Beginning on 16 July 1945, nearly 2,000 nuclear weapons tests have taken place. In the early days, little consideration was given to its devastating effects on human life. And thence, the dangers of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests were rarely an issue to be concerned about.
Hindsight and history have shown and taught us the terrifying effects of nuclear weapons testing.The tragedies that took place over the years as the results of nuclear testing seemed to pose compelling reasons for observing the International Day against Nuclear Tests, a day in which educational events, activities and messages can aim at capturing the world's attention and underscore the need for unified efforts to prevent further nuclear weapons testing. To that end, on 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests. A resolution was unanimously adopted calling for increasing awareness and education about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. The Day was meant to galvanise the United Nations, Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, youth networks and the media to inform, educate and advocate the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.
The international instrument to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing is the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Unfortunately, this treaty is yet to enter into force. Only observing an International Day would not suffice unless the major powers holding nuclear weapons can be bound with an instrument. Therefore, every effort needs to be made to ensure the entry into force of the CTBT and to preserve its place in the international architecture.
It is the hope of the UN that one day all nuclear weapons will be eliminated. Until then, there is a need to observe International Day against Nuclear Tests as we work towards promoting peace and security world-wide. Initiatives such as the International Day against Nuclear Tests are part of the global efforts towards a nuclear-weapon-free world.
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE: UN.ORG)