The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a probe into the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion in the occupied territories.
“Israel continues to systematically violate the rights of the Palestinian people and to give a green light and support for settlers to take over more Palestinian land and to terrorize the Palestinian population,” PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement on Tuesday.
The PLO official further called on the international community not to remain silent on Israel’s expansionist policies.
The Palestinian chief negotiator further noted that while the Israeli regime advanced plans for the construction of more than 3,200 new settlement units in West Bank last month, it concurrently razed about 30 Palestinian homes.
The demolitions made 240 people homeless and more than half of those affected were children, he added.
“The time has come to move to the next stage and investigate” Israel’s settlement construction, “two years since the initial study of the files that Palestine transferred [to the ICC] regarding the colonial settlement regime, the military actions against Palestine, the aggression against Gaza and the issue of the prisoners,” Erekat pointed out.
He described The Hague-based court as the only place to bring Israeli war criminals to justice, noting that Israel’s illegal seizure and annexation of occupied Palestinian land obligates the immediate implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2334.
The statement came on the same day that Israeli officials said they plan to build 3,000 new illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank.
The Security Council Resolution 2334 demands Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
It also states that the building of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
How many millions of innocent people has the USA exterminated since WW2? Too many to count. Now we have these groomed psychopaths, ie, any US administration since Roosevelt, except the Kennedy one, trying to pull a fast one on the sheeple. Blame someone else. Blame Russia especially. How long must we suffer these pathetic lies and propaganda? Now we have a situation where a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize, the Obomber, is accused of massive war crimes. It’s surreal.
Of course, the corporate mainstream media will be the mouthpiece of the incoming propaganda assault.
Wake up world, these people should be facing an International Court of Justice, if we really had one, relieved of all the filthy lucre they accumulated, and jailed for the rest of their miserable lives.
As the voices demanding to bring the sitting US administration to justice are getting louder, Washington is literally in panic, since it may soon be held responsible for hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths. These concerns have recently been intensified by Hillary Clinton’s electoral defeat, since it was obvious for the members of the Obama administration that would have been covering up those influential criminals along with the crimes they’ve committed. Since Hillary herself was heavily involved in the destruction of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, she’s has a deep personal interest in obstructing justice.
The “panicky mood” in the White House was intensified even further by the announcement of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who stated that the ICC would start investigating US war crimes in Afghanistan.
Under these circumstances the White House has started pushing its corporate propaganda machine to vilify Moscow and Damascus, to divert the attention from the damage the US inflicted upon the countries of the region, including Iraq and Syria. Western journalists have been “recommended” to go down hard on Russia, Iran, Syria so that a regular reader would assume that the humanitarian catastrophe and the exodus of migrants from the Middle East is someone else’s fault.
An extensive amount of attention has been drawn to the situation in Aleppo, as virtually all Western leafless would feature pictures of a Syrian girl allegedly rescued from the rubble “after the inhumane bombing” of Aleppo. However, a number of French-speaking sites, in particular, the Réseau international, Antipresse or Arrêt Sur Info have already declared those pictures a blatant manipulation, since the girl has been photographed in several places being carried by three different militants of the “white helmets” that are pretending to be rescuers during the day only to transform into Islamist insurgents as soon as the darkness falls.
At the same time the Pentagon tried to downplay the amount of “collateral damage” that the the US Air Force inflicts in Iraq and Syria. In particular, according to the statement by the representative of the Central Command of the US Armed Forces, Colonel John Thomas, during the period from November 2015 to September 2016 a total of 64 civilians was killed by American air strikes in Syria and Iraq. However, one could hardly call this number “inaccurate”, since it’s a blatant lie.
Last January a single US air strike in the Aleppo region resulted in 24 civilians killed and more than 40 injured. Later on a air strike against the Kurdish village of Sulsana resulted in 19 civilian deaths, among which one may find 3 minors. In July, the village of Tokhars was burying 45 adults and 11 children after a bombardment carried out by the US Air Force. Finally, the village of Hamir lost 9 people to American bombs, including 4 minors. The US Air Force claimed the lives of 167 civilians, including 17 women and 44 minors in the Syrian city of Manbij in the period from May to July.
