Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Lawsuits Gain Momentous Support


Runs 10/17/14 through 10/24/14


(THEME UP AND UNDER) This is the CCNS News Update, an overview of the latest nuclear safety issues, brought to you every week by Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety. Here is this week’s top headline:

* Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Lawsuits Gain Momentous Support

Over 70 leaders from 22 countries delivered a letter to the people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in support of their courageous action in April when they filed nine unprecedented lawsuits in the International Court of Justice to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for flagrant violations of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law.

In a strong show of unity and encouragement, the leaders included Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire; letter coordinator John Hallam, of People for Nuclear Disarmament/Human Survival Project, in Australia; and many other peace and social justice leaders, such as Kathy Wanpovi Sanchez, of Tewa Women United, based in Española, New Mexico.

The letter says, “In taking this action, you, and any governments that choose to join you, are acting on behalf of all the seven billion people who now live on Earth and on behalf of the generations yet unborn who could never be born if nuclear weapons are ever used in large numbers. You are also acting on behalf of all our ancestors throughout tens of millennia who will have their intellectual, cultural and scientific achievements cancelled should humanity terminate itself through the inadvertent or deliberate use of nuclear weapons.”

Further, the leaders wrote, “Win or lose in the coming legal arguments, what you, and any who join you, will do has the deepest moral significance, going far beyond the specific interests of any country or government and beyond the usual calculations of national self-interest.”

The island nation, located in the northern Pacific Ocean, has a population of about 70,000 people who live on 24 low-lying coral atolls. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. government used the islands for above-ground testing of 67 nuclear weapons.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a consultant to the Marshall Islands on the legal and moral issues of the case, commented, “The Marshall Islanders are unselfishly acting for the good of all humanity. This small island nation is the true David standing up to the nine nuclear Goliaths. The Marshallese people have suffered irreparable damage from the U.S. nuclear testing program. Yet this lawsuit does not seek monetary reparations. Rather, it seeks the fulfillment of promises made for negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons so that no other nation will suffer as they have. The courage of this small island nation is remarkable.”

The Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, presented the letter to Parliament on the last day of their 2014 session.

To read the letter in its entirety, go to To learn more about the unprecedented litigation, visit


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