U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is highlighting this month the need to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force (see GSN, April 9).
In a special message to observe the International Day against Nuclear Tests on Aug. 29, Ban said atomic detonations, in addition to ruining the surrounding habitat, "breed mistrust, isolation and fear."
Since 1945, there have been more than 2,000 nuclear trial blasts around the planet.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has been ratified by 157 states, including 36 of the 44 "Annex 2" nations that must adopt the accord before it can enter into force. The holdouts are China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.
"I once again call on the leaders of all those states that have not yet signed and ratified the CTBT to do so without delay. I urge them to visit the site of a nuclear test, contaminated beyond remediation; speak to those who were exposed to the fallout, many of whom suffer still," the U.N. chief said. "The human and environmental consequences of nuclear testing should compel these leaders to take the necessary action to prevent this from ever happening again."
Ban applauded efforts by Kazakhstan, where hundreds of atomic detonations took place for decades under the Soviet Union, to raise international awareness about the negative effects of testing through the establishment of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
"This ambition goes beyond narrow self-interest or regional rivalries; it is a global imperative meant to serve all humankind," he continued (United Nations release, August 2012).
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is highlighting this month the need to bring the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force.