The Secretary-General’s message to International Conference “From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World”
Delivered by Mr. Miroslav Jenca, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia
I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at the International Conference, “From a Nuclear Test Ban to a Nuclear Weapons-Free World.” I thank the Government of Kazakhstan for hosting, and I commend President Nazarbayev for his leadership on nuclear disarmament, including closing the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, renouncing nuclear weapons and adding his voice to calls for non-proliferation.
Nuclear tests are a threat to human health and global stability. The International Day against Nuclear Tests is an opportunity to call attention to their harmful and long-lasting effects and to the continued danger posed by the existence of tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which aims to establish a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, enjoys near-universal support but has yet to enter into force. I urge States that have not yet signed and ratified the CTBT to do so without delay.
Pending the Treaty’s entry into force, I also urge all States to uphold the existing moratorium on all nuclear test explosions. Existing voluntary moratoriums are essential, but they are no substitute for a total global ban.
For my part, I pledge to strengthen my efforts to encourage those remaining States to ratify the Treaty, and I will continue promoting the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The CTBT’s verification mechanism has already been proven effective. I reiterate my standing offer to visit the capital of any State that remains unconvinced of the reliability of the Treaty’s monitoring and inspection systems to answer their questions and resolve their concerns.
As we mark this International Day against Nuclear Tests, let us strengthen our efforts to end nuclear weapons testing and promote the achievement of a world free of nuclear weapons.