Nuclear disarmament: Greenpeace Champions the Marshall Islands
an article by Sandy Jones, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (abridged)
Greenpeace, the most inclusive, people-powered
collective movement in the world, is lending its
strong support to the Marshall Islands and the
Nuclear Zero lawsuits. In doing so, they are
sending a clear message to the world that it is
long past time for the nuclear Goliaths to begin
negotiations for nuclear disarmament.
Marshall Islands' foreign minister Tony de Brum
click on photo to enlarge
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace
International said, “We stand with the people of
the Marshall Islands in their fight to rid the world
of nuclear weapons. Having seen their land, sea
and people poisoned by radiation, they are now
taking to task the nine nuclear-armed nations for
failing to eliminate this danger which threatens
humanity at large.” He continued, “Greenpeace
salutes their struggle and joins them in declaring
that Zero is the only safe number of nuclear
weapons on the planet.”
“We are thrilled to have Greenpeace on board in
this unprecedented effort,” said Rick Wayman,
Director of Programs at the Nuclear Age Peace
Foundation. “Their commitment to peaceful
solutions and a better world could not be
stronger, their bandwidth is huge and their ability
to communicate creatively is unparalleled. Having
their support will mean a great deal to the
Marshall Islanders in their efforts to bring the
nuclear-armed nations to the negotiating table.”
The Marshall Islands is a small island nation in the
Pacific whose people have suffered greatly as a
result of U.S. atmospheric and underwater nuclear
tests in the 1940s and 1950s. Led by Foreign
Minister Tony de Brum, this courageous nation is
now at the forefront of activism for nuclear
abolition. “After seeing what mere testing can do
to human beings, it makes sense for the
Marshallese people to implore the nuclear
weapons nations to begin the hard task of
disarmament. All we ask is that this terrible threat
be removed from our world,” said Mr. de Brum.
On April 24, 2014, The Marshall Islands filed
unprecedented lawsuits in the International Court
of Justice and U.S. Federal Court to hold the nine
nuclear-armed nations accountable for flagrant
violations of international law with respect to their
nuclear disarmament obligations under the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and
customary international law. The lawsuits do not
seek monetary reparations. Rather, they seek a
judicial order to require the nuclear-armed
countries to cease modernizing their nuclear
arsenals and to commence negotiations for
complete nuclear disarmament.
In a strong show of unity and strength, Mr. Naidoo
has added his name to an open letter of support
for the Marshall Islands lawsuits. The letter states,
in part, “In taking this action, you [the Marshall
Islands] and any governments that choose to join
you, are acting on behalf of all the seven billion
people who now live on Earth and on behalf of the
generations yet unborn who could never be born if
nuclear weapons are ever used in large numbers.”
In addition to Mr. Naidoo, the letter is signed by
Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, Mairead Maguire, Oscar Arias, Jody
Williams, Shirin Ebadi, and Adolpho Pérez
Esquivel and some 80 other peace and social
justice leaders from more than 25 countries
around the world. To read the letter in its entirety,
go to www.wagingpeace.org/rmi-open-
Question(s) related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?,
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