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UN top court dismisses Marshall Islands vs India-Pak-UK nuclear case

By Newsd
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The UN’s highest court has, on Wednesday, ruled to dismiss the case brought by the Marshall Islands against India, Pakistan and Britain for allegedly failing to halt the nuclear arms race, reports AFP. The country of 55,000 was taking on the trio in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), arguing they have failed to comply with the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

From 1946-58, the tiny Pacific island nation was ground zero for a string of nuclear tests carried out by the United States. Initially in 2014, Majuro accused nine countries of failing to comply with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which seeks to inhibit the spread of atomic bombs.

The treaty commits all nuclear weapon states ‘to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament’.

The impact of nuclear tests on Marshall Islands has been severe. Numerous islanders were forcibly evacuated from ancestral lands and resettled, while thousands more were exposed to radioactive fallout.

“Several islands in my country were vaporised and others are estimated to remain uninhabitable for thousands of years,” Tony deBrum, a former Marshall Islands foreign minister, told an ICJ hearing earlier this year reports AFP.

Critics argue the ICJ action is a distraction and the islanders’ real fight is with Washington, which carried out the tests in their backyard.

They contend the case has no relationship to victims’ claims for increased compensation, better health care and clean-ups to make sites habitable again.