Below is a selection of quotes in support of the Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, filed on April 24, 2014 by the Marshall Islands against all nine nuclear-armed nations. You can sign the petition supporting the Marshall Islands and learn more about the lawsuits at


David Krieger
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

David KriegerThe Republic of the Marshall Islands has acted boldly and courageously in standing up to the nine nuclear-armed nations, and through its lawsuits asserting that all nations are required to follow the dictates of international law.  Justice delayed is justice denied.  In the case of nuclear arsenals, justice delayed increases the threat that nuclear weapons will be used by accident or design.Marshall Islanders know the pain and suffering caused by nuclear weapons, and they have taken legal action to assure that no country or individual will suffer in the future as they have suffered in the past and continue to suffer in the present.  Before the law, all countries stand on even footing – the small and the large, the weak and the powerful.

The Marshall Islands seeks no compensation through these lawsuits.  They have acted out of noble intentions.  All Marshall Islanders should be proud that their country stands on the side of reason, justice and sanity.  In these lawsuits, the Marshall Islands has taken a stand for all humanity.  May the Marshalls prevail for the sake of us all and for the future of humanity and the planet.

Setsuko Thurlow
Survivor of U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Setsuko ThurlowI deeply admire the courage and conviction shown by the Marshall Islands, plaintiff in the case against known nuclear weapon states to “pursue in good faith and conclude negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament.”

Although we hibakusha have spent our life energy to warn people about the hell that is nuclear war, in nearly 70 years there has been little progress. In fact it is progress for proliferation that wins out — with very nuclear possessor nation currently modernizing their arsenals.  We urgently need a new path, one that recognizes the utterly unacceptable humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons — weapons that in this moment threaten all life on earth.

But David has once again mounted his offense against Goliath, and those states that do not want to get rid of nuclear weapons are running out of excuses.  Non nuclear weapons states and NGOs are working for a ban treaty that would establish new international norms and standards through a legally binding instrument to abolish nuclear weapons.  And now, the Marshall Islands are standing up and challenging the nuclear weapon states — countries that have been insincere for more than 44 years since the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty entered into force.

It is our hope that this new movement to ban nuclear weapons together with the Marshall Islands case against nuclear weapon possessor nations will finally lead us to nuclear disarmament.  Congratulations to the Marshall Islands for taking up this call!

Kate Hudson
General Secretary

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

An Open Letter to President Loeak of the Marshall Islands

Dear Mr. President,

Kate HudsonI am writing on behalf of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament to express our great appreciation for your decision to institute legal proceedings against the nine nuclear weapons states. We sincerely welcome your decision to take them to the International Court of Justice for their failure to comply with Article VI of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: 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’.

We feel a debt of gratitude to you, in particular, for instituting proceedings against our own country, the United Kingdom, the governments of which we have challenged since our foundation in 1958. Your principled and courageous stand will assist our current struggle to prevent the replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system. It will expose the hypocrisy of our government as it claims to support the goals of the NPT yet plans to spend vast sums on building new nuclear weapons; it will reveal the obstructionism of our government as it boycotts and derails sincere initiatives towards global abolition; and it will lay bare our government’s contempt for the fundamental NPT bargain – that non-proliferation and disarmament are inseparable.

As well as the undoubted legal weight of your case, we believe that the case you have put to the International Court of Justice also carries extraordinary moral weight. We are well aware of the terrible suffering and damage inflicted on your people. We recall with horror that between 1946 and 1958, the US tested 67 nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands, earning your country the description ‘by far the most contaminated place in the world’, from the US Atomic Energy Agency.

Together with our support for your legal proceedings and our recognition of the intense suffering from which this was born, I would like to say that we also feel a strong and long lasting bond with the people of the Marshall Islands. Our movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, was founded in large part as a response to the H-bomb testing of the 1950s, so much of which was carried out in your islands. In our early years we campaigned strenuously for the abolition of nuclear weapons testing until the achievement of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

The test on Bikini Atoll, in your country, in March 1954, with its terrible radiation impact on the people of Rongelap, moved countless people around the world to action. The tragic consequences for the Lucky Dragon, caught in the impact, stirred a whole generation of activists to oppose nuclear weapons. The experience of your country and your people is at the very heart of our movement.

