Secretary-General Message on the International Day against Nuclear Tests

In 2009, at the sixty–fourth session of the General Assembly, the Government of Kazakhstan put forward a proposal calling for the establishment of an International Day against Nuclear Tests.  The idea won unanimous support, reflecting the international community's deep concern about the dangers posed by such tests. The first observance of the Day will be on 29 August 2010.

In 2009, at the sixty–fourth session of the General Assembly, the Government of Kazakhstan put forward a proposal calling for the establishment of an International Day against Nuclear Tests. The idea won unanimous support, reflecting the international community's deep concern about the dangers posed by such tests.

The first observance of the Day will be on 29 August 2010.  It was on that date in 1991 that the President of Kazakhstan closed the test site at Semipalatinsk, where the former Soviet Union detonated 456 nuclear weapons, with devastating effects on the landscape. Today, with Kazakhstan having banished nuclear weapons and joined in creating a nuclear–weapon–free zone in Central Asia, Semipalatinsk has become a powerful symbol of hope that a world free of nuclear weapons is an achievable objective.

There is real momentum behind this great cause.  The Nuclear Non–Proliferation Treaty Review Conference ended successfully, invigorating the nuclear disarmament and non–proliferation regime.  The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C. made important headway.  Bold initiatives by world leaders and civil society are showing the way toward reduced arsenals and changed policies.

As we mark the first International Day against Nuclear Tests, I look forward to working with all partners in a growing global movement to rid the world of the nuclear threat, rein in rising spending on nuclear weapons and bring the Comprehensive Nuclear–Test–Ban Treaty into force.  We must stop passing this problem to succeeding generations; we must each do our part to build a safer, more secure world today.