Secretary-General's website message for the fifth observance of the International Day against Nuclear tests in 2014
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
On this International Day Against Nuclear Tests, the international community reaffirms its commitment to secure the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would prohibit all nuclear explosions. This would mark a welcome step toward a world without nuclear weapons.
The CTBT has already made real progress toward achieving universal membership – more than 90 percent of UN Member States have signed the Treaty and 162 countries have ratified it.
Eight states must ratify the Treaty in order for it to enter into force: China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States of America. I urge those states to act without further delay.
I also call on all countries to refrain from nuclear tests, the use of new nuclear weapons technologies or any action that would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT.
We have recently witnessed a substantial growth of interest in better understanding the catastrophic humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons. Decades ago, awareness of the human and environmental consequences of nuclear detonations led to the global ban on nuclear tests.
Today, the effects of nuclear weapons upon civilian populations, agriculture, livestock and ground-water supplies are better known and well documented. They have contributed significantly to our collective efforts towards achieving the prohibition and elimination of all nuclear weapons for all time.
Together, let us demand an end to all nuclear tests and get on with the unfinished business of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.