As for the Mosul assault, that is being heralded in the West as the greatest achievement of “allied forces” to date, it’s been a massacre. On March 20, as the result of a direct hit on the local University, American pilots left 92 civilians dead and 135 more injured. On April 18, the US Air Force destroyed a local tank farm, killing 150 civilians in the process. Finally, on October 21 a funeral procession came under fire in Daquq, leaving behind 21 dead bodies.
The incredibly modest evaluation of the “collateral damage” that US Air Force inflicts upon the Middle Eastern population has been heavily criticized by the Amnesty International along with a number of various experts. The charts that White House present them with show one civilian is being killed in Iraq and Syria per 200 US air strikes… At the same time the Pentagon admits that in Afghanistan there was at least one civilian victim per every 15 air strikes, while the latest report from the White House shows that civilians are being killed each 5 flight against possible terrorist targets in such countries such as Pakistan and Yemen. If these figures are to be applied to the number of air strikes that the US carried out in Iraq and Syria, it will mean that during the US-led air strikes resulted in at least more than 300 civilians killed, while 2,750 civilians looks like a much more accurate number.
The Amnesty International has analyzed the data provided by Syrian human rights activists and local monitoring organizations only to come to the conclusion that a total of 11 air strikes that the Pentagon would launch a total of 300 civilians is to be killed, while Washington would only acknowledge a single death, if any. In total, according to various estimates, in the Syrian conflict has already claimed the lives of more than 300 thousand people.
Therefore, the White House strongly spins the hysteria about the alleged guilt of Russia and Damascus in the deaths of civilians Aleppo, without presenting any evidence, which brings us to the conclusion that this is nothing but a cheap trick used to shift the focus of the public attention from the unbelievable amount of “collateral damage” Washington has been inflicting on Syria illegally, since nobody has invited it. But, as the announcement about the International Criminal Court investigation shows, the war criminals are to be established and brought to justice, no matter how hard they may try to avoid the responsibility for their war crimes.
Martin Berger is a freelance journalist and geopolitical analyst, exclusively for the online magazine
Being a recent recipient of the Western threat of ICC “crimes against humanity” investigation and trial for his war on narcopolitics, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, of which recently Putin has signed Russia’s withdrawal from.
With reference to the List of Indictees and Convicted of the ICC [here], Africa has the monopoly. This, and the absence of any case filed against the perpetrators of the “war of terror” strongly indicate that the ICC is just a tool for regime change for the purpose of exploiting the targeted countries of their resources.
Duterte would be absolutely right to withdraw from the ICC, considering that even the United States and Israel are NOT signatories to the Rome Statute which gave rise to the International Criminal Court. Why?
Because the United States is the military arm of the West.
This setup, i.e. projected disconnect, insulates Western institutions from the genocidal crimes of the US military, giving pseudo-moral high ground for the EU politicians to continue accusing others of “crimes against humanity,” just like they are now doing against Duterte’s war on narcopolitics.
In addition to the planned ICC withdrawal, Duterte has also expressed his unequivocal intention to be “the first to join any new order that China and Russia are planning to establish in the future.” This is obviously the latest iteration to his previous “separation from the United States” policy pronouncement.
The Duterte government continues to enjoy a “very good” performance rating based on the latest Social Weather Stations survey.
THE NATIONAL ADMINISTRATION under President Rodrigo R. Duterte bagged a “very good” net satisfaction rating from the public in his first three months in office, according to a Social Weather Stations survey that bared top marks in the areas of “campaigning against illegal drugs” and “promoting human rights.”
Results of a Sept. 24-27 survey among 1,200 adults nationwide — with sampling error margins of ±3 points for national percentages and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, “Balance Luzon,” the Visayas and Mindanao — found 75% of respondents satisfied, 17% undecided and eight percent dissatisfied with the national government’s general performance.
That yielded a +66 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied, rounded off) net satisfaction rating which the SWS classifies as “very good.”
The country has also posted the highest economic growth in the region, this 3rd quarter.
