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British Parliament Voting on Trident Replacement Next Week

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For Immediate Release

Contact:
Rick Wayman or Sandy Jones
(805) 965-3443
rwayman@napf.org or sjones@napf.org

Breaking News:

British Parliament Voting on Trident Replacement Next Week

On Monday, July 18, the UK parliament will vote on whether or not to replace Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapon system.

It is yet unknown whether MPs will be asked to support replacement in principle, or whether they will be asked to consent to the building of four new submarines, at a cost of roughly $53 billion. The lifetime cost of Trident replacement is believed to be at least $266 billion. The UK has already spent over $4 billion on Trident replacement, before the vote has occurred.

Since 1969, a British submarine carrying nuclear weapons has always been on patrol in the world’s oceans. The UK’s current nuclear-armed fleet consists of four submarines. The subs carry up to 16 Trident II D5 missiles, and each can be fitted with a number of nuclear warheads directed at different targets. Currently, the government spends approximately 6% of its annual defense budget on Trident.

What is not widely known is the fact that the UK does not own the Trident missiles, but rather leases them from the United States. British subs must regularly visit the US Navy’s base at King’s Bay, Georgia, for maintenance or re-arming. And since Britain has no missile test site of its own, it tries out its weapons under US supervision at Cape Canaveral, off the Florida coast.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the UK-based Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, (CND) expressed the feeling of many when she said, “It is quite extraordinary that our government should commit itself to such profligate spending when the utility of such submarines–in defense technology terms–has long passed. The government, and all supporters of Trident replacement, are to be condemned for their short-sighted, head-in-the-sand approach to Britain’s defense.”

At present, the UK is being sued in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the highest court in the world, by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The case aims to hold the UK accountable for violating international law by failing to uphold its nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. Replacement of Trident would clearly violate the UK’s obligation to bring the nuclear arms race to an early end and is further evidence the UK considers itself above the law and does not take seriously its treaty commitments.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a consultant to the RMI in its lawsuit, commented, “We support the people of the UK in their move to end the government’s dangerous and expensive plans to replace their Trident submarine fleet. The UK could use this unprecedented opportunity of the vote in parliament to do the right thing by voting down the Trident replacement and commencing negotiations for total nuclear disarmament. This vote is not only about Trident. A ‘NO’ vote will help protect the future of civilization.”

For more information about the RMI’s lawsuit against the UK at the International Court of Justice, visit nuclearzero.org.

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The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in 1982. Its mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. The Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations and is comprised of individuals and groups worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age.

Rick Wayman Receives “Activist of the Year” Award

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Sandy Jones
(805) 965-3443
sjones@napf.org

Rick Wayman (right) receives the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability's 2016 "Activist of the Year" award in Washington, DC.
Rick Wayman (right) receives the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability’s 2016 “Activist of the Year” award in Washington, DC.

Washington, DC– On April 18, 2016, Rick Wayman, Programs Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), received the “Activist of the Year” award from the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA). The award was presented at ANA’s “DC Days” on Capitol Hill, honoring Wayman’s “dynamic leadership in bringing the Marshall Islanders’ Nuclear Zero litigation to world attention, activating the next generation of peace leaders, and guiding ANA as board member and tech guru.”

On April 24, 2014,the Marshall Islands filed landmark lawsuits against the nine nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice and against the United States in U.S. Federal Court for failing to honor their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. NAPF has acted as a consultant to the RMI from the onset of the cases and continues in this role today.

“This award is wonderful recognition of the excellent work Rick is doing,” said David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, resourcefulness and great energy to our NAPF team.”

“DC Days,” held from April 18 – 20, brought together over 60 activists from all over the country, including Grant Stanton, NAPF Junior Fellow, to meet with key Washington representatives from: Armed-Services and Appropriations Committees; the Government Accountability Office; and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

Also honored were Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA); Chuck Montano (whistleblower from Los Alamos National Laboratory); and Kay Cumbow (activist and organizer against nuclear waste in the Great Lakes region).

