Tag Archives: NPT

13 May 2014

A shared obligation to negotiate (and achieve?) nuclear disarmament

Every year since the International Court of Justice’s 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, the UN General Assembly has adopted by a large majority a follow-up resolution. Each resolution reiterates that ‘the continuing existence of nuclear weapons poses a threat to humanity and all life on Earth’, and underlines ‘the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control’. The ICJ derived this obligation from Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which provides that

[e]ach of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

On 24 April 2014 the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) instituted legal proceedings before the ICJ against nine nuclear weapons possessing states: France, India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel, China, Russia and North Korea. (more…)

25 April 2014

The Marshall Islands files ‘unprecedented’ lawsuit against nuclear-armed states in the ICJ

On 24 April, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against nine nuclear-armed states (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) for violations of international law regarding nuclear disarmament obligations according to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. Under Article VI of the NPT, states are required to pursue negotiations ‘in good faith’ on nuclear disarmament and ending the nuclear arms race, of which the nuclear-armed states continue to ignore. While the original five nuclear-armed states are parties to the NPT (US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), the newer nuclear-armed states (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) are not parties to the NPT. However, these states are still bound by the nuclear disarmament provisions under customary international law. (more…)

Source: The Guardian | Marshall Islands sues nine nuclear powers over failure to disarm
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Marshall Islands Sues Nine Nuclear-Armed Powers
Source: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Pacific nation challenges nine nuclear-armed states in lawsuits before the world court

25 June 2013

Obama seeks further nuclear stockpile reductions with Russia

President Obama announced in his foreign policy speech held in Berlin on Wednesday 19 June 2013 that he would seek negotiations with Russia with a view to reducing US strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third, in addition to the cuts already required by the New START treaty. Obama also vowed to push the Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty that was rejected in 1999.

Non-proliferation was also discussed between the US and Russia on the sidelines of the G8 summit, but the President’s speech left unclear how the reductions would be coordinated, saying only that cuts would be negotiated, not committing to a treaty requiring Senate approval, where further cuts are expected to face obstacles. President Putin, speaking in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, did not comment on further reductions and raised instead concern about US missile defenses and high-precision weapons.

Source: The New York Times | Obama Asks Russia to Join in Reducing Nuclear Arms
Source: The Guardian | Barack Obama to call for nuclear stockpile reductions in Berlin speech
Source: CNN | Obama calls for reducing U.S., Russian nukes
Source: Newsmax | Obama in Berlin, Calls for Huge Cuts in Nuclear Arsenal