Federal Court Dismissal of the RMI’s NPT Suit

We welcome the federal court decision dismissing the lawsuit brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) alleging the United States breached its obligations under Article VI of the Nonproliferation Treaty. The court found the RMI lacked standing to sue and that the case presented a “political question” not appropriate for resolution in U.S. courts.

The United States recognizes the RMI’s abiding interest in global security. The Marshall Islands is a strategic partner and ally that not only understands the security challenges of the United States, but has also lived through them. Heavy fighting in Kwajalein during WWII, Cold War nuclear testing, space and missile defense work at the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile facility, and the service of Marshallese citizens in the U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate how inextricably linked our nations are in security. As Under Secretary for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller said in Majuro last year, the Marshall Islands “has played an outsized role in the fight for a safer world.” The Under Secretary also affirmed that “the U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable.”

President Obama’s vision of a world without nuclear weapons, enunciated in Prague in April, 2009, remains a key objective of U.S. national security policy. As the court ruled, that goal can only be achieved “politically,” through patient diplomacy. As President Obama said in Prague, the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons “will not be reached quickly,” but we “must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change.” In order to succeed, “the voices for peace and progress must be raised together.” We look forward to our continued work with our friend and ally, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and all nations, as we work to create the conditions for a nuclear-free world.