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UN chief says end ‘madness’ of nuclear weapon testing via Tribune

VIENNA, AUSTRIA: UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Wednesday for the US, China and other nuclear-armed states to end the “madness” of atomic testing by finally ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which turns 20 this year.

“I call on remaining states, the eight remaining states, to sign and ratify the treaty without further delay,” Ban said in Vienna at an event marking the anniversary.

“Nuclear testing poisons water, causes cancers and pollutes the area with radioactive fallout for generations and generations to come,” he said.

“We are here to honour the victims … to ban and to stop nuclear testing. First and foremost we should teach the world to end this madness.”

The CTBT, which opened for signature in September 1996, bans all nuclear explosions.

It has been signed by 183 states and ratified by 164 including Russia, France and Britain, three of the nine countries which have or are thought to have nuclear weapons.

But to enter in force, the treaty needs 44 particular “nuclear technology holder” states to ratify, eight of whom have yet to do so.

These eight include the other six in the nuclear club — the United States, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel — as well as Iran and Egypt.

The US, China, Egypt, Iran and Israel — the latter widely assumed to have nuclear weapons although it has never confirmed it — have signed but not ratified.

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