995, both countries and France jointly announced their intention to sign all protocols in the first half of 1996 (that is, after the planned termination of the last series of French nuclear tests in the Pacific).13

The signing of the protocols by the three Western nuclear powers took place on March 25, 1996. In signing the treaty, France also announced that the right of passage of ships transporting nuclear waste would be restricted in its territorial waters. The United States, however, said it would not accept any limitation on right of passage of its nuclear vessels and aircraft in the region. In a joint statement before the signing cermony, the new treaty adherents declared," (the decision to sign the treaty) underlines our wish to see a permanent end to nuclear testing throughout the world. It will give a further boost to the negotiations for a comprehensive test ban treaty, which we believe should be completed in the first half of 1996."14

In its statement of reservation and interpretation, the French government made it clear that it did not consider its inherent right to self-defence to be restricted by the signed documents, and that assurances provided for in Protocol 2 were the same as those given by France to non-nuclear weapon states parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it would not be bound by its undertaking under Protocol 2 in the case of an invasion or any other attack carried out or sustained by a party to the treaty in association or alliance with a nuclear weapon state, or if material breach of the non-proliferation obligations under the treaty were committed. 15 The US government signed the protocols without reservation, but its spokesman said that "certain declarations and understandings" would be proposed to the Senate for incorporation in the resolution of ratification.16 At its September 1996 meeting, the Forum established a relationship with France


Forum countries had different approaches to the NWFZ. The "conservative pole, represented by Fiji and Tonga", was determined to reject any concrete impact upon existing security policies and practices; they would have left open the stationing of American ships in the region to a future date. Tonga, in fact, did not even participate in the working party sessions leading up to the Rarotonga meeting. The "radical pole" represented by Vanuatu, favoured banning all types of nuclear involvement in the region and extending the zonal boundary to bring Micronesia within its scope. Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands too leaned towards a more comprehensive treaty, which banned the transit of nuclear ships through the region. New Zealand, although more radical in its national policy, was prepared to support the Australian draft as a compromise broadly acceptable to the Forum countries . The Hawk government for its part insisted that ANZUS obligations and its security obligations were not negotiable.17 Therefore, negotiating the treaty was a formidable political exercise.

Although Australia and New Zealand were pushing for the treaty at that particular time and in that particular form, the treaty should not be seen as representing the result of an effort by these two countries trying to push the reluctant countries of the region into signing a treaty considered to be an anathema. On the other hand, there was a longstanding anti-nuclear sentiment throughout the South Pacific Islands. All of these countries actively opposed French nuclear testing and Japan's proposals to dump radioactive wastes in the Pacific, and in 1975, they went as far as supporting the New Zealand inspired proposal for a South Pacific NWFZ. The existence of anti-nuclear sentiment provided a base upon which the Australian proposal could build.

The unanimous agreement could be so because of the several favourable strategic conditions in the South Pacific. Unlike many other regions, there are no serious tensions between the countries or between the South Pacfic states and countries outside the area, at least none that would prompt a South Pacific state to want to keep open the option to "go nuclear." The countries of the region were generally very cooperative to each other, and the South Pacific Forum provided the vehicle for the promotion of such an agreement. More important than all this was the fact that the region was already nuclear-free as provided for in the treaty, except in the case of French Polynesia. This restricted the debate about the possible consequences of the treaty in terms of future contingencies.

The document also represented a political exercise within Australia. The issue was essentially the same—the degree to which US nuclear involvement would be controlled. The Labour government came to office with a commitment to ANZUS and to a nuclear-free Pacific. Its subsequent partial nuclear-free zone initiative was a balance between two contradictory objectives. To reflect the majority view in the party and the electorate, the Australian proposal had to leave out of the regional initiative any prohibition on the United States' nuclear activity that would have been seen by Washington or the Australian electorate as constituting the dismantling of the security pact with the United States.

