International Day against Nuclear Tests: History and Significance

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With an aim to bring awareness regarding the harmful effects of testing nuclear weapons, every year, 29 August is observed as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The special day aims at calling for an end to such nuclear tests. This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of the event. On this day, the United Nations organises an event that creates public awareness regarding the effects of nuclear weapons tests, and detonations and further highlights the requirement for cessation of such nuclear tests. Shockingly, between 1945 and 1996, a total of 2000 nuclear test explosions were conducted. In addition, it was the nuclear tests by the US and USSR, which resulted in the Cold War that lasted till 1991—when USSR disintegrated.

History

Established on 2 December 2009, the International Day against Nuclear Tests was adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in its 64th session. This resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan to celebrate the 18th anniversary of the closing of the USSR-controlled Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, which took place in Kazakhstan in 1991. For those who don’t know, Trinity was the first nuclear test conducted by the United States Army on 16 July, 1945, in a desert site in New Mexico. This nuclear test was followed by the US dropping atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Unfortunately, this resulted in approximately 200,000 casualties, while the survivor suffered cancer induced by radiation.

Significance

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was established in 1996 by the UN General Assembly, which was signed and ratified by 170 nations. In addition, 15 nations signed but did not ratify, while 11 countries did not sign. The International Day against Nuclear Tests is significant as it highlights the urgency to impose a ban on all forms of nuclear weapons tests and use. Pledges to secure peace and security from the threat posed by nuclear weapons were taken by the signatories of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

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International Day against Nuclear Tests: History and Significance
International Day against Nuclear Tests: History and Significance
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