Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed on 29 August:
The history of nuclear testing is one of suffering, with the victims of more than 2,000 nuclear tests often from the most vulnerable communities of the world. The devastating consequences — which were not confined by international borders — encompassed impacts on the environment, health, food security and economic development.
Since the end of the cold war, a robust norm has developed against nuclear testing, violated by only one State this century. The strength of that norm has been validated by the international community’s overwhelming condemnation of each violation.
Nevertheless, the restraint displayed through voluntary moratoria cannot replace a global, legally binding ban on nuclear testing. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has an essential role within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. It fosters international peace and security by constraining the development of nuclear weapons. Our collective security demands that every effort should be made to bring this essential treaty into force.