Islamabad, 27 January 2024 (TDI): Pakistan and the Marshall Islands have officially initiated diplomatic relations. The Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram, engaged in a meeting with his counterpart from the Marshall Islands.
During this diplomatic encounter, they formally established bilateral ties by signing a joint communique. The signing ceremony took place at the Pakistan Permanent Mission to the United Nations. The ceremony was attended by diplomats representing both nations.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Akram called the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two states an “auspicious occasion”.
He added the absence of formal relations did not prevent both countries from cooperating on matters in the United Nations. Ambassador Akram said that Pakistan considered the Marshall Islands as an important country in the Asia-Pacific region.
He further said that both friendly countries played a leading role in the establishment of the landmark Loss and Damage Fund as well as its operationalization at COP28. The Pakistan representative said that the establishment of formal bilateral relations would open up more avenues to deepen the cooperation.
In her remarks, Ambassador Amatlian Elizabeth Kabua said that she was privileged to be representing her country for the formal start of a journey of friendship and partnership with Pakistan.
She said that her Mission had an excellent understanding of the Pakistan Mission, which was visible from the commonality of positions both countries took on several issues such as climate change and UN Security Council reform.
The Ambassador said that she was eager to work with Ambassador Munir Akram to further deepen the bond of friendship.
She appreciated the Pakistan Permanent Representative for strongly supporting the small Island nations at the United Nations. She said that her country was open to cooperation in all the fields.
Marshall Islands vs Pakistan in ICJ
On 24 April 2014, The Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), with which Pakistan maintains no diplomatic relations, filed suits at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against all the nine states Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) of the world.
However, in conformity with the Statute of the Court, only Pakistan, India, and the United Kingdom have been asked to respond.
According to a statement released by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Government of Pakistan has submitted a comprehensive written response to the Court in the form of a Counter-Memorial. It seeks dismissal of the RMI’s suit for lack of the Court’s jurisdiction to entertain the RMI’s claims and the inadmissibility of the RMI’s application”.
Moreover, the Court has conveyed that the RMI lacks the requisite standing to institute the current proceedings since there is no dispute, let alone a legal dispute, between them. This is manifested by the fact that the RMI has never suffered any damage caused by Pakistan either directly or indirectly.
The Court therefore, on 5 October 2016, concluded that the first objection made by Pakistan must be upheld. The existence and extent of customary international law obligations in the field of nuclear disarmament. Pakistan’s compliance with these obligations is the issue at hand regarding their merits.
The Court found that no dispute existed between the Parties before the filing of the application. Therefore, it has no jurisdiction to consider these questions.
The court upholds the objection to jurisdiction raised by Pakistan. Seven out of nine voted in favor of Pakistan based on the absence of a dispute between the Parties. Out of ten votes, six find that it cannot proceed to the merits of the case.