Ki-Moon says voluntary moratoriums essential, but no substitute for total global ban

MANILA: United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for a total global ban on all nuclear test explosions, saying that existing voluntary moratoriums on nuclear weapon tests are not a good enough substitute in observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29.

“Nuclear tests remain a threat to human health and global stability,” Ki-Moon said in a message for the International Day against Nuclear Tests, to be observed on 29 August.

“The International Day against Nuclear Tests is an important opportunity to call attention to their harmful and long-lasting effects as well as the continued danger posed by the existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.” Ban urged all States that have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so immediately. The CTBT, which aims to establish a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, enjoys near-universal support but has yet to enter into force.

He reiterated his “standing offer to visit the capital of any State that remains unconvinced about the reliability of the treaty’s monitoring and inspection systems to answer their questions and resolve their concerns.” The worldwide observance tomorrow of the International Day against Nuclear Tests is the third annual observance since it was established by the UN General Assembly in 2010, through General Assembly resolution 64/35.

August 29th was chosen by the General Assembly as the annual commemoration date against nuclear tests because it marks the day in 1991 when Semipalatinsk, one of the largest test sites in the world, was closed for good. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was opened for signature in 1996, but has yet to enter into force.