Former Republic of the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum and his legal team have been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
Geneva-based International Peace Bureau nominated de Brum’s team on Jan. 26 for their work in the Marshall Islands’ filing of landmark lawsuits against nuclear-armed nations “for failing to comply with their obligations under international law to pursue negotiations for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons.”
During his term as foreign minister, de Brum also called attention to climate change as a global security risk issue before the United Nations.
De Brum is scheduled to visit Guam to be the keynote speaker at the Seventh Regional Conference on Island Sustainability, which will be co-hosted by the University of Guam and the University of Alaska Fairbanks on April 11 to 15 at the Lotte Guam Resort.
De Brum grew up on the island of Likiep during the 12-year period, through 1958, when the United States conducted 67 atomic and thermonuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands. As a 9-year-old, De Brum witnessed the “Bravo” test at Bikini Atoll, the largest-ever U.S. nuclear test that produced an explosion 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, according to a UOG news release.
“These tests gave rise to lasting health and environmental problems for the Marshall Islanders,” the bureau stated.
“Their first‐hand experience of nuclear devastation and personal suffering gives legitimacy to their action and makes it especially difficult to dismiss,” the bureau’s nomination states.
(Pacific Daily News, February 15, 2016)