Today, Wednesday, August 29 is observed as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.
Since nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 have taken place. In the early days of nuclear testing little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life, let alone the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests.
Hindsight and history have shown us the terrifying and tragic effects of nuclear weapons testing, especially when controlled conditions go awry, and in light of the far more powerful and destructive nuclear weapons that exist today.
The human and environmental tragedies that are the result of nuclear testing are compelling reasons for the need to observe the International Day against Nuclear Tests – a day in which educational events, activities and messages aim to capture the world’s attention and underscore the need for unified efforts to prevent further nuclear weapons testing.
The International Day against Nuclear Tests fosters ideas of a future free of nuclear weapons and testing. While there have been visible signs of progress that support this growing optimism, challenges still lie in the path of the UN’s ultimate objective: to eliminate all nuclear weapons.
As the world celebrate this day, it is the hope of Public Agenda that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until that day comes, there will be a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as we work towards promoting peace and security world-wide.
The observance of this particular day and any other day on the calendar of the United Nations contribute to the achievement of the purposes of the UN Charter and promote awareness of and action on important political, social, cultural, humanitarian or human rights issues. They further provide a useful means for the promotion of international and national action and stimulate interest in United Nations activities and programmes.
To ensure that no States can conduct another test, according to the UN Secretary General; “it is essential that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) finally enters into force. Just eight more Annex 2 States need to ratify to accomplish this.”
Public Agenda urges all countries yet to join the CTBT to do so as soon as possible. For almost 20 years, a global norm has existed against nuclear testing based on voluntarily unilateral moratoriums.