The Marshall Islands were the site of the United States’ biggest nuclear tests 60 years ago. Now this small island nation is leading the charge against atomic weapons and taking eight nuclear powers and Israel to court.
The country wants the International Court of Justice to order nuclear powers to work towards a ban on atomic weapons.
“All the nuclear weapons states are modernizing their arsenals instead of negotiating, and we want the court to rule on this,” says Phon van den Biesen, leader of the islands’ legal team.
The Marshall Islands launched the lawsuit in April 2014 and made its first written arguments to the court in December. Though the campaign is expected to run into legal and political obstacles, the country hopes that its painful history can rekindle global concern about nuclear proliferation.
Join the global movement for nuclear disarmament! Sign the Nuclear Zero petition supporting the Marshall Islands’ case against atomic weapons.
A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals, Marlise Simons, The New York Times, 27 December, 2014.
Tony de Brum at the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits Forum, Tony de Brum, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 12 December, 2014.
Marshall Islands Nuclear Lawsuit Reopens Old Wounds, Lucy Westcott, Newsweek, 1 August, 2014.