International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2018

International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2018

29 August 2018

The International Day against Nuclear Tests, 29 August, is being commemorated around the world with events taking place at the United Nations in Vienna and New York, as well as in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The United Nations General Assembly designated 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests (IDANT) in 2009. The highly symbolic date marks both the anniversary of the first Soviet nuclear test in 1949 and the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in 1991. In the intervening years, 456 tests were carried out at that site, with devastating consequences. Globally, more than 2050 nuclear tests were carried out between 1945 and 1996.

Today reminds us of one of the longest-sought objectives of the international community; putting an end to nuclear tests.CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

In 1996, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature, in order to relegate all nuclear testing to the history books once and for all. Although not yet in force, the Treaty is widely considered a success with only nine nuclear tests having been carried out since its opening for signature. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Organization (CTBTO) is charged with verifying adherence to the Treaty with a global network of monitoring stations – the International Monitoring  System (IMS).

Read the Message from CTBTO Executive Secretary Zerbo for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests (PDF).

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has an essential role within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.  It fosters international peace and security by constraining the development of nuclear weapons.  Our collective security demands that every effort should be made to bring this essential treaty into force.United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres

In Astana, Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo and the Foreign Minister of Kazkhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, adopted a joint declaration (PDF) during the 2018 CTBTO GEM – Youth International Conference “Remembering the past, looking into the future”. This five-day event—co-hosted by the CTBTO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan—is being held under the theme “Remembering the Past, Looking to the Future.” The conference participants will be reflecting on the role of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in building global peace and finding ways to strengthen it in the future, namely through raising the profile of the CTBT.

Opening the conference, Executive Secretary Zerbo and Foreign Minister of Kazkhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov delivered keynote speeches to conference. In his speech, Zerbo stated that “as highlighted by President Nazarbayev, the effects of nuclear weapons and nuclear testing cannot be contained in either time or space. They are a global issue which requires global and intergenerational cooperation”.

While in Astana, Dr Zerbo also met with President Nursultan Nazarbayev on 29 August and discussed their shared goal and moral obligation to promote of a world free from nuclear tests.

The significance of being in Kazakhstan on 29 August where nuclear testing has left a poisonous legacy is immense.CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo

At its headquarters in Vienna, CTBTO together with the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan—supported by the United Nations Information Service—organised an exhibit and commemorative event for members of the diplomatic community, staff of the Vienna-based International organizations and civil society. On the occasion of the 2018 IDANT event, the CTBTO and Peace and Cooperation (a Spanish NGO), jointly launched the 2018 Global Scholar Art Campaign "For a Safer World--Join Forces with the CTBTO" (PDF). This campaign will engage school children all over the world to increase public awareness of the need to put an end to nuclear testing and culminate in an awards ceremony and art exhibition at the CTBTO 2019 Science and Technology Conference.

An event to mark IDANT will be also be held on 6 September at the United Nations in New York.