Tiny Marshall Islands drags 9 N-powers, including India, to court
The Hague, March 8: It might surprise India's foreign policy establishment but the Marshall Islands' dogged campaign has brought to the fore the growing voice of the political minnows in global affairs and the rising possibility of them getting a hearing through international bodies of law.
The Marshall Islands-----a small chain of Pacific islands with an area of just 70 square kilometres and population of less than 70,000---on Monday moved the court to force India to seriously engage with nuclear disarmament.
The tiny republic, some of whose islands were once vapurised by nuclear tests, has charged the world's nine nuclear weapon states to have violated the rules of nuclear disarmament.
Besides India, the Marshall Islands authorities have also dragged Pakistan and Britian to the court. While India's case came up for hearing on Monday, the other two countries' turn will come later this week.
The island republic, which was a US protectorate till 1986, saw 67 nuclear tests being carried by 1958. Their impact continues till this day.
Several islands of the republic were ruined as a result of the tests while many others have remained unfit for habitation for thousand of years. Generations have paid a price for these tests as several died, suffered birth defects or are battling cancer.
The six other nuclear powers-the US, China, France, Russia, Israel and North Korea (the last two undeclared powers) were yet to respond to the Marshall Islands' suit which was filed in 2015.
Marshall islands authorities have said while the seven declared powers should abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970, the two others should also be obliged under the customary intenational law.
The island republic said it was a shame that six of the nine states did not even care to respond to their suit.