The Treaty of Rarotonga is considered an improvement upon the Tlatelolco Treaty in preventing dumping of nuclear wastes. In fact, it calls upon the parties to support the conclusion of a global convention on the matter. In 1983, the United Nations had set up the London Dumping Convention in an attempt to control the dumping of radioactive waste at sea. In 1983, the Convention had imposed a two-year moratorium on low-level radioactive waste. At the 1985 meeting, Australia, Kiribati, Nauru and New Zealand from the South Pacific were among the countries deciding to impose an indefinite moratorium. (Seven countries, including Japan, had abstained; six, including Britain, France and the United States, voted against).18 Interestingly, while dumping of radioactive wastes is prohibited at sea, the treaty does not prohibit storing or dumping of nuclear materials on land. The South Pacific Forum meeting in September 1996, focussed on two proposals for storing nuclear materials: one for the Marshall Islands and a private one by the US based KVR, Inc., which would store Russian plutonium on Palmyra Islands, owned by the United States. Palmyra sits in the Line Islands, north of Kiribati and just outside the zone.

The treaty is also considered an improvement upon the Tlatelolco Treaty in the context of banning nuclear explosions even for peaceful purposes. The Tlatelolco regime permits parties "to carry out explosions of nuclear devices for peaceful purposes—including explosions which involve devices similar to those used in nuclear weapons" subject to certain informational requirements (Article 18). The South Pacific NWFZ, however, prohibits the manufacture, acquisition, control or testing "of any nuclear explosive device" (Articles 3 and 6). Article 1 defines nuclear explosive device as "any nuclear explosive device capable of releasing energy, irrespective of the purpose for which it could be used."

The Treaty of Rarotonga was also seen as an improvement upon the Treaty of Tlatelolco in terms of entry into force provisions. Article 28 of the Tlatelolco Treaty stipulates three conditions for the zone to be established: all Latin American Republics must sign and ratify; all relevant states must sign and ratify the protocols; the IAEA safeguards agreement must be concluded. However, a party can waive these conditions, in which case the treaty comes into force for the party upon its ratification. The "success" of the Tlatelolco Treaty has been discussed in the previous issue.19 The Rarotonga Treaty is relatively much simpler in terms of its going into force as soon as eight parties have ratified it. The zone came into effect on December 11, 1986, when Australia became the eighth country to deposit its instrument of ratification.

For the supporters of the NPT, the South Pacific is also seen as stronger than the Tlatelolco Treaty in terms of its being supplementary to the NPT. The nuclear potential countries of the Tlatelolco Treaty were not the members of the NPT when it came into existence. Argentina, Brazil and Chile had all rejected the NPT as discriminatory (for almost 25 years they stayed outside the treaty). The only South Pacific country which did not adhere to the Rarotonga Treaty till 1995 was Vanuatu, which otherwise was a very radically anti-nuclear country in the region.20

The Treaty of Rarotonga is an improvement upon Tlatelolco again in terms of having a longer delay before the regime can be dismantled. The Rarotonga requires a twelve-month period of withdrawal (Article 13), while the Tlatelolco imposes a three-month period of renunciation (Article 30). The treaty also has a very strict criterion for permitting withdrawal—only if there has been a violation by any other party to the treaty. Thus, Australia can withdraw from the NPT if Indonesia acquires nuclear weapons but not from the Treaty of Rarotonga, as Indonesia is not a party to the latter treaty.

In terms of its value as an arms control exercise, it is severely limited by the fact that it sought to denuclearise the non-nuclear states. Almost all countries of the region (except Vanuatu, which had strong anti-nuclear laws otherwise) were non-nuclear parties to the NPT. In this sense, therefore, it is impossible to assess the practical success of the treaty. As for denuclearisation of the region, the treaty is no better if not worse than the Tlatelolco Treaty.

The transit facilities for nuclear-capable aircraft, command, control and intelligence facilities in Australia and New Zealand, and movement of US nuclear forces in the South Pacific waterways remain untouched by the treaty. The treaty makers have skillfully avoided impinging upon the substantial nuclear involvement in the region: its geographical limits exclude the US Micronesian territories; Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands has a permanent missile testing facility; Gaum has a nuclear site and a strategic bomber base at Andersen airfield, both have command and control facilities; and the US had plans for air bases at Palau and Mariana Islands.21

The attempt to define stationing and also prohibiting stationing doesn't mean anything in view of permitting port visits subject to approval of the host country because the duration of a port visit is not defined. Thus, the distinction of home-porting and formal basing is essentially blurred. At one time, Cockburn Sound in Western Australia used to host a nuclear-armed submarine 25 per cent of the time. Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea tried unsuccessfully to define stationing in a way that would include limits on the frequency and duration of nuclear ship visits. Vanuatu as well as Solomon Islands also tried unsuccessfully to ban uranium exports. In fact, even after the conclusion of the treaty, in 1986, Australia decided to resume uranium exports to France, seriously undermining the impact of French tests in the region. This also gave credence to the description of the treaty as a sham, considering that was the triggering event for the zone coming into existence.