According to Bloomberg,
“Philippines Posts Strongest Economic Growth in Asia at 7.1%
The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three years last quarter, underscoring the nation’s resilience to global risks as investment surged and consumers spent more. Stocks gained.
Gross domestic product increased 7.1 percent from a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority said in Manila Thursday. The median estimate of 15 economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 6.7 percent
Compared with the previous quarter, GDP rose 1.2 percent, in line with economists’ estimates
Undeterred by risks such as Donald Trump’s protectionist ambitions and President Rodrigo Duterte’s rants against the U.S., the Philippine economy is set to expand more than 6 percent until 2018 to rank among the fastest-growing in the world, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Last quarter’s growth exceeded China’s 6.7 percent and Vietnam’s 6.4 percent in the same period. India, which posted growth of 7.1 percent in the second quarter, is yet to publish GDP data for the three months through September.
Gifted with a young population and backed by $50 billion of revenue from remittances and outsourcing, the Philippines is getting an additional boost from Duterte’s $160 billion-infrastructure plan aimed at creating jobs. Projects include at least $1 billion of contracts to build an airport and a railway to transform a former U.S. military base into a commercial hub.”
President Duterte is attending the APEC Summit in Peru this weekend. He’s said to be taking an “unusual route” to the venue in order to avoid landing in the US which once denied him of a visa.
“Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte made clear last week that he’d rather not travel halfway around the world to attend a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. This year the annual meeting takes place Nov. 19-20 in Lima, Peru. Duterte said he dislikes long-haul flights.
He’s been persuaded to attend, yet instead of flying through Los Angeles—a typical transit point between Manila and Peru, and one that will be used by Filipino journalists covering the event—he’ll make New Zealand his pit stop, according to his administration. That could add about six hours to his flying time, depending on a few variables.”
The International Criminal Court has been used by real criminals to remove uncooperative leaders around the globe. Russia is leaving the fold. More African countries are leaving, too.
The Old World Order continues to crumble…
Russia Pulls Out From International Criminal Court
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on Russia’s refusal to take part in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, according to a document published on the Russian government’s official portal for legal information.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Putin instructed Russia’s Foreign Ministry to send a relevant notification to the UN secretary-general. The Rome Statute, which took effect in 2002, is the basis for the International Criminal Court’s activity. Russia signed the international treaty in 2000 but has not ratified it so far. “The International Criminal Court has not justified hopes placed on it and did not become a genuinely independent and authoritative body,” the document stated.
NAIROBI — Gambia has announced that it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court, the third African country to declare its departure in just two weeks.
Explaining the country’s decision, Information Minister Sheriff Bojang said on state television late Tuesday that the global judicial body was really “an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans.”
Last week, Burundi announced its intention to leave the court, and on Friday South Africa did the same. There are worries that this could be the beginning of an African exodus from the court, a dwindling membership on a continent with a long list of conflicts and human rights abuses.
Experts believe Kenya, Namibia and Uganda could be among the next countries to leave the court.
Why is South Africa pulling out of the International Criminal Court?
By Ellen Powell, Staff October 21, 2016
South Africa announced on Friday that it would withdraw from the International Criminal Court. This makes it the second country this week to pull out, after Burundi filed to leave on Tuesday.
South Africa argues that a commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflict through dialogue involves hosting foreign leaders on its soil – including, at times, ones who have run afoul of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC binds member countries to turn in visitors wanted for alleged crimes, however.
The departures may be a sign that some African nations have lost faith in the ICC. The Court has faced repeated criticism for allegedly pursuing its own agenda with court cases, which some Africans believe disproportionately target the continent.
All but one of the ICC’s 10 investigations have been based in Africa. All five of the Court’s substantive verdicts have been against African suspects. Though cases against non-African countries, including Britain, are undergoing preliminary examinations, the trend has led to calls for an African regional court.
The push to leave the ICC began when the Court indicted Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in 2007, charging him with crimes against humanity after more than 1,000 people died in post-election violence. The case ultimately failed because of lobbying, bribery, and allegations that witnesses had been intimidated. But it frustrated African countries, which largely saw the charges against Kenyatta – a sitting president – as a form of international intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country.
