Abstract

D. Doulatram “Report from former test region Marshall Islands”

The emerging and expanding fields of environmental law and international law provide greater transparency in revealing human right concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper explores these human right concerns of the affected populations in the Marshall Islands which functioned as a nuclear testing ground between 1946 to 1958 when it served as a strategic Trust Territory administered by the United States. In 2014, the Marshall Islands sued the United States and the Asian nations of India, Pakistan, and North Korea for violating the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The aggressive diplomatic pressure imposed by the Marshall Islands to major nuclear powers is not without reason. This paper provides and explores an underutilized historical perspective explaining the legal and humanitarian consequences of the nuclear testing period in the Marshall Islands and their limited adaptive capacity in addressing humanitarian obligations to its citizens despite not creating the situation. It explains the reasoning behind the aggressive political nature in Marshallese politics stemming from unhealed wounds that eventually led to Marshallese climate change ambassador Tony deBrum’s sole decision to sue the United States and the Asian nations of India, Pakistan, and North Korea.