In 2006 in Montauban, I had the privilege to be elected on the AVEN board of trustees. As my 4th mandate came to an end in the very same city on 12th October 2018, I made the decision to withdraw after 12 years exclusively devoted to advocating the nuclear veterans’ cause, 9 of which as President, with one sole objective: obtain compensation for the victims.
In this process, I have met (as far as I remember) 2 heads of State, 18 Ministers, 105 Senators and 230 MPs. I had initiated a bill for the “Recognition and Compensation of the Victims of French Nuclear Tests”. However, as the terms of the bill were too restrictive, so I called for a parliamentary commission of inquiry and negotiated three modifications of the law until a genuine compensation procedure was available.
I participated in a number of television discussions on national and local channels and engaged with just about all radios and written media, including the foreign media (BBC, Switzerland, Germany, Japan).
I have often been criticized, sometimes even sullied, but no one could divert me from my objective, which I pursued with fearless determination. Today, realistic levels of compensation are being made. Recognition still has to be obtained and I will continue to campaign for it together with my successor at the head of AVEN.
From now on, I want to reconnect with my friends and relatives and also, selfishly, look after myself. But I am not completely giving up AVEN and I will remain at the disposal of the next president when it comes to the relationships with the media and political leaders.
I will also continue to defend the veterans wishing me to do so before the Compensation Committee (CIVEN). Indeed, the results obtained prove how instrumental I have been in that field and I think it would be irresponsible from me to completely give up this mission.
AVEN also has further battles to wage concerning the follow-up of the veterans’ offspring. The international meetings I have initiated since 2012 have evidenced the health issues of French, American and British veterans’ offspring, as well as that of indigenous populations’. This is why, as President of OBSIVEN, an organisation I created, I will continue to pay close attention to the consequences of nuclear tests at national and international level.
OBSIVEN is a new challenge for which I will now work the same level of fearless determination that I gave to AVEN.
Studies have to be conducted in each country and territory where nuclear tests have taken place.
They will have to be carried out under the oversight of every single country, but under the unbrella of OBSIVEN. Therefore, other national or territorial OBSIVEN will have to be created like OBSIVEN-US or OBSIVEN-Fiji, Marshall, Polynesia, etc., similar to OBSIVEN-UK in the United Kingdom which is chaired by Nigel Heaps MBE.
Each country will conduct their studies according to their own legislation and ethical codes. The results will be published internationally through one body OBSIVEN, as the only means of calling upon organisations like WHO and UNO to address a public health issue that is due to exposure of the veterans and the local populations and also to address possible consequences with the offspring.
I am confident that the publication of this variety of studies through one single body will allow us to be more successful than previously published studies that were quickly refuted. Indeed this non acceptance could be justified as studies have been conducted on only one population or cohort, therefore often too narrow and focused.
Thank you to those who will support me, thank you to those who will help me. As to those who are used to critical inaction, I will forget them soon as I am someone who keeps taking action, knowing that those who keep inactive will always be on the safe side.
With most friendly regards,