This existence of this grossly lopsided world criminal court was ratified by Russia and 120 others, but not the United States and Israel.
The International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague in the Netherlands. The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore only exercise its jurisdiction when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer investigations to the Court. The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force.
On 17 July 1998, the Rome Statute was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7, with 21 countries abstaining. Because the way each delegation voted was officially unrecorded, there is some dispute over the identity of the seven countries that voted against the treaty. It is certain that the People’s Republic of China, Israel, and the United States were three of the seven because they have publicly confirmed their negative votes; India, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen have been identified by various observers and commentators as possible sources for the other four negative votes, with Iraq, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen being the four most commonly identified.
On 11 April 2002, ten countries ratified the statute at the same time at a special ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, bringing the total number of signatories to sixty, which was the minimum number required to bring the statute into force, as defined in Article 126. The treaty entered into force on 1 July 2002; the ICC can only prosecute crimes committed on or after that date. The statute was modified in 2010 after the Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, but the amendments to the statute that were adopted at that time are not effective yet.
The Rome Statute is the result of multiple attempts for the creation of a supranational and international tribunal.
The ICC is a major component of the planned New World Order administered by a One World Government controlled by the Vatican.
The monopoly of Africans in the List of Indictees and Convicted [here], and the absence of any case filed against the perpetrators of the “war of terror” strongly indicate that this is not a court of justice at all.
So, that, the only recourse is to create our own independent Tribunal…
Lawsuit Against Bush and Blair for War Crimes? International Lawyers Seek Justice for Iraqis
International lawyers and activists converged at a conference titled The Iraq Commission, in Brussels, Belgium, April 16 and 17, with the primary aim of bringing to justice government officials who are guilty of war crimes in Iraq.
“Within a few days of this, a lawless atmosphere developed within my unit,” Ross Caputi, a former marine who took part in the brutal November 2004 siege of Fallujah told the Iraq Commission. “There was a lot of looting going on. I saw people searching the pockets of the dead resistance fighters for money. Some people were mutilating corpses.”
The conference represents the most powerful and most current organized attempt in the world to bring justice to those responsible for the catastrophe in Iraq, and included powerful international lawyers like International Court of Justice lawyer Curtis Doebbler and Louie Roberto Zamora Bolanos, a lawyer from Costa Rica who successfully sued the government of his country for supporting the war in Iraq.
Their goal for the conference was to begin taking concrete steps toward international lawsuits that will bring former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George W. Bush, along with those responsible in their administrations, to justice for the myriad war crimes committed in Iraq.
… While the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court, former president George W. Bush, along with several members of his cabinet including Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, to name but a few, are guilty of war crimes for their roles in creating the conditions for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, according to lawyers at the conference.
“Lest current events cloud principles, and in order to restore focus on the rules of international rules, such as state responsibility, human rights, war crimes, crimes against humanity, there will be no justice for the victims of this crime against peace,” Al-Mukhtar stated, in concluding his opening remarks. “We will discuss practical approaches to ensure accountability and put an end to impunity.”
Tun Mahatir Muhammad, the fourth prime minister of Malaysia (and also the longest-serving prime minister of the country), backs the Kuala Lumpur Initiative to Criminalize War, which aims to make all acts of war illegal. Mahatir provided the conference a video message for the occasion.
“We must criminalize war because we consider the killing of one person by another as murder, and we are even prepared to punish him by taking his life,” Mohammed said. “But if you kill a million people in war, it is glorified, and the killers are given medals and statues and honored. There is a contradiction here, and it is time that killing be made a crime, whether it be in peace or in war. And if it is a crime, whoever starts an aggressive war should be considered a criminal and tried in a court of law. That is why our tribunal has tried Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair and found them both guilty as war criminals.”
… “This ‘war without borders’ is being carried out at the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in world history, which has been conducive to the impoverishment of large sectors of the world population,” he said. “The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The killing of civilians is part of that agenda. The US agenda in the Middle East is to change countries into territories, this is the basis of destabilizing country after country across the world, and instituting PAX Americana.”