The treaty also lacks the machinery for policing compliance with the protocols. A control system has been established for verifying the behaviour of the treaty parties, but not for monitoring the behaviour of the nuclear weapon states within zonal limits. The protocols of the Treaty of Rarotonga also render it static in the sense that they specify three and five nuclear weapon powers. Should any other state acquire nuclear weapons, the treaty would require amendment. One cannot, therefore, but agree with Goldblat's conclusion when he says, "The Treaty of Rarotonga has done little to restrict nuclear activities of the great powers in the South Pacific region. Its geographical scope is limited. Not all states that had become party to the treaty became party to it. Even within the territories of the parties, the total absence of nuclear weapons is not guaranteed. Nevertheless in setting up a second nuclear-weapon-free zone—after the Latin American Zone—in a populated part of the world, the treaty has confirmed the rights of states to conclude agreements aimed at ensuring the denuclearised status of their respective territories."22



1. Text of explanatory memorandum and draft resolution in The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Review, September 1975, pp. 55-7.

2. New Zealand Foreign Affairs Review, November 1975, p. 54 and December 1975, p. 46.

3. Ramesh Thakur, "The Treaty of Rarotonga: The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone," in David Pitt and Gordon Thompson ed., Nuclear-Free Zones (New York: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 26.

4. The Arms Control Reporter, 1985, p. 456, A.1; Ibid., 1986, p. 456, A.1.

5. Jozef Goldbat, Arms Control: A Guide to Negotiations and Agreements, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (Cambridge: Sage Publications, University Press, 1994), p. 156.

6. See text of the treaty, Arms Control Reporter, 1985, pp. 456, D1-D9.

7. Ibid.

8. G.E. Fry, "Regional Arms Control in the South Pacific" in David Pitt and Gordon Thompson ed., n. 3, p. 49.

9. Ibid.

10. Ramesh Thakur, "The Treaty of Rarotonga: The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone," in Pitt and Thompson ed., n. 3, p. 25.

11. Ibid., p. 26.

12. Jozef Goldblat, "Nuclear Weapon-Free Zones: A History and Assessment," The Nonproliferation Review, vol. 4, no. 3, Spring-Summer 1997, p. 24.

13. US Department of State, Office of the Spokesperson, October 20, 1995.

14. US Newswire, March 22, 1996 in Disarmament Diplomacy, July-August, 1996 cited in Arms Control Reporter, 1997, pp. 840, B23-24.

15. Communication from the Legal and Political Officer, South Pacific Forum Secretariat, Suva, Fiji, August 5, 1996, cited in Goldblat, n. 12, p. 25.

16. White House Briefing by NSC senior Director Bell, March 22, 1996.

17. For more detailed explanation of the position of Pacific countries, see G.E. Fry, "Australia, New Zealand and Arms Control in the Pacific Region," in Desmond Ball ed., The ANZAC Connection, (Sydney: George Allen and Unwin, 1985), pp. 106-108.

18. Thakur, n. 10, p. 36.

19. Strategic Analysis, April 1998.

20. Makurita Baaro, "The South Pacific Nuclear-Free Zone Treaty (The Treaty of Rarotonga), in Pericles Gasparini Alves and Diana Belinda Cipollone ed., Nuclear-Free Zones in the 21st Century, (New York and Geneva: Institute for Disarmament Research, United Nations, 1997), p. 50. It says all signatories (including Vanuatu) except for Tonga have also ratified the treaty. Also see Arms Control Reporter 1995, p. 840, B 19 citing Melbourne Radio, August 20, 1995, in FBIS, East Asia, August 21, 1995.

21. Thakur, n. 10, p. 39.

22. Goldblat, n. 5, p. 156.