António Guterres, UN secretary-general has urged all countries to sign and endorse a global treaty that bans nuclear explosions on the earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.
Guterres, who said this in his message for the international day against nuclear tests, urged all countries to sign and ratify the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (CTBT).
To date, 183 countries have signed the CTBT while 166 have ratified it.
The Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK), India and Pakistan are among the 13 countries that have not signed the CTBT.
He said for the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from eight more of “the so-called” Annex 2 states.
Of these, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and the United States, are yet to ratify it.
“More than 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted over the past seven decades – from the South Pacific to North America, from Central Asia to North Africa,” Guterres said.
“They have harmed some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples and pristine ecosystems.
“I urge all countries yet to join the CTBT to do so as soon as possible.
“For almost 20 years, a global norm has existed against nuclear testing based on voluntarily unilateral moratoriums. I applaud this restraint, but it is not enough.”
He noted that continued nuclear tests by DPRK demonstrated that “even the strongest norm is no substitute for a legally-binding prohibition”.
The international day against nuclear tests is observed annually on August 29, following the declaration of that day in a resolution unanimously adopted by the UN general assembly in 2009.
The resolution called for increasing awareness and education “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions”.
The resolution also noted “the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world”.