We pledge our support to you and wish you every success in this most crucial of struggles.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Nobel Peace Laureate

desmond_tutuThe failure of the United States to uphold important commitments and respect the law makes the world a more dangerous place. President Obama has said that ridding the world of these devastating weapons is a fundamental moral issue of our time. It is time for the United States to show true leadership by keeping the promises set forth in the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Bianca Jagger
Social and Human Rights activist

Bianca JaggerI wholeheartedly support the people of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, in their courageous decision to file The Nuclear Zero Lawsuit against the nine nuclear-armed nations in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and against the U.S. in Federal District Court in San Francisco. The Marshall Islanders seek to hold these countries accountable for failing to fulfill their obligations as set out in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law, to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons.

After 60 years of exposure to nuclear radiation, the Marshall Islanders know first-hand the disastrous consequences of living in a nuclear world; irresponsible nuclear detonations have caused death, prolonged suffering, damage to their health and irreparable environmental destruction. The plight of the Marshall Islanders reflects the experience of many people across the world, as corporations and military enterprises overstep the boundaries of their influence, committing grave human rights violations.

I am a great believer that individuals can make a difference. By filing these lawsuits, the inspirational people of the Marshall Islands show us that we have both the right and the power to hold governments accountable for their actions.

As the brave Marshall Islanders stand up against nine of the most powerful nuclear countries across the globe, this is not just about justice for the local people but also for all of humanity, and for generations to come. Marshall Islands is not looking for compensation, but injunctions to ensure that present and future generations will not have to experience this unconscionable atrocity. As Judge Weeramantry said in his Advisory Opinion, Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons Case, “At any level of discourse, it would be safe to pronounce that no one generation is entitled, for whatever purpose, to inflict such damage on succeeding generations.”

We must work towards a world which is not organized around strategic military objectives, a world where we are not threatened by the possibility of nuclear disasters. I therefore add my voice to that of the Marshall Islanders and call upon the nuclear weapon nations to immediately fulfill their moral and legal obligation to begin serious negotiations for a nuclear-free world.

Yasuaki Yamashita
Survivor of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki

Yasuaki YamashitaI had not known anything about nuclear testing in the Pacific.  I was in high school in Nagasaki, and it was still a very tough time.  Then in 1954, there was big news in Japan that the Bikini Islands were experiencing nuclear testing.  The Lucky Dragon crew came home sick and dying.  Hibakusha know about radiation.  My father died from radiation exposure. Many people thought that nuclear radiation was only a problem for atomic bomb survivors, but when we learned about Pacific Islanders, we realized they suffered the same way we suffered: by becoming sick without knowing what had happened.  We must work together, seeing the future to reach a peaceful world.  We must learn from the Pacific Islanders.  It is really important to support the Nuclear Zero campaign. We must work together to bring the nuclear weapon states to the International Court of Justice.

Daniel Ellsberg
Former US military analyst

daniel_ellsbergThis suit is long overdue.  The U.S. has been in continuous violation of its Article VI obligations under the NPT since ratification nearly 45 years ago.

Helen Caldicott
Australian physician, author and anti-nuclear advocate

Dr. Helen CaldicottThe people of the Marshall Islands have suffered from a grievous crime committed by the US military with their nuclear weapons. And these deeply traumatized people now demonstrate to the world immense courage by taking the mighty government of the United States and the other nuclear-armed nations to the International Court of Justice.May we pray that their immense suffering and courage will open the hearts of the international community to finally, once and for all, move toward rapid total nuclear disarmament.

Ben Ferencz
Prosecutor of Nazi war crimes

Benjamin FerenczCurrent nuclear expenditures and policies are genocidal, suicidal and insane. The use of nuclear weapons, knowing that large numbers of civilians will be killed, is a crime against humanity for which responsible leaders would be held accountable, civilly and criminally, in a national or international criminal court.

