Marshall Islands case dismissal: India says n-approach vindicated

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) The government said on Thursday that its “responsible and principled approach” towards nuclear disarmament has been vindicated after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismissed a case filed by the Marshall Islands that India was not doing enough on nuclear non-proliferation.

“We believe the judgment vindicates our responsible and principled approach to nuclear disarmament,” External Affairs Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekyl media briefing here.

“By appearing at the ICJ and engaging on the Application brought forward by the Marshall Islands, India has underlined its respect for international law and for the sentiment in the international community for taking forward nuclear disarmament,” he said.

The ICJ on Wednesday ruled against a complaint brought by the Pacific island nation against India that it was not doing enough to halt the nuclear arms race.

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The UN’s top judicial agency, in a 9-7 ruling, said it has accepted India’s arguments that the ICJ should not have jurisdiction in the case.

The judge said the Marshall Islands had failed to show that it has any legal dispute with India fit for the court to adjudicate.

The Marshall Islands originally filed cases against the Permanent 5 countries – US, Russia, Britain, France and China – and India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea for failing “to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament”.

The case was then reduced to claims brought against Britain, India and Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the ICJ, known as the World Court, similarly rejected the claim brought by Marshall Islands against Britain and Pakistan.

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The Marshall Islands was the site of atomic bomb tests by the United States after World War II and it was trying to force the nuclear powers to adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons from 1970.

Swarup, however, said that this was not an issue to be adjudicated legally between two states and that it was a subject for inter-governmental negotiations involving all essential parties.

“As a responsible nuclear weapon state, we remain strongly committed to negotiations on global, verifiable and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament at the CD (Conference on Disarmament) in Geneva,” he added.



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