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The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in 1982. Its mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. The Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations and is comprised of individuals and groups worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age.

Q&A: The Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases at the ICJ

“Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament”

Marshall Islands v. United Kingdom; Marshall Islands v. India; Marshall Islands v. Pakistan

March 7 – 16, 2016; The Hague

 

What is the source of the International Court of Justice’s legal authority?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). It was established in 1945 by the UN Charter. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN bodies and agencies. The Court’s 15 judges are elected by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

Which countries are the Marshall Islands suing, and why?

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has a unique and devastating history with nuclear weapons. From 1946 – 1958 the United States conducted 67 nuclear weapons test explosions over the Marshall Islands, the equivalent of 1.7 Hiroshima-sized bombs daily for 12 years. Castle Bravo, the largest bomb ever tested, was 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. Birth defects never seen before and other radiation-related health effects continue to plague the Marshallese people.

On April 24, 2014 the RMI filed individual Applications in the ICJ instituting proceedings against the nine nuclear-armed States: the U.S., Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea. The RMI contends that each of these States is in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and/or customary international law to end the nuclear arms race and to engage in negotiations on nuclear disarmament.

Article VI of the NPT states: “Each 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.” The UK is a founding member of the NPT, which entered into force in 1970. The U.S., Russia, France and China are also nuclear-armed members of the NPT; nuclear-armed India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea are not. The RMI joined the Treaty in 1995 as a non-nuclear-weapon State and in turn received the binding legal promise of the States parties to the Treaty, including the nuclear-armed States.

In a 1996 Advisory Opinion, the ICJ issued an authoritative interpretation of Article VI and recognized a parallel customary international law obligation, concluding unanimously: “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.” This Opinion is not limited to NPT members; it applies to all States.

No negotiations on nuclear disarmament have ever been initiated and all of the nuclear-armed states are currently engaged in programs to modernize and qualitatively improve their nuclear arsenals, with an eye toward their indefinite retention. India and Pakistan are also engaged in quantitative arms racing.

Why were hearings held only in the cases of the UK, India and Pakistan?

At this time, only the UK, India and Pakistan – among the nuclear-armed states – accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. The other nuclear-armed states were invited to respond to the Applications submitted by the RMI. China declined; the others did not respond.

What was the scope of the hearings?

This stage of the cases was limited to preliminary objections. The UK and India claimed that they have strong records of support for nuclear disarmament, arguing therefore that there is no dispute for the Court to adjudicate. The RMI countered that actions speak louder than words, citing the UK’s consistent record of voting against nuclear disarmament resolutions in the UN General Assembly and its plans to replace its Trident nuclear weapons system. With respect to India and Pakistan, the RMI cited programs underway for expansion, improvement and diversification of their nuclear arsenals. The UK and India also argued that the cases cannot proceed without other states possessing nuclear arms being before the Court; that the relief requested would be ineffective; and that various exceptions to their declarations accepting the jurisdiction of the Court apply, excluding jurisdiction.

Pakistan withdrew from participation in the oral pleadings at the last minute, declaring it had nothing to add to its written submission.

What will happen next?

The ICJ will issue separate rulings in each case, probably within three to six months. If the Court rules in favor of the RMI, the cases will move to the merits phase and more written arguments and hearings will be scheduled. If the Court rules against the RMI in any case, that case will be over.

What relief is the Marshall Islands seeking?

The RMI is asking the Court to declare that the UK is in violation of its obligations under Article VI of the NPT and customary international law by failing to pursue in good faith negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, by taking action to qualitatively improve its nuclear weapons system and to maintain and modernize for the indefinite future, and by failing to pursue negotiations that would end nuclear arms racing. The RMI also requests the Court to order the UK to take all steps necessary to comply with its obligations under Article VI of the NPT and under customary international law within one year of the Judgement, including the pursuit of negotiations in good faith aimed at the conclusion of a convention on nuclear disarmament under strict and effective international control.

