The Marshall Islands were the chosen site for a series of nuclear tests in the twentieth century
THE United Nations’ top court announced Thursday (September 22) that it will render its decision early next month in the case the Marshall Islands has brought against India, Pakistan and Britain for not abandoning the nuclear arms race.
“On Wednesday October 5, 2016, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, will deliver its judgements” in these cases, the court said in a statement.
“It is recalled that Judgments of the Court have binding force and are without appeal for the Parties concerned,” the statement added.
The Marshall Islands in the heart of the Pacific Ocean was the scene of numerous nuclear tests between 1946 and 1958. Some 67 nuclear bombs of different force were exploded on its territory.
The government of the archipelago is calling for the three nuclear powers to take “all necessary measures” to carry out what it considers their obligations with regard to the non-proliferation treaty on nuclear weapons.
That 1968 treaty — ratified by London but not Islamabad or New Delhi — requires countries to pursue in good faith the negotiations on measures for nuclear disarmament. The Marshall Islands contends that India and Pakistan also face this obligation under customary international law.
The island nation of just 72,000 people had filed its complaint at ICJ in 2014 against a total of nine countries, the others being China, North Korea, France, Russia, the United States and Israel — which has never officially confirmed it possesses the atomic bomb.
The complaint however cannot be heard against the other six countries unless they give the ICJ the green light.
The nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands took place mainly on the atolls of Bikini and Enewetak. The biggest explosion was the Castle Bravo blast conducted by the United States in 1954, considered 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945.