Over the past seventy years, nuclear weapons have been tested on more than 2,000 occasions – in the atmosphere, underground and underwater. The toll on human life, and consequent death and destruction, as well as environmental contamination through radiation has been staggering. Decades after nuclear tests, many affected territories around the world remain hazardous and unfit for human habitation, agriculture or economic development.
Convinced that every effort should be made to end nuclear tests, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 on 2 December 2009.
In keeping with this commitment, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Peter Thomson, will convene a half-day meeting to mark the observance of this International Day, on 30 August at the UN Headquarters’ Trusteeship Council, New York.
The President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General will deliver opening remarks, followed by a plenary debate.
The endeavor of this Informal Meeting is not just to take stock of national and international efforts against nuclear testing, but also to encourage a productive and thought provoking discussion on challenges and potential solutions. The purpose of the meeting is for Member States to reflect on the kind of action that can be taken to end nuclear weapons testing. What are the concrete ways to move forward in the face of impasses? What are the challenges facing the global norm against nuclear testing and possible ideas to further strengthen this norm? How can States, together with civil society, spread awareness about the dangers associated with testing?
The meeting is open to Member States, UN agencies, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and the media.
Member States are expected to speak for no more than three minutes.
There will be no predetermined speakers list and delegations will speak from the floor. Member States are invited to participate at the highest possible level.