Treaty of Rarotonga

Treaty Of Rarotonga

Treaty of Rarotonga

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The Treaty of Rarotonga is the common name for the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, which formalizes a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Pacific. The treaty bans the use, testing, and possession of nuclear weapons within the borders of the zone.

It was signed by the South Pacific nations of Australia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Western Samoa on the island of Rarotonga (where the capital of the Cook Islands is located) on August 6, 1985, and has since been ratified by all of those states.

The Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau are not eligible, since they are part of the so-called Compact of Free Association which provides access to nuclear submarines of the United States of America.

Protocols binding other states

There are three protocols to the treaty, which have been signed by the five declared nuclear states, with the exception of Protocol 1 for China and Russia who have no territory in the Zone.

  1. no manufacture, stationing or testing in their territories within the Zone
  2. no use against the Parties to the Treaty, or against territories where Protocol 1 is in force
  3. no testing within the Zone


In 1996 France and the United Kingdom signed and ratified the three protocols. The USA signed them the same year but never ratified them. China signed and ratified protocols 2 and 3...
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