The RMI is asking the Court to declare that India and Pakistan are in violation of their obligations under customary international law, by failing to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament, by failing to pursue negotiations on cessation of the nuclear arms race, and by engaging in the quantitative buildup and qualitative improvement of their nuclear forces to maintain them for the indefinite future, contrary to the objectives of nuclear disarmament and cessation of the nuclear arms race. The RMI also requests the Court to order India and Pakistan to take all steps necessary to comply with its obligations under customary international law with respect to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and nuclear disarmament within one year of the Judgement, including the pursuit of negotiations in good faith aimed at the conclusion of a convention on nuclear disarmament strict and effective international control.

The RMI is not seeking monetary compensation in these cases.

Where can I get more information?

A. General information about the cases is available at: nuclearzero.org. Written submissions by the RMI, UK, India and Pakistan, and verbatim records of the oral pleadings are posted at http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=3 Videos and photos from the oral pleadings are posted at www.icj-cij.org/multimedia.

International Court of Justice Concludes Hearings in Preliminary Phase of Historic Nuclear Disarmament Cases

Contact:
Rick Wayman
+1 805 696 5159
rwayman@napf.org

Sandy Jones
+1 805 965 3443
sjones@napf.org

16 March 2016

THE HAGUE – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) today concluded the oral arguments in the preliminary phase of the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) against India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The hearings, which took place at the ICJ from 7-16 March, were the first contentious cases on nuclear disarmament ever heard at the Court. This set of hearings addressed the respondent nations’ objections to the cases relating to questions of jurisdiction and admissibility.

Tony de Brum, Co-Agent and former Foreign Minister of the RMI, recounted to the Court the Marshall Islands’ unique perspective about the effects of nuclear weapons due to 67 U.S. nuclear weapons tests conducted in its territory from 1946-58. In a stunning moment at the opening of the hearing against Pakistan on 8 March, Mr. de Brum had the full attention of the entire courtroom. He said:

Yesterday was a beautiful morning here in The Hague that featured a picture-perfect snowfall. As a tropical State, the Marshall Islands has experienced “snow” on one memorable and devastating occasion, the 1954 Bravo test of a thermonuclear bomb that was one-thousand times the strength of the Hiroshima bomb. When that explosion occurred, there were many people, including children, who were a far distance from the bomb, on our atolls which, according to leading scientists and assurances, were predicted to be entirely safe. In reality, within 5 hours of the explosion, it began to rain radioactive fallout at Rongelap. Within hours, the atoll was covered with a fine, white, powdered-like substance. No one knew it was radioactive fallout. The children thought it was snow. And the children played in the snow. And they ate it.

The Marshall Islands was clear that while their history with nuclear testing gives context to their current actions for global nuclear disarmament, the cases at the ICJ relate specifically to nuclear-armed states’ breaches of Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and/or customary international law.

Phon van den Biesen, Co-Agent of the Marshall Islands, expressed disappointment that there were not nine respondent nations present for this round of hearings. Only India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. Mr. van den Biesen said, “It is a shame that the other six nuclear-armed States [United States, Russia, France, China, Israel and North Korea] have decided that, for them, there was no need to respond to the Marshall Islands’ Applications of 24 April 2014.”

All three respondent nations – India, Pakistan and the UK – claimed in written and/or oral pleadings that they are supportive of nuclear disarmament and that they agree with the Marshall Islands about the need for a nuclear weapons-free world. The Marshall Islands presented specific examples of behavior in direct contrast to such aspirational claims.

Most telling, perhaps, was India’s decision to test-fire nuclear-capable missiles on two days on which the ICJ was hearing the case against it. On both 7 and 14 March, India tested ballistic missiles, an act that Phon van den Biesen, Co-Agent of the Marshall Islands, suggested could be called “contempt of court.”

