This year marks the 70th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age. Seven decades ago, the Trinity Test unleashed the power of more than 20,000 tons of TNT and precipitated over 2,000 additional nuclear tests.
Pristine environments and populated communities in Central Asia, North Africa, North America and the South Pacific were hit. Many have never recovered from the resulting environmental, health and economic damage.
Poisoned groundwater, cancer, leukaemia, radioactive fallout – these are among the poisonous legacies of nuclear testing.
The best way to honour the victims of past tests is to prevent any in the future.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is essential for the elimination of nuclear weapons. It is a legally-binding, verifiable means by which to constrain the quantitative and qualitative development of nuclear weapons.
Nearly two decades after the CTBT was negotiated, the time has long past for its entry-into-force.
I welcome the voluntary moratoria on testing imposed by nuclear-armed States. At the same time, I stress that these cannot substitute for a legally-binding Treaty.
On this International Day, I repeat my longstanding call on all remaining States to sign and ratify the Treaty – especially the eight necessary for its entry-into-force – as a critical step on the road to a nuclear-weapon-free world.