NEWS

2013-08-29 | News
Commemorating the International Day against Nuclear Tests

The world-wide observance of the fourth annual International Day against Nuclear Tests will be on Thursday 29 August 2013. The day highlights the efforts of the United Nations and a growing community of advocates, including Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, youth networks and media in informing and educating on the importance of a ban on nuclear weapons testing for the achievement of a safer and more secure world.

 Activities ranging from symposia and conferences to exhibits are expected to take place throughout the world to call attention to the dangers of nuclear weapon test explosions, the threats posed to humans and the environment, and the need to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons and their testing.

 The day, August 29, was chosen by the General Assembly as the annual commemoration date against nuclear tests because it marks the day in 1991 when Semipalatinsk, in Kazakhstan one of the largest test sites in the world, was closed permanently. This year at the United Nations Headquarters, there will be an observance on 5 September in the format of an Informal Meeting in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, convened by the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Vuk Jeremić, including a High-Level Panel organized in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations.

The President of the General Assembly, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Asset Issekeshev, are expected to deliver opening statements at the meeting. The observance will broadly focus on drawing the world’s attention to nuclear weapons abolition and the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The opening ceremony will be followed by a High-Level Panel on the “Path to Zero: The Role of the United Nations in Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation”. The invited panel of speakers include, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Angela Kane; Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations, Ambassador Martin Sajdik; Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, Dr. Lassina Zerbo; Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the United Nations, Mr. Geoffrey Shaw, and Immediate Past-President, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Co-Vice President for North America, International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War, Dr. Andrew S. Kanter. The panelists are expected to cover some key issues, such as necessary steps for further progress on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the establishment of further nuclear-weapon-free zones, and confidence building. The Panel will be moderated by the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations, Ambassador Eduardo Ulibarri.

On the occasion of the observance of the Day, an exhibition entitled, “Peace Now: Abolish Nuclear Tests and Weapons”, organized by the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations in cooperation with the United Nations Department of Public Information, will also be held on September 4 - 8 in the UN office in New York. This exhibition will portray the paintings of the world renowned Kazakh artist, Mr. Karipbek Kuyukov, who paints only with his feet, being a victim of the effects of nuclear radiation. His art depicts the triumph of the human spirit over the horrors of nuclear testing. He is the designated Ambassador of the ATOM (Abolish Testing Our Mission) Project of Kazakhstan and has received international acclaim for his committed and tireless advocacy to achieve total nuclear abolition. The exhibition will be inaugurated on Wednesday, 4 September 2013, at 6 p.m.      

 The Republic of Armenia is a party to key non-proliferation treaties.   Armenia signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on October 1, 1996, a few days after it was open for signatures and ratified the Treaty on July 12, 2006.  This Treaty bans all nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth\'s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground, whether for military or for peaceful purposes.  The Treaty has a unique comprehensive verification regime to make sure that no nuclear explosion goes undetected.  Complex high-tech system of 337 monitoring stations is hosted by 89 States around the globe.   Armenia hosts Auxiliary Seismic Station in the Garni region.

The Armenian Parliament has adopted a resolution on accession the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons  on September 24, 1991, just three days after adopting a Declaration of Independence on September 21, 1991.  The Republic of Armenia is also a Party to its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements (Additional Protocols) from June 28, 2004.  In 1993 Armenia joined the International Atomic Energy Agency as a country using nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. 


More information can be found at: http://www.mfa.am/en/strategic-export-control/

 The International Day against Nuclear Tests, established by General Assembly resolution 64/35, then presented at the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan, was first observed in 2010, to promote the idea that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives of people… and, that the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

 

The complete programme line-up can be found at: http://www.un.org/en/events/againstnucleartestsday

 For further information on the Day and on the nuclear tests-related issues, please go to www.un.org/en/no-nucleartests, which is available in all six UN official languages.

Contacts: United Nations Department of Public Information, Hisae Kawamori, kawamori@un.org; United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Ewen Buchanan, buchanane@un.org.

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