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International Day against Nuclear Tests (29 August)
Embrace a world free of nuclear weapons

Civil Society

From the beginning of the nuclear age, civil society has played a prominent role in the effort to permanently halt testing of nuclear weapons. Physicists, seismologists, and other scientists; physicians and lawyers; women’s organizations; research institutes and disarmament NGOs; mayors and parliamentarians; “downwinders” exposed to radioactive contaminants resulting from atmospheric testing and the hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and the wider public - all have been involved.

Some highlights from the decades of activities:

Over the decades, and especially in recent years, civil society efforts in support of a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing for the most part have been connected to the larger enterprise of achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons. To help bring the CTBT into force, NGOs, civil society and members of the public, especially in those countries that must ratify the Treaty for it to enter into force, can urge their – and other - governments and parliaments to sign and ratify the treaty. They can also urge their governments to endorse the Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament, which includes bringing the CTBT into force and consideration of negotiating a nuclear weapons convention, backed by a strong system of verification, as has long been proposed at the United Nations.

Many entities, such as research institutes, academic institutions and NGOs, are engaged in disarmament-related work, including in relation to the CTBT.