Ahead of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, 29 August, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called for a “safer, saner world for all,”and urgent entry into force of the CTBT.
The peoples of the world regard nuclear weapons and nuclear tests “as dangerous relics of the cold war, long-overdue for permanent retirement,” he said in a message to mark the event.
Declaring his confidence in the CTBT verification system he said it can “provide an independent, reliable and cost-effective means of verifying — and, therefore, deterring — any violation of the Treaty’s provisions.”
He called on all States to work towards entry into force of the CTBT.
In 2009, the 64th Plenary of the United Nations General Assembly, unanimously declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests following a proposal from Kazakhstan.
This is the second year of its observation, which coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the closure of the main Soviet nuclear test site, located in Kazakhstan. On 29 August 1991, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan, ordered the shutdown of the Semipalatinsk test site.
During the cold war more than 450 nuclear bombs were detonated at the test range, including the inaugural nuclear explosion by the Soviet Union, on 29 August in 1949. The people of Kazakhstan today still have to deal with the harmful effects of four decades of intensive nuclear testing, a “devastating legacy” and a “dark chapter in human history,” the UN Secretary-General said in his message.
Read the full message here.
Visit the official UN webpage on the International Day against Nuclear Tests here.