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UN calls for end to nuke testing

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged all member nations to end nuclear testing as the dangers it poses is so horrifying just like what transpired in Chernobyl and Fukushima.

In his message for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests on Aug. 29, 2019, the UN chief said there is great danger if the forthcoming tests in any region will go wrong.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests marks the closing, in 1991, of the nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan, the largest in the former Soviet Union. More than 450 tests took place there, with impacts still being felt decades later.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres gestures as he addresses a press conference with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh, Monday, June 2, 2018. AP PHOTO

But this observance also has a broader message. It commemorates all victims of nuclear tests, anywhere they have been conducted. Affected communities have yet to fully recover from the environmental, health and economic damage.

Honoring those victims requires bringing nuclear testing to a permanent end. Yet, an effective and legally binding prohibition remains one of the longest unfulfilled goals of nuclear disarmament.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is a central pillar of international efforts, but despite being widely supported — with 184 signatories and 168 ratifying States — it has not yet entered into force, more than 20 years after its adoption,’’ the UN chief said.

He stressed that the legacy of nuclear testing is nothing but destruction. He added that the CTBT is vital to ensuring there are no more victims; it is also essential to advancing nuclear disarmament.

‘’On the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, I reiterate my call for all States that have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the Treaty, especially those whose ratification is needed for the Treaty’s entry into force. In a world of rising tensions and divisions, our collective security depends on it,’’ Guterres said.

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