August 29: International Day against Nuclear Tests

Event of International Day against Nuclear Tests is held on August 29 each year.

Highlights

  • This event is organised with the aim of bringing about awareness regarding the harmful effects of testing nuclear weapons and calls to end such tests.
  • Year 2021 marked the 12th anniversary of the event.

Background

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established and adopted the International Day against Nuclear Tests in December 2, 2009 in its 64th session. This resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan to mark the 18th anniversary of the closing of USSR-controlled Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site in 1991 at Kazakhstan.

First nuclear test

United States Army had conducted the first nuclear test, called Trinity, in a desert site of New Mexico on July 16, 1945. This test empowered United States to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. This event resulted into an estimated 200,000 casualties while the survivors suffered from cancers due to radiation. Nuclear tests by USA and USSR led to the Cold War, that continued till 1991. About 2000 nuclear test explosions were conducted in between 1945 and 1996.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)

CTBT was established by UNGA in 1996. It was signed and ratified by 170 nations.15 nations signed the treaty but did not ratify. It was not signed by 11 nations.

Significance of the Day

This day highlights the urgency of ban on all forms of nuclear weapons tests and its use by any country. The signatories of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty pledged to secure peace and security from the threat of nuclear weapons.

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