10 Jan 2017

Global arms control award for Marshalls and de Brum

2:26 pm on 10 January 2017

The Marshall Islands government and its former foreign minister Tony de Brum have received an international award for their efforts on arms control.

The former foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The former foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Photo: International Court of Justice

The government and Mr de Brum have been named 2016 Arms Control Persons of the Year after taking the nuclear-armed nations to court for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

They were among ten individuals and groups nominated by the Washington-based Arms Control Association for their leadership on disarmament.

The award comes despite rulings by the International Court of Justice in The Hague in October which went against the Marshall Islands.

The Marshall Islands' delegation including lawyer Laurie B. Ashton (L), Luigi Condorelli (C) from the University of Florence and Phon van den Biesen (R), lawyer of the Marshall Islands' delegation) sit at the International Court of Justices (ICJ) in the Hague, on October 5, 2016.

The UN's highest court, the International Court of Justice, narrowly threw out landmark cases brought by the Marshall Islands against India, Pakistan and Britain for allegedly failing to halt the nuclear arms race. Photo: AFP/Bart Maat

The court upheld the nuclear states' arguments that the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter.

The Marshall Islands is still feeling the effects of the US nuclear bomb tests of the 1940s and 50s.

"The nomination of the Marshall Islands and Ambassador de Brum and the many votes they received reflects the concern and frustration expressed by many non-nuclear weapon states about the unacceptable consequences of nuclear weapons use, the slow pace of nuclear disarmament, and the growing risks of renewed global nuclear competition," said Kingston Reif, of the Arms Control Association.

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