Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed on 29 August:
Commemorated annually since 2010 on the anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, the International Day against Nuclear Tests takes on special meaning in 2020 in also marking 75 years since the first-ever nuclear test, code named “Trinity”, was undertaken in July 1945 in the United States. Since then, more than 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted by at least 8 countries, with profound, harmful and long-lasting effects on the environment, human health and the economic development of some of the world’s most fragile regions.
Despite these impacts and the widespread global support for a legally binding prohibition, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force. I once again urge all States that have not signed or ratified the Treaty to do so without further delay.
The nuclear menace is once again on the rise. A complete ban on nuclear testing is an essential step in preventing the qualitative and quantitative improvement of nuclear weapons and in achieving nuclear disarmament. On this International Day, we also recognize the survivors of nuclear tests and the suffering that they have endured and that our world will endure for decades and even generations.
The best way to honour the victims of nuclear tests is to prevent any in the future. Nuclear testing is a relic of another age and should have no place in the twenty-first century.