Chossudovsky believes that US worldwide militarization is part of a global economic agenda, and the invasion of Iraq was but one component of this agenda.
… the importance of the commission and of the work activists and lawyers have ahead of them, as they strive to bring justice to George W. Bush, Tony Blair and all other members of their cabinets who are responsible for the violations of international law that have occurred, and continue to occur, in Iraq.
“There has been a rollback of international law,” Nijar explained. “And this is why the role of the people’s tribunal now takes on an important role. Because the people alone are the motivating force in making world history.”
In short, it is a modern day Jesuit Inquisition aimed at eliminating all enemies of the Holy Crown.
Can we expect a Donald Trump to rise to the occasion and bring justice to the people of Iraq, and for all those Americans who died during and after WTC 911, by going against his own party by ordering the arrest and prosecution of the Bushes, et.al.?
Will he follow other world leaders who are already moving away from the Pyramid of Satanists into Knights of the Roundtable, in order to create a multipolar world?
Just wait until the world demands reparations for all the war crimes the USA has committed for the last hundred years. It will have to go bankrupt and all its population will become enslaved by the new barbarians that will take over the USA.
Indian MP Shashi Tharoor says the British PM should kneel down before the Indian nation and apologize for the crimes of the former British empire.
A prominent Indian politician says UK Prime Minister Theresa May should kneel down before the Indian nation and apologize for Britain’s past atrocities during its colonial rule.
“People who are not responsible today for the wrongs done by their forebearers in the past era apologize nonetheless to people who are not the ones to whom wrong was done. But it is in a sense an entire society apologizing to entire people,” Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram, told Indian media.
Tharoor, who currently serves as chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, advised the British prime minister to “bend her knees and beg forgiveness” for all the sins committed during the British Raj.
The British Raj refers to the period of British rule on the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947.
“That I think will wash away in many ways the sense that there are wrongs that have not been acknowledged,” said the former minister of state for external affairs.
Tharoor, who has a doctorate in law and diplomacy, has written a book named “An Era of Darkness: The British Empire In India.”
In his book, he sheds light on how Britons almost annihilated India during the height of the British empire. He also highlights the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre, where hundreds of non-violent protesters were killed by British soldiers in 1919.
The Indian MP further slammed ex-UK premier David Cameron’s “mealy-mouthed” apology for the massacre, saying it should not be recognized as a formal acknowledgment of the event.
Renowned journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted the three rules of American exceptionalism:
Greenwald’s astute observations were presumably made in response to Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks that both Russia and Syria should face war crimes investigations for their recent attacks on Syrian civilians.
“Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals, and medical facilities, and women and children,” Mr. Kerry said in Washington, where he spoke alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, as reported by the Independent.
Unsurprisingly, Russia responded by urging caution regarding allegations of war crimes considering the United States has been waging wars in a number of countries since the end of World War II. It has picked up a number of allegations of war crimes in the process.
Kerry’s continuous accusations that Russia bombed hospital infrastructure are particularly hypocritical in light of the fact the United States has bombed hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan on more than one occasion over past decade.
Further, former congressman Ron Paul’s Institute for Peace and Prosperity hit back at Kerry, accusing him of completely fabricating the most recent alleged hospital attack. As the Institute noted:
“In a press event yesterday, before talks with the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault about a new UN resolution, he said (vid @1:00) about Syria:
“‘Last night, the regime attacked yet another hospital, and 20 people were killed and 100 people were wounded. And Russia and the regime owe the world more than an explanation about why they keep hitting hospitals and medical facilities and children and women. These are acts that beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes. And those who commit these would and should be held accountable for these actions.’
“No opposition group has claimed that such an extremely grave event happened. None. No press agency has a record of it. The MI-6 disinformation outlet SOHR in Britain, which quite reliably notes every claimed casualty and is frequently cited in ‘western media,’ has not said anything about such an event anywhere in Syria.”