The United Kingdom, for its part, told the Court that if it ruled against the UK in this case, it would be forced to be the “one hand clapping” among the nuclear-armed states calling for nuclear disarmament negotiations. On 11 March, responding to the UK’s statement, Tony de Brum said, “This is another way of saying that, to the UK, no parties are pursuing in good faith such negotiations. Or, put differently still, it is like the person who, caught in poor conduct, replies: ‘Everybody’s doing it.’”

Pakistan chose not to attend the oral hearings, telling Judge Ronny Abraham, President of the ICJ, in a letter, “The Government of Pakistan does not wish to add anything further to its statements and submissions made in its Counter-Memorial and therefore does not feel that its participation in the oral proceedings will add anything to what has already been submitted through its Counter-Memorial.”

In his concluding remarks, Tony de Brum said, “In its 1996 Advisory Opinion, this Court observed that nuclear weapons ‘have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet’. The Marshall Islands has come before this Court because of its belief in, and reliance upon, the rule of law.”

In its final submissions to the Court, the Marshall Islands asked the judges to adjudge and declare that the Court has jurisdiction over the claims of the Marshall Islands submitted in its Applications of 24 April 2014, and that the claims are admissible.

The 15 judges of the ICJ, along with judge-ad-hoc Mohammed Bedjaoui, will now deliberate on jurisdiction and admissibility issues raised in the written and oral pleadings. The Court will announce its decisions in a public sitting at a date to be announced.

For more information about these ICJ cases in a detailed Question and Answer format, click here.

Contact information for the International Legal Team:

Phon van den Biesen, Co-Agent of the RMI
Attorney at Law at Van den Biesen Kloostra Advocaten, Amsterdam http://vdbkadvocaten.eu/en/phon-van-den-biesen-en/
+31.65.2061266
phonvandenbiesen@vdbkadvocaten.eu

A complete list of the International Legal Team as well as information on the lawsuits can be found at www.nuclearzero.org. The California-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is consultant to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Oral Hearings on the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Disarmament Cases to Begin at the International Court of Justice

March 2, 2016
Contact:
Rick Wayman
+31.68.6489881
rwayman@napf.org

Sandy Jones
+1 805 965 3443
sjones@napf.org

On March 7, 2016, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the world’s highest court, will begin hearings in The Hague, Netherlands, on the preliminary objections raised by the United Kingdom (UK), India and Pakistan in the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The purpose of the hearings is for the Court to determine whether any legal obstacles prevent the cases from going forward to consideration on their merits.

These unprecedented lawsuits were submitted by the RMI to the ICJ on April 24, 2014. They aim to hold the nine nuclear-armed states (U.S., Russia, UK, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea) accountable for violating international law by failing to respect their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law.

The RMI, a tiny island nation in the Pacific, was used for 12 years, from 1946 to 1958, as a testing ground for nuclear bombs by the United States. Sixty-seven nuclear weapons were tested and the health and environmental effects of those tests still plague the Marshall Islanders to this day. The destructive power of the 1954 “Castle Bravo” nuclear test was 1,000 times greater than the bomb that destroyed the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

Tony de Brum, former Marshall Islands Foreign Minister and Co-Agent in the cases, said, “I have seen with my very own eyes nuclear devastation and know with conviction that nuclear weapons must never again be visited upon humanity. Nuclear weapons are a senseless threat to survival and there are basic norms that compel those who possess them to pursue and achieve their elimination. This is the subject of legal action by my country at the International Court of Justice.”

Only the UK, India and Pakistan are appearing before the Court, since only they accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the ICJ. China, the U.S., Russia, France, Israel and North Korea have chosen to ignore the ICJ cases.

The UK case differs from the cases of India and Pakistan in that the UK is a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and therefore is bound by Article VI of that treaty which requires states to pursue negotiations “in good faith” to end the nuclear arms race and achieve total nuclear disarmament. The Marshall Islands contends that India and Pakistan are bound by similar obligations under customary international law.

