CND regrets this morning’s judgement by the International Court of Justice on the United Kingdom’s nuclear disarmament obligations. Judges threw out a case brought by the Marshall Islands that said the UK, in failing to get rid of its nuclear weapons, was in breach of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The ICJ agreed with the UK’s objection to the case, in which they claimed to be unaware of a dispute with the Marshall Islands on this issue, a legal requirement to proceed.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said:
“The Marshall Islands is one of the main victims of nuclear weapons and has suffered greatly from other states testing warheads over their country. From 1948 – 1956 the United States detonated 67 nuclear weapons test explosions over the Marshall Islands. Several islands were vaporized, others will remain uninhabitable for thousands of years. Many Marshallese died, babies were born with birth defects never seen before, and residents of the islands are still battling with cancers and other radiation-related diseases. It is no wonder that they want to see an end to nuclear weapons.
“If the ICJ fails to properly consider their case, where do the Marshallese go to seek justice? The UK signed the NPT almost fifty years ago, committing to enter negotiations to get rid of its nuclear weapons. Instead, the government is in the process of spending at least £205 billion on new nuclear weapons – with the metal cutting tragically starting today. A mechanism is needed to ensure compliance with this international treaty, as currently the UK is dodging its obligations.”