Vienna, 29 August 2023 (TDI): Austria’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, marked the International Day against nuclear tests, urging nations to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty(CTBT).

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Minister Schallenberg emphasized,

“We need the nuclear test ban treaty more urgently than ever. It is unacceptable that eight countries hold the key to the security of all of us and handle it so carelessly. I urge these key states to finally take this important step for global security.”

Read Also: International Day Against Nuclear Tests.

The CTBT, established in 1996, globally bans nuclear test explosions, hindering secret Nuclear weapon development.

Currently, 178 out of 186 signatory states have ratified the treaty but its entry into force depends on Egypt, China, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United States.

Austria, a CTBT signatory since 1997, pioneers disarmament. Minister Schallenberg highlighted Austria’s commitment,

“The geopolitical tensions highlight the urgent need for sustainable progress in nuclear disarmament. Russia’s nuclear sabre-rattling, North Korea’s missile program, and possible further nuclear tests are symptomatic of the negative developments and dramatically increased nuclear risks.”

Austria’s dedication to the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons is exemplified by its support for the CTBT.

Serving as the seat of the commission preparing for the treaty’s implementation (CTBTO Preparatory Commission), Austria seeks to address the destructive effects of nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear deterrence.

Recent scientific studies compiled by Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have underscored the dire consequences of nuclear weapons use.

“Especially now, when the threat of nuclear conflict is higher than ever before, we must place the humanitarian impacts of a potential nuclear weapon use at the centre of the discussion,” Minister Schallenberg underlined.

Additionally, he referenced the “Trinity Test” shown in the film “Oppenheimer” which revealed the nuclear weapons tests’ dire impact on civilians due to the radiation.

In his closing remarks, Minister Schallenberg emphasized, “The world must no longer turn a blind eye to the threat of nuclear weapon use, testing, or accidents. We must destroy nuclear weapons before they destroy us”.