“From a legal perspective, the issues presented by these cases are ordinary ones, but a positive outcome will, spectacularly, change the world. We are, basically, asking the Court to tell the respondent states to live up to their obligations under international law and to conduct negotiations leading to the required result: nuclear disarmament in all its aspects,” said Phon van den Biesen, attorney at law in Amsterdam, Co-Agent for the RMI who is leading the International Legal Team.

With these cases the RMI asks the International Court of Justice to follow up on its earlier findings in the Advisory Opinion it delivered in 1996 on the illegality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. At the time the Court considered that the continued international debate on the legality of these deadly weapons threatens the stability of the international order. It added that “the long-promised complete nuclear disarmament appears to be the most appropriate means” to put an end to that untenable situation. (para. 98, http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/95/7495.pdf)

World leaders, international non-governmental organizations, world-class experts and Nobel Peace Laureates have offered strong support for the cases, denouncing nuclear weapons as immoral and illegal (http://nuclearzero.org/#lastone).

Contact information for the International Legal Team:

Phon van den Biesen, Co-Agent of the RMI
Attorney at Law at Van den Biesen Kloostra Advocaten, Amsterdam http://vdbkadvocaten.eu/en/phon-van-den-biesen-en/
+31.65.2061266
phonvandenbiesen@vdbkadvocaten.eu

A complete list of the International Legal Team as well as information on the lawsuits can be found at www.nuclearzero.org. The California-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is consultant to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Defying Diplomatic Efforts for Nuclear Disarmament, U.S. Schedules Nuclear Missile Test

Santa Barbara – The United States Air Force has scheduled a launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile for the early morning hours of October 21. This will be the fifth test of a Minuteman III ICBM in 2015. The target of the missile is the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, over 4,000 miles away.

There is currently a lawsuit pending at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco related to U.S. breaches of international law, which require good faith negotiations for an end to the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament. The lawsuit was filed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands in April 2014. A reply brief by the United States is due in the lawsuit on October 28, just one week after this nuclear missile is launched.

Rick Wayman, Director of Programs at the Santa Barbara-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, criticized the U.S. for its continued reliance on nuclear weapons. He said, “While the U.S. government seeks to wiggle out of the Nuclear Zero Lawsuit in a reply brief due next week, we can all read the government’s true response in this Minuteman III launch.”

This week at the United Nations, the UN General Assembly’s First Committee is meeting to discuss nuclear disarmament. While diplomats are gathered in New York for these important events, the United States is practicing using its land-based nuclear missiles. Each Minuteman III missile carries a nuclear warhead capable of killing hundreds of thousands of people instantly.

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “This is the fifth ICBM launch this year. Each launch sends the same message: that the U.S. can hit targets on the other side of the world with its nuclear weapons. No one doubts that. What is doubted in the world community is that the U.S. is serious about fulfilling its obligations to negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament.”


Founded in 1982, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. The Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. It is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.

For more information and interviews, please contact Rick Wayman at (805) 696-5159.

Foreign Minister Tony de Brum and the People of the Marshall Islands receive Right Livelihood Award

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Rick Wayman
(8
05) 696-5159
rwayman@napf.org

Foreign Minister Tony de Brum and the People of the Marshall Islands receive Right Livelihood Award

Tony de Brum

Santa Barbara – Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, Tony de Brum, and the people of the Marshall Islands, have been honored with the 2015 Right Livelihood award “in recognition of their vision and courage to take legal action against the nuclear powers for failing to honor their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

The award, from Swedish charity, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, was established in 1980 to honor and support those “offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today.” Widely known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” the Right Livelihood Award has no categories, but rather, recognizes that in striving to meet the human challenges of today’s world, the most inspiring and remarkable work often defies classification.

Minister de Brum has spent his entire life working for peace, justice and a world free of nuclear weapons on behalf of the Marshall Islands. He is also a powerful advocate on the issue of climate change. Said Minister de Brum, “Clearly, one cannot isolate climate change from the other most pressing issue of world security today. As a country that has seen the ravages of war, suffers the lingering effects of nuclear tests, and faces the onset of a rising sea, we see all these to be threats of equal force against world peace and human life.”

