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General Assembly meeting highlights need to end nuclear testing for a safer world via UN News Centre

6 September 2012 – The end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving a safer and more secure world, United Nations officials stressed today, as the General Assembly met to observe the third annual International Day against Nuclear Tests.

“Nuclear tests are a threat to human health and global stability. Their effects are both harmful and long-lasting,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted in a video message for the observance.

The International Day is observed annually on 29 August, the date in 1991 when Semipalatinsk, located in north-eastern Kazakhstan and one of the largest test sites in the world, was closed for good. The observance draws global attention to the need to abolish nuclear weapons and achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

Mr. Ban urged States that had not yet done so to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) without delay. Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, he urged all States to uphold the existing moratorium on all nuclear test explosions.

The CTBT, which aims to establish a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, has been signed by 183 States and ratified by 157.

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