Motarilavoa Hilda Lini
Motarilavoa Hilda Lini is a chief of the Turaga nation of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu in the South Pacific, and has been an activist for progressive political causes since she was a teenager. Her name is synonymous with the nuclear-free and independent Pacific movement, with women’s rights, with indigenous rights, and with environmental issues. In 1987, she became the first woman elected to Parliament in Vanuatu, following that nation’s independence in 1980. During the early nineties, as Minister of Health, she was instrumental in persuading the World Health Organization to bring the question of the legality of nuclear weapons to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. In 2004 she stepped down as the Director of the Pacific Concerns Resource Center (PCRC) in Suva, Fiji, to travel to New York and represent the Pacific region at the UN Nonproliferation Review Conference. There she was most disappointed by the stonewalling tactics of the U.S. delegation, but remained heartened by the, growing in momentum, majority vision of a nuclear-free world.
“We recognize that the testing, development and use of nuclear weapons is a crime against all humanitarian law…”
“Indigenous Peoples,”Hilda Lini tells us, “have always believed that peace is central to human security and all life forms that exist in a community, a nation, Mother Earth and the universe… As custodians of the Pacific Ocean we continue to condemn the continuous use of the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific for US military target practice of missile heads, which are being used in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Pakistan, Israel and Libya… While the indigenous tribes are custodians of the uranium deposits, all mining on tribal lands are carried out by transnational corporations owned by traditional nuclear weapons states or their allies to serve their nuclear industries, with no benefits to the Indigenous People… Let us learn from the Indigenous Peoples of BIKINI ATOLL, MARALINGA, MONTE BELLO, EMU FIELD, HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI, MALDEN AND CHRISTMAS ISLANDS, SAHARA DESERT, MORUROA AND FANGATAUFA, NEVADA, BELARUS, LONG ISLAND AND INDIA…
“Drawing from the tragic lessons of nuclear atrocities experienced by the Indigenous Peoples we recognize that the testing, development and use of nuclear weapons is a crime against all humanitarian law…
“LET US LEARN FROM NUCLEAR RADIATION VICTIMS AND PREVENT HISTORY FROM REPEATING ITSELF.”