Santa Barbara – 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.
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-letter.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has supported the Marshall Islands and their bold initiative since the project’s inception, serving as their strategic consultant while also assembling and coordinating a coalition of U.S. and international experts providing legal counsel to the Marshall Islands.
“The Marshall Islands has given humanity a wake-up call. Each of us has a choice. We can wake up, or we can continue our complacent slumber,” said David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Founation. “The safety and security of every inhabitant of the planet, now and in the future, is at stake.”
Anyone wishing to support the Marshall Islanders can do so by signing the #NuclearZero petition calling on nuclear weapons nations to urgently fulfill their moral duty and legal obligation to begin negotiations for complete nuclear disarmament. Visit www.nuclearzero.org
Read the Greenpeace blog, Marshall Islands takes on the nuclear-armed states, for all our sakes, at www.bit.ly/gp-zero. Follow the Nuclear Zero lawsuits at facebook.com/wagingpeace and twitter.com/napf. And follow Greenpeace at facebook.com/greenpeace.international and twitter.com/greenpeace.