In a courageous move last year, the Marshall Islands, led by Minister de Brum, filed lawsuits against all nine nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice and separately against the United States in U.S. Federal District Court. The lawsuits call upon these nations to fulfill their legal obligations, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law, to begin and conclude negotiations for complete nuclear disarmament.

Upon hearing of the award, Laurie Ashton, lead attorney for the Marshall Islands in the U.S. case, said “Minister de Brum has been tireless and fearless in his focused pursuit, on behalf of the Marshall Islands, of binding, legal solutions to the abject failure of the nations possessing nuclear weapons to negotiate nuclear disarmament in good faith. It is a privilege to represent the Marshall Islands and work with Minister de Brum on this tremendous effort and I congratulate him, and the people of the Marshall Islands, on this well-deserved award.”

In 2012, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation awarded Minister de Brum its Distinguished Peace Leadership Award. More recently, and the Foundation has served as a consultant to the Marshall Islands and de Brum on their Nuclear Zero lawsuits. David Krieger, President of the Foundation commented, “Tony de Brum is one of the truly outstanding political leaders of our time. He is relentless in his pursuit of peace and justice. He and the people of the Marshall Islands have played an oversized role in the fight to end the nuclear weapons era – by going to court to hold the nuclear-armed countries to their nuclear disarmament obligations under international law.  They have also played a major role in the fight to halt climate change. Minister de Brum and the people of the Marshall Islands are most worthy of the Right Livelihood Award and of the recognition being bestowed upon them.”

Other recipients of the 2015 Right Livelihood Award are Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Canada), Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda) and Gino Strada / EMERGENCY (Italy). For a full description of all of the 2015 Right Livelihood Award Laureates, visit www.rightlivelihood.org.

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You can download a photo of Foreign Minister Tony de Brum for use with this story at this link: http://bit.ly/tdebrum. To set up interviews, please contact Rick Wayman, NAPF Director of Programs, at rwayman@napf.org or (805) 696-5159.

Founded in 1982, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. The Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. It is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.

Golden Rule Peace Boat Arrives in Santa Barbara

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gerry Condon:  206.499.1220
              Sandy Jones:      805.965.3443

Golden Rule Peace Boat Arrives in Santa Barbara
Sailing for a Nuclear-Free World

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The historic Golden Rule peace boat, restored by Veterans For Peace, will dock in Santa Barbara late Wednesday afternoon on September 2, during her voyage from San Diego en route to her homeport, Eureka, on California’s northern coast. There will be a press conference covering the arrival on Thursday, September 3 at 2:00 p.m. on the steps of the Maritime Museum at the boat harbor (113 Harbor Way).

In 1958, the 30-foot ketch and its Quaker crew helped to ignite an international movement to stop atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons when they attempted to sail into a nuclear test zone in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The Golden Rule is now sailing again to promote a nuclear-free world. Over the next ten years, she will carry her message of peace around the United States and possibly throughout the world.

The Marshall Islands suffered catastrophic and irreparable damages when the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests on their territory between 1946 and 1958. These tests had the equivalent power of exploding 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. The devastating impact of these nuclear detonations to the health and well-being of the Marshall Islanders and their land continues to this day. Last year, the RMI initiated the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, seeking to hold the nuclear-armed nations to their obligations under international law to negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament.

“Nuclear weapons are still with us and the threat of nuclear war is very real,” said the Golden Rules Captain Ron Kohl of San Diego. “We are dismayed that the U.S. government plans to invest $1 trillion over the next 30 years upgrading its nuclear arsenal, instead of reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons, as called for in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and consultant to the Marshall Islands in their lawsuits, said, “The Golden Rule and her first crews have historical significance in courageously sailing into nuclear test sites in the Pacific. Today, the Golden Rule sails for a nuclear-free world under the leadership of Veterans for Peace and deserves the support of people everywhere.”

