August 29 – International Day Against Nuclear Tests

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of a global ban on nuclear tests to achieve a safer and more secure world, calling on all States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the international treaty that seeks to achieve this goal.

The General Assembly chose August 29th as the annual commemoration date since it marks the day in 1991 when Semipalatinsk, one of the largest test sites in the world and located in north-eastern Kazakhstan, was closed for good.

The Day highlights the efforts of the UN and a growing community of advocates, including Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, youth networks and media in informing and educating on the importance of the nuclear-test-ban.

Mr. Ban noted that the Day is an important opportunity to call attention to the harmful and long-lasting effects of testing, as well as the continued danger posed by the existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which opened for signature in 1996, is intended to prohibit all nuclear explosions in all environments, for military or civilian purposes. The CTBT has achieved near universal adherence, however, Article XIV of the Treaty requires ratification by 44 named states, before the Treaty can enter into force. The Secretary-General is the depositary of the treaty, which, as of today, has been signed by 183 States and ratified by 157.

Ratification by eight so-called Annex 2 States is required for the treaty to enter into force. They are China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is being marked around the world with events to call attention to the dangers of nuclear test explosions, the threats posed to humans and the environment, and the need to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons and their testing.

Following is the full text of Secretary-General’s message in its entirety:

MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS
29 August 2012

Nuclear tests remain a threat to human health and global stability. The International Day against Nuclear Tests is an important opportunity to call attention to their harmful and long-lasting effects as well as the continued danger posed by the existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

Around the world, symposia, conferences, exhibitions and competitions are being held to raise public awareness and galvanize action to finally end nuclear tests. To achieve this goal, States that have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty must do so without delay. The CTBT, which aims to establish a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, enjoys near-universal support but has yet to enter into force. The importance of bringing this about was reaffirmed by the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, I urge all States to uphold the current moratorium on all nuclear test explosions. However, while existing voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests are essential, they are no substitute for a total global ban.

On this Day, I pledge to personally continue promoting the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and to intensify my efforts to encourage all remaining States to ratify the CTBT. The Treaty’s verification mechanism has already proven its effectiveness. I reiterate my standing offer to visit the capital of any State that remains unconvinced about the reliability of the Treaty’s monitoring and inspection systems to answer their questions and resolve their concerns.

As we mark this International Day against Nuclear Tests, let us strengthen our efforts to end to nuclear weapons testing and promote the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Tags: Happiness, Health, Humanity, UN

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