Top UN court rejects Marshall Islands nuclear case against Pakistan

Top UN court rejects Marshall Islands nuclear case against Pakistan.

The UN’s highest court on Wednesday threw out an epic case brought by the tiny Marshall Islands against India, Pakistan for allegedly failing to halt the nuclear arms race.

The UN’s highest court Wednesday threw out a bid by tiny Marshall Islands to sue Pakistan for “failing to halt the nuclear arms race”, moments after rejecting a similar case against India.

“The court upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by Pakistan based on the absence of a dispute between the two parties,” judge Ronny Abraham told the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and “cannot proceed to the merits of the case”

The archipelago is seeking to shine a fresh spotlight on the global threat of nuclear weapons.

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But in a majority verdict by nine votes to seven “the court upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by India,” presiding judge Ronny Abraham said, and therefore the tribunal “cannot proceed to the merits of the case.”

The tribunal, set up to resolve rows between nations, found it lacked the jurisdiction in the case as there had been no prior recorded dispute or negotiations over the nuclear issue between the Marshall Islands and India.

The tiny Pacific island nation was ground zero for a string of nuclear tests on its pristine atolls between 1946-58, carried out by the United States as the Cold War arms race gathered momentum.

Initially in 2014, Majuro accused nine countries of failing to comply with the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which seeks to inhibit the spread of atomic bombs.

But the ICJ already failed to take up cases against the other countries — China, France, Israel, North Korea, Russia and the United States — as they have not recognised the court’s jurisdiction.

Israel has also never formally admitted to having nuclear weapons.

The Marshall Islands has maintained that by not stopping the nuclear arms race Britain, India and Pakistan continued to breach their obligations under the treaty — even if New Delhi and Islamabad have not signed the pact.

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