UN asks for the end of nuclear testing

Sunset over UN building Sunset over UN building Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

27 September 2021

The Security Council of the United Nations (UN) urges for full enforcement of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty 

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Mr. Robert Floyd, the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), spoke in front of the Security Council about its progress since its adoption in 1996. The anniversary, while being a cause for celebration, served as an occasion to reinforce the importance of proper and full implementation of the treaty. The establishment of the CTBT marked a watershed in the history of global disarmament and in the fight against the development of weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the Treaty has since its creation received worldwide support counting 185 signatures and 170 ratifications. Nonetheless, after years of extensive negotiations, the treaty is still to be enforced, lacking ratification from eight countries: the US, China, Iran, Israel, Egypt, India, Pakistan and North Korea. 

Despite the progress made so far, it remains crucial to renew international engagement to global disarmament and to ultimately strive for a nuclear-weapons-free world. “Nuclear testing not only created geopolitical instability and supported the development of more powerful and deadly nuclear weapons, but it also caused untold human suffering and environmental damage” stated Mr. Floyd on the subject, defining anniversaries as “a time for renewal of commitments.”
UN Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu expressed concern reporting a progressive weakening of multilateral nuclear disarmament diplomacy. Moreover, Ms. Namikatsu pointed out the significant permanent harm that nuclear testing had on the environment worldwide, as well as its consequences regarding the development, innovation and alarming increase of nuclear arsenals. 

Mr. Floyd ultimately called for “universally applied, non-discriminatory, and verifiable prohibition on nuclear testing”. Then, he concluded the UN Security Council Briefing with an optimistic outlook towards the future of disarmament: “Every signature and ratification we gain this coming year will be a cause for great celebration, and I trust that we will have much to celebrate.”

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Author: Arianna Previtera

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