“International Day Against Nuclear Testing is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to outlaw nuclear testing by all,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He even emphasizes that there is no excuse for delaying the achievement of this goal.
He also points out that today marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, the largest nuclear test site in the Soviet Union. The closure of the site, where more than 450 nuclear tests took place, marks the end of an era of free nuclear testing, he added, adding that countries immediately began negotiating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was adopted five years ago. later.
The Secretary-General then focuses on the devastating effects of nuclear tests. “Nuclear tests have caused enormous human suffering and environmental damage. They have had a devastating effect on the health of people living in the affected areas. Many have moved away from their ancestral lands, disrupting their lives and households. “Virgin parts and ecosystems have been destroyed and it will take decades if not centuries to restore them,” he said.
In these three decades since the closure of the site, Antonio Guterres observes, “we have experienced the gradual development of a rule against nuclear testing.” More specifically, he notes that the Treaty prohibits all explosive nuclear weapons tests anywhere, from any country, putting a brake on the nuclear arms race and offering a strong obstacle to the development of new nuclear weapons.
However, the UN Secretary-General points out that the full potential of the Treaty has not yet been realized, as it has not entered into force despite its almost universal acceptance by the countries. In this regard, he once again calls on the states that have not yet ratified the Treaty to do so without delay and states: “The eight states whose ratification is necessary for the entry into force of the Treaty have a special responsibility. “At the same time, all states must maintain and implement a moratorium on nuclear explosions.”