The Golden Rule will be welcomed by the Santa Barbara Chapter of Veterans For Peace and members of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The ship will arrive in Santa Barbara in the late afternoon on Wednesday, September 2 and stay several days. She will be available for public viewing and possible sails, as well. There will be a press conference covering the arrival on Thursday, September 3 at 2:00 p.m. on the steps of the Maritime Museum at the boat harbor (113 Harbor Way).

“We appreciate that many Santa Barbara friends and supporters are offering assistance,” said Captain Ron Kohl.  “There is a real magic to this boat that brings all kinds of people together.

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For more information, or to interview the crew, please contact Gerry Conlon at 206.499.1220.

You can follow the progress of the Golden Rule and make donations at www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in 1982. Its mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders. The Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations and is comprised of individuals and groups worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age.

Vandenberg to Launch Nuclear-Capable Missile Test

Santa Barbara, CA – Tomorrow, August 19, 2015, the United States plans to launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

The test comes just two weeks after the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – just two weeks after the world honored the 200,000-plus victims who died as a result of those bombs.

It also comes in the midst of the Marshall Islands’ Nuclear Zero Lawsuits. David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and a consultant to the Marshall Islands in the cases, stated, “ While the U.S. continues to develop and test launch its nuclear-capable missiles, the Marshall Islands is seeking a judgment against the U.S. and the other nuclear-armed nations for failure to fulfill their nuclear disarmament obligations under international law.”

Regularly testing its nuclear warhead delivery vehicles – in this case, the Minuteman III ICBM – is an example of U.S. failure to comply with its obligation under Article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms rate at an early date.” This planned test on August 19 continues the provocative behavior by the U.S. that led the RMI to file its lawsuits in the first place.

The lawsuit was dismissed on February 3, 2015 by the U.S. Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. The RMI filed its Appeal Brief on July 13, 2015 and now awaits a response from the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information on the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, visit nuclearzero.org.

Marshall Islanders suffered catastrophic and irreparable damages to their people and homeland when the U.S. conducted 67 nuclear tests on their territory between 1946 and 1958. These tests had the equivalent power of exploding 1.6 Hiroshima bombs daily for 12 years. The devastating impact of these nuclear detonations to the health and well-being of the Marshall Islanders and to their land continues to this day.

Krieger also stated, “How can it be fine for the U.S. to test-fire these missiles time and again, while expressing criticism when other countries conduct missile tests? It is a clear example of U.S. double standards. Such double standards encourage nuclear proliferation and nuclear arms races and make the world a more dangerous place.”

With each missile test, the U.S. sends a clear and expensive message that it continues to be reliant on nuclear weapons. Each test costs tens of millions of dollars and contributes to the U.S. plans to spend $1 trillion modernizing its nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years.

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If you would like to interview David Krieger, please call the Foundation at (805) 965-3443.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation — The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons and to empower peace leaders.  Founded in 1982, the Foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the Nuclear Age. The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations.  For more information, visit www.wagingpeace.org.

Nuclear Weapons Experts File Amicus Brief in Support of Marshall Islands Lawsuit

For immediate release August 12, 2015 (to use email addresses please insert @)
Contacts:     Jay Coghlan, NWNM, 505.470.3154, jay[at]nukewatch.org
Hans Kristensen, FAS, 202.454.4695, hkristensen[at]fas.org
Robert Alvarez, IPS, 301.585.7672, kitbob[at]rcn.com
Dr. James Doyle, nonproliferation expert, 505.470.3154, jimdoyle6[at]msn.com

Nuclear Weapons Experts File Amicus Brief to Support
Marshall Islands Lawsuit to Require Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations
Under U.S. NonProliferation Treaty Commitments

Nuclear Zero LawsuitsWashington, DC and Santa Fe, NM – Four nuclear weapons experts have filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands to compel the United States to meet its requirements under the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty (NPT). The basic bargain of the NPT is that non-weapons states agreed to never acquire nuclear weapons, in exchange for which nuclear weapons states promised to enter into good faith disarmament negotiations. Ratification of the treaty by the Senate in 1970 made its provisions the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution.

