General Assembly commemorates International Day against Nuclear Tests

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President of the General Assembly, Mr. Sam Kutesa. UN Photo/Mark Garten

A nearly 20-year-old treaty aimed at banning nuclear tests has still not entered into force despite what have been described as the "grave impacts" of testing on humans, the environment and on international peace and security.

That statement comes from the president of the UN General Assembly speaking at a meeting on Wednesday to celebrate the International Day against Nuclear Tests, observed on 29 August.

Dianne Penn reports.

So far, 164 states out of the 193 that make up the UN General Assembly have ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Despite this near-universal support, it has still not entered into force.

That's because all 44 countries listed in the treaty as "nuclear technology holders" must ratify it.

Eight countries still have not done that: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United States.

Sam Kutesa is president of the UN General Assembly.

"Nuclear tests and weapons constitute an existential threat to humanity and contradict some of the fundamental principles of the United Nations. Nuclear testing and explosions have been carried out underground, underwater and in the air, with profoundly negative, long-term consequences.  The fallout from nuclear tests has resulted in disease, the contamination of elements of the food chain and water supplies as well as the destruction of ecosystems."

Mr Kutesa stressed the importance and urgency of realizing the treaty's entry into force.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’12″

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