Marshall Islands Sues Nuclear-Armed Nations

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Just a few hours ago, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits against all nine nuclear-armed nations. All nine were named in applications to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, while an additional lawsuit was filed against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court in San Francisco.

The courage of the Marshall Islands in filing these lawsuits is admirable. The people of the Marshall Islands were subjected to 67 nuclear weapon tests by the United States from 1946-1958. The tests caused untold suffering that continues to this day through cancers, displacement and death.

But the RMI is not filing these lawsuits in retaliation for those nuclear weapon tests. A couple of days ago I spoke with Tony de Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands. He told me, “The Marshall Islands, as close and enduring friends of the United States, view this action as a movement toward universal peace and security, a goal shared with the United States.”
In other words, sometimes friends need to stage an intervention when someone is addicted to something that puts themselves and others at great risk. “Friends don’t let friends threaten the world with nuclear annihilation.”

The lawsuits claim that the nuclear-armed nations are in breach of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Essentially, they are not negotiating in good faith for nuclear disarmament, which is required under the treaty and under customary international law. They are continuing the nuclear arms race by modernizing their nuclear arsenals; Article VI requires that they negotiate an end to the nuclear arms race.

Non-nuclear weapon states have had enough. The nuclear age has gone on for far too long.

You can voice your support for the Marshall Islands’ bold action at