The experts filing the brief are: Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists; Dr. James Doyle, a nuclear nonproliferation expert fired by the Los Alamos national lab after publishing a study arguing for nuclear weapons abolition; Robert Alvarez, a former Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Energy, now at the Institute for Policy Studies; and Jay Coghlan, director of Nuclear Watch New Mexico.

Hans Kristensen explained, “The United States, as one of the five original nuclear weapons states under the NPT, has a clear legal obligation to pursue negotiations toward nuclear disarmament. Yet despite progress on reducing overall nuclear arsenals, forty-five years later there are and have been no negotiations on their elimination. Instead, all nuclear weapon powers are pursuing broad and expensive modernization programs to retain and improve nuclear weapons indefinitely.”

The Marshall Islands’ lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in San Francisco, asserts that the U.S. has failed to fulfill its treaty duties. The case was initially dismissed in February 2015 by a federal judge after the U.S. government argued in part that enforcement of the NPT’s requirement for nuclear disarmament negotiations was not in the public interest. This is now being appealed. As the Marshall Islands’ original complaint notes, “While cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament are vitally important objectives to the entire international community, the Marshall Islands has a particular awareness of the dire consequences of nuclear weapons.” While still a U.S. protectorate after World War II, the American nuclear weapons complex used the Marshall Islands for more than a hundred atmospheric nuclear weapons tests that included newly developed H-bombs, and the displaced Marshallese have suffered severe health and contamination effects to this day. However, the Marshall Islands’ lawsuit is not asking for compensation, but instead seeks to hold the nuclear weapons powers accountable to the NPT’s requirement for good faith nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Andrea St. Julian, an attorney based in San Diego who specializes in federal appellate proceedings, filed the 94-page amicus brief. She observed, “The level of expertise and understanding the amici bring to this appeal is remarkable. Their arguments show how profoundly mistaken the district court was in its misapplication of the law. If the Court of Appeals takes adequate note of the briefing, it will have no alternative but to reverse the dismissal of the Marshall Islands’ suit. If not, we expect the Marshall Islands to take its case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and we will strongly support it there.”

Dr. James Doyle commented, “It’s not possible to eliminate the knowledge to build nuclear weapons, but it’s possible to make them illegal and remove them from all military arsenals, as existing treaties on chemical and biological weapons have already substantially done. The Marshall Islands’ case is an important step on the path to the elimination of nuclear weapons and deserves a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Robert Alvarez added, “The Republic of the Marshall Islands has exposed the abuse of the good faith and trust of the non-weapons states that signed the NonProliferation Treaty on the understanding that the nuclear weapons states would begin disarmament negotiations. By seeking a binding legal requirement to actually begin negotiations, the Marshall Islands is simply trying to get the United States to honor the promises and commitments it made to the world 45 years ago.”

Jay Coghlan noted that the recently concluded 2015 NPT Review Conference ended in failure, in large part because nuclear weapons nations are modernizing their arsenals. He observed, “The U.S. government is getting ready to spend a trillion dollars on new production facilities for nuclear weapons and new bombers, missiles and submarines to deliver them. Because of that, we are keen to help the Marshall Islands hold the U.S. and other nuclear weapons powers accountable to their end of the NPT bargain, which is to enter into disarmament negotiations.”

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The amicus brief is available at http://nukewatch.org/importantdocs/resources/Dkt-38-Amicus-Brief.pdf

Bios of the four amici are available in the amicus brief, beginning page 1.

Complete 9th circuit court proceedings in the Republic of Marshall Islands’ lawsuit are available at www.nuclearzero.org/in-the-courts