Marshall Islands, a chain of islands on the Pacific Ocean, is taking India and other nuclear powers to the International Court of Justice over nuclear disarmament. Marshall Islands was a US protectorate till 1986 but it has faced 67 nuclear tests by 1958. The tests destroyed some islands and made many others inhabitable for 1000 years. Health challenges arising from those tests still plague the 70,000 odd population of the islands.
Case has been launched against the 9 nuclear powers of the world. India, Britain and Pakistan are obligated to respond to cases lodged at the International Court of Justice and India’s hearing was today, 7th March. China, Russia, France and United States have not responded. Neither have North Korea and Israel, undeclared nuclear powers. According to Marshall Islands, declared nuclear powers are obligated to answer to the lawsuit according to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Marshall Islands lawyer Phon van den Biesen said, “It is a shame that the other six nuclear armed states have decided that for them there was no need to respond. Once the threshold to the use of nuclear weapons is crossed, the law will be a joke and justice will be just a relic of the past.”