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Voluntary Moratoriums Essential, but No Substitute for Total Global Ban, Says
Secretary-General in Message to Mark International Day against Nuclear Tests
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day against Nuclear Tests, to be observed on 29 August:
Nuclear tests remain a threat to human health and global stability. The International Day against Nuclear Tests is an important opportunity to call attention to their harmful and long-lasting effects, as well as the continued danger posed by the existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.
Around the world, symposia, conferences, exhibitions and competitions are being held to raise public awareness and galvanize action to finally end nuclear tests. To achieve this goal, States that have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) must do so without delay. 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 importance of bringing this about was reaffirmed by the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, I urge all States to uphold the current moratorium on all nuclear test explosions. However, while existing voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests are essential, they are no substitute for a total global ban.
On this Day, I pledge to personally continue promoting the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and to intensify my efforts to encourage all remaining States to ratify the CTBT. The Treaty’s verification mechanism has already proven its effectiveness. I reiterate my standing offer to visit the capital of any State that remains unconvinced about the reliability of the Treaty’s monitoring and inspection systems, to answer their questions and resolve their concerns.
As we mark this International Day against Nuclear Tests, let us strengthen our efforts to end to nuclear weapons testing and promote the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.
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