However, the most disturbing aspect of Kerry’s allegation is that the accusations against Russia run in tandem with Saudi Arabia’s brutal assault on Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the aid of a few regional players — and with ongoing American and British assistance (not to mention billion dollar arms sales) — has been bombing Yemen back into the Stone Age without any legal basis whatsoever. Often, the Saudi-led coalition has completely decimated civilian infrastructure, which has led a number of groups to accuse the coalition of committing war crimes in the process.
Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been struck so routinely that the world has become increasingly concerned the actual targets of the coalition strikes are civilians (what could be a greater recruitment tool for al-Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen?) As noted by Foreign Policy:
“The Houthis and their allies — armed groups loyal to Saleh — are the declared targets of the coalition’s 1-year-old air campaign. In reality, however, it is the civilians, such as Basrallah and Rubaid, and their children, who are predominantly the victims of this protracted war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in airstrikes while asleep in their homes, when going about their daily activities, or in the very places where they had sought refuge from the conflict. The United States, Britain, and others, meanwhile, have continued to supply a steady stream of weaponry and logistical support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition.”
Just take one example of the cruel and disproportionate use of force that Saudi Arabia has used in Yemen (using American-made and supplied aircraft and weapons) — against Judge Yahya Rubaid and his family. As Foreign Policy reported in March of this year:
“According to family members, Rubaid was a judge on a case against Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for treason in absentia. It is unclear whether his house was attacked for this reason. What is clear, however, is that there was no legally valid basis for bombing his home, as he and his family were civilians and under international law should not have been deliberately targeted.”
How Kerry can accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Syria with a straight face is unclear, as reports of atrocious crimes committed in Yemen continue to surface.
This is not to say Russia and Syria should not be investigated for war crimes – but maybe, just maybe, we could live in a world where everyone responsible for committing these gross acts could be held accountable, instead of just those who pose an economic threat to the West.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday rejected three nuclear disarmament cases filed by the Marshall Islands against the United Kingdom, Pakistan, and India, on the grounds that the court does not have the jurisdiction to handle them.
The ICJ, the United Nations’ highest court, ruled 9-8 the plaintiffs did not prove that a legal argument existed between the island country and the three nuclear nations before the case was filed in 2014. The Marshall Islands said the states had failed to fulfill their disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
According to the Associated Press, in the case against the U.K., the panel was deadlocked until ICJ President Ronny Abraham cast a vote in support of the nuclear powers. In Pakistan and India’s cases, the margin was 9-7.
“If the ICJ fails to properly consider their case, where do the Marshallese go to seek justice?” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the U.K.-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
“The U.K. signed the NPT almost fifty years ago, committing to enter negotiations to get rid of its nuclear weapons. Instead, the government is in the process of spending at least £205 billion on new nuclear weapons—with the metal cutting tragically starting today,” Hudson continued. “A mechanism is needed to ensure compliance with this international treaty, as currently the U.K. is dodging its obligations.”
The initial case was filed against nine states in total—the U.K., India, and Pakistan, as well as the U.S., France, Russia, China, North Korea, and Israel—but the other six never made it to the preliminary hearings.
The Marshall Islands has vested interest in disarmament because the tiny Pacific nation served as an unwilling nuclear testing ground for the U.S. from 1946 to 1958. The so-called “Bravo” hydrogen bomb, tested at Bikini Atoll, was estimated to be 1,000 times bigger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Many native residents were forced to flee their lands and thousands were exposed to radioactive material as a result of these tests. Former Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony deBrum testified at ICJ hearings in March that he witnessed nuclear tests as a nine-year-old boy.
“The entire sky turned blood red,” he told the panel at the time. “Many died, or suffered birth defects never before seen and cancers as a result of contamination.”
“Several islands in my country were vaporized and others are estimated to remain uninhabitable for thousands of years,” he said.
Phon van den Biesen, a lawyer for the Marshall Islands, told the AP after the decision, “If the court keeps creating this sort of threshold, what is the court for? It’s a dispute that is clear to all of the world except for eight judges here.”
Hudson added, “It is no wonder that [the Marshall Islands] want to see an end to nuclear weapons.”