UN General Assembly celebrates International Day Against Nuclear Tests
NEW YORK, September 6, 2018 – The UN General Assembly for the first time celebrated the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. The event takes place in the form of an official high-level plenary meeting. The special guest of the meeting was the Kazakh artist, activist, Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project Karipbek Kulyukov.
“”My voice is the voice of all who survived and of the victims of nuclear weapons that have left us. Everything you hear today will be another reminder of the bitter experience of Kazakhstan, which has experienced all the horrors and pain of nuclear tests, ” Kujukovsaid in the beginning of his speech from the main rostrum of the United Nations. The Speaker told his life story, noting that he devoted 25 years of his life to the struggle for a world without nuclear weapons and creating pictures, “holding the brush with his teeth or toes.”
The Kazakhstani activist stressed that initiative of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site demonstrated to the whole world the path of peace and goodness chosen by Kazakhstan and became a worthy example for other countries. The President urged the signing and ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to eight specific countries – Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, the DPRK, China, Pakistan and the United States, whose respective steps determine the entry into force of the CTBT. “The time has come when you must change the world for the better,” Kujukov said.
Session chaired by President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajcak heard speeches of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Executive Secretary of the Organization of the Treaty on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Lassina Zerbo, and representatives of 27 countries and regional groups of states.
We are here to commemorate the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. We have done that many times before. But today is a first. Because we are meeting in this setting, of a formal High-Level Meeting. And we have the efforts of Kazakhstan to thank for that, Miroslav Lajcak announed starting the session.
Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, urged to remember the victims of the catastrophic era of large-scale nuclear tests.
“The legacy of more than two thousand nuclear tests touched people and communities in many regions of the world – from the people of Semipalatinsk and the steppe part of Kazakhstan, to those living in the islands of the South Pacific and Maralinga-Tjarutia in southern Australia, Guterres noted.
In addition, the UN Secretary General focused the need to make every effort for the immediate entry into force of the CTBT. It was noted that this document serves as a powerful obstacle to those States that may seek to develop, produce and use or acquire nuclear weapons in violation of their commitments to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Other participants of the session expressed their gratitude to Kazakhstan for the leading role in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, noted the fundamental importance of constantly keeping this issue in the focus of attention of the international community. A special emphasis was placed on measures to quickly establish a ban on nuclear testing to build a world free of nuclear weapons.
In his turn Kazakhstan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Kairat Umarov, described the tragic pages of Kazakhstan’s nuclear history as a vivid example of the fact that nuclear weapons and their consequences are incompatible with the safe and secure future of mankind.
“The overwhelming majority of the world community showed trust and a gesture of goodwill by signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban. It is required the remaining minority do the same noble actions because in their hands is the final deliverance of the world from the threats of nuclear testing, ” the Kazakh Ambassador said.
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests is celebrated by the UN since 2010, following the adoption in December 2009 at the initiative of Kazakhstan of General Assembly resolution 64/35, which established this day.
A resolution establishing high-level formal meetings of the General Assembly on the occasion of this memorable day was adopted in December 2017.
Source: Kazakhstan 2050