Kathleen Sullivan
Program Director
Hibakusha Stories

Kathleen SullivanThe new legal challenge to nuclear-armed nations from the Marshall Islands is hugely inspiring. The Nuclear Zero campaign is another definitive step in the direction of nuclear abolition.

Martin Sheen
Actor and Social Justice Activist

Martin SheenNuclear weapons are a clear reflection of fear and paranoia and project a false sense of security. I stand with the Marshall Islands in their pursuit of negotiations for Nuclear Zero, the only safe number of nuclear weapons on the planet.

Steven Starr
Senior Scientist
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Steven StarrThe people of the Marshall Islands, who – as a result of US nuclear weapons tests – watched their children die and saw their homeland turned into an uninhabitable radioactive exclusion zone, have full right to demand that the nuclear weapon states finally abolish their nuclear arsenals. Nuclear abolition is the central agreement of the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Within the NPT, the nuclear weapon states agreed to act in good faith to abolish their nuclear arsenals, in exchange for the promise of the non-nuclear weapon states not to build their own nuclear weapons.

Today, forty-four years after the NPT went into effect, the nuclear weapon states continue to modernize their nuclear weapons – while they boycott the humanitarian conferences sponsored by the non-nuclear weapon states, which call attention to the existential threat posed by existing nuclear arsenals.  The demand of the Marshall Islands should be echoed by all nations and peoples, who will perish if the strategic nuclear arsenals of the nuclear weapon states are detonated in conflict.

Robert J. Lifton
American psychiatrist and author

Robert J. LiftonThe work on the Nuclear Zero lawsuits has profound value in a number of ways.  It responds humanely to the pain of Marshall Islanders, which Kai Erikson and I became acutely aware of in working with them.  The lawsuits are combating nuclearism, a still dangerous spiritual disease, and military stance.  They are also helping to combat climate falsification, which has demonstrable links to nuclearism.  And they are demonstrating a determination to take action on behalf of continuing life, rather than giving up on our planet.

Alice Slater
Member of the Coordinating Committee
Abolition 2000

Alice SlaterCongratulations to the Marshall Islands in their bold initiative to sue the nine nuclear weapons states in the International Court of Justice, together with a separate case against the US in Federal Court. The Marshall Islanders are seeking a court order that the nuclear outlaws comply with customary international humanitarian law as well as honor the promises that were made in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to conclude negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons on the planet. The announcement of this legal action was welcomed with applause and loud cheering in New York during the said proceedings of the NPT meeting at the UN. It is inspiring that this small island nation whose people bore the terrible catastrophic consequences of US nuclear testing in the Pacific, with genetic damage, cancer, leukemia and awful mutations caused by the radioactive fallout, has courageously challenged the unconscionable policies of the nuclear weapons states. Congratulations to the Marshall Islands for leading the way in this important new legal proceeding.

Blase Bonpane
Office of the Americas

Blase BonpaneThe Marshall Islands.”The weak things of the earth shall confound the strong.”The poisoned and fractured Marshall Islands shout a “broken alleluia” to the planet. This nation of 68,000 people is a victim of “nuclearism,” a terminal pathology which endangers life on earth.Nuclear ovens have a potential of indiscriminate slaughter far greater than the madness of the Third Reich.

Aside from atmospheric and underground testing there has been a plethora of serious nuclear accidents. Scientists are in awe that these events have not triggered a disaster.

For allegedly sane political leaders to continue plotting, planning and conspiring to commit a nuclear holocaust is an ongoing crime.

We must stop the race to biocide either with the help of the courts or with the outrage of a gentle, angry people.

Thanks to the scholars, laureates and truth seekers who support this venture!

Rich Appelbaum
MacArthur Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology
University of California at Santa Barbara

Richard ApplebaumI add my voice to the chorus of cheerleaders for the Marshall Islands in taking this on – they continue to fight the good fight, an inspiration to all of us.