In 2014, the Marshall Islands, a Pacific Ocean territory with 55,000 people, accused nine countries of “not fulfilling their obligations with respect to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”.
By not stopping the nuclear arms race, the countries continued to breach their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — even if the treaty has not been by signed by countries such as India and Pakistan.
The Marshall Islands will seek to persuade the ICJ, UN’s highest court to take up a lawsuit against India, Pakistan and Britain which they accuse of failing to halt the nuclear arms race.
The International Court of Justice was founded in 1945 to rule on legal disputes between nations.
But the court only admitted three cases brought against Britain, India and Pakistan because they already recognised the ICJ’s authority.
In March 2014, the Marshall Islands marked 60 years since the devastating hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll that vapourised an island and exposed thousands in the surrounding area to radioactive fallout. The 15-megaton test on March 1, 1954, was part of the intense Cold War nuclear arms race and 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Bikini Islanders have lived in exile since they were moved for the first weapons tests in 1946.