UN calls for int'l efforts to ban nuclear tests

UN calls for int
# 29 August 2013 19:48 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Top UN officials on Thursday stressed the importance of a global ban on nuclear tests, calling for international efforts to achieve the goal of a safer and more secure world, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In his message marking the International Day against Nuclear Tests, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

The CTBT, which aims to establish a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, enjoys near- universal support but has yet to enter into force. The secretary- general is the depositary of the treaty, which has been signed by 183 states and ratified by 159.

"It is time to avert any more of the horrific human and environmental effects caused by nuclear tests through a global ban, the most reliable means possible to meet this challenge," Ban noted.

Calling for maintenance and implementation of moratoria on nuclear explosions, Ban said: "There are no justifiable grounds for further delay in achieving this great goal."

In the meantime, the UN chief encouraged civil society, academia and others to continue their crucial advocacy.

"Let us work together to end nuclear weapons testing and achieve a world free of nuclear weapons," he said.

Commemorated each year on Aug. 29, the International Day highlights the efforts of the UN and a growing community of advocates, including member states, non-governmental organizations, academia, and media, in raising awareness of the importance of the nuclear test ban.

Vuk Jeremic, president of the General Assembly, said nuclear tests and nuclear weapons constitute a serious threat.

"Every effort should be undertaken to end nuclear tests," he said.

Jeremic called on the international community to commemorate the day by renewing the commitment to strengthen public awareness and education about the negative effects of nuclear tests and to promote the ultimate goal of a nuclear weapons free world.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is being marked around the world with events to call attention to the dangers of nuclear test explosions, the threats posed to humans and the environment, and the need to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons and their testing.

The General Assembly chose Aug. 29 as the annual commemoration date since 1991 when Semipalatinsk, one of the world's largest test sites located in north-eastern Kazakhstan, was closed permanently.

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