Global, 29 August 2023 (TDI): The International Day Against Nuclear Tests, on August 29th, serves as a solemn occasion to remember the victims of nuclear testing and raise awareness of its grave consequences.
The UN Secretary-General underscores the urgency of permanently halting nuclear testing, given the extensive damage caused by over 2,000 tests since 1945, including environmental pollution and global devastation.
Nuclear tests have caused enormous human suffering and environmental damage.
⁰Today, the world commemorates the victims of nuclear weapons testing and promotes the end of nuclear tests as one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon free world.⁰#IDANT pic.twitter.com/lsVBkG92fk
— Izumi Nakamitsu (@INakamitsu) August 29, 2023
Amidst growing global tensions and the existence of nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons, the risk of catastrophic consequences looms large. The solution lies in a legally binding ban on nuclear tests, epitomized by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
The Secretary-General calls on nations to promptly and unconditionally ratify the Treaty to put an end to nuclear testing for all time.
In honor of the 14th International Day Against Nuclear Tests, CTBTO Executive Secretary Robert Floyd emphasizes how the absence of nuclear tests has made the world cleaner and safer.
The CTBTO possesses advanced technology capable of detecting any nuclear test anywhere on Earth, ensuring global vigilance against such actions.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) prohibits any nuclear detonations, regardless of their intent, be it military or for peaceful objectives. It consists of a preamble, 17 articles, along with two annexes and a Protocol featuring two annexes.
Another significant document is the Resolution enacted by the States Signatories on November 19, 1996, which established the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Reflecting on history, the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan played a pivotal role in Soviet nuclear testing from 1949 to 1989, with over 460 tests conducted in various environments.
This led to the release of radioactive materials, exposing over 5 million people and contaminating vast areas.
Kazakhstan took significant steps towards nuclear disarmament, closing the Semipalatinsk site in 1991, renouncing its nuclear-weapon status, and dismantling its arsenal, which was once the fourth-largest globally.
In 1992, Kazakhstan ratified the START 1 Treaty and, by September 1996, had destroyed all its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and warheads.
The nation also played an active role in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) until its termination in 2020, contributing to global nuclear arms control efforts.