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Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 30 Aug 2018, 02:50 am

New York, Aug30 (IBNS): Every effort should be made to bring a global treaty into force that prevents more countries from developing nuclear weapons, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said.

His appeal came in a message for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, observed annually on 29 August.

“The history of nuclear testing is one of suffering, with the victims of more than 2,000 nuclear tests often from the most vulnerable communities around of the world,” Mr. Guterres said.

“The devastating consequences – which were not confined by international borders -- encompassed impacts on the environment, health, food security and economic development.”

The UN has been pressing for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT) to become law.

The treaty prohibits nuclear explosions anywhere – whether on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater or underground.

It also makes it difficult for countries to develop nuclear bombs for the first time, and prevents nations that already possess nuclear technology from developing even more powerful bombs.

More than 180 countries have signed the treaty, most of whom have also ratified it.

However, while nearly universal, the treaty will only enter into force after it is signed and ratified by eight countries with nuclear technology capacity: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United States.

“The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has an essential role within the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime,” the UN chief said. “It fosters international peace and security by constraining the development of nuclear weapons.  Our collective security demands that every effort should be made to bring this essential treaty into force.”

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the UN commission which promotes the treaty, known as the CTBTO, also called on the international community to “take the final steps” to ensure its entry into force.

“As long as the Treaty is not in force, the established international norm against nuclear testing and the global verification system that has been developed over the past two decades are at risk. I urge the last eight countries to ratify the Treaty and I appeal to others to renew their efforts in supporting it,” he said, also in a message to mark the International Day.

Zerbo said his conviction regarding the role the treaty can play on the Korean Peninsula was strengthened following a visit to the region last week.

The CBTO is hosting a meeting in Kazakhstan this week, which brings together international experts and young people to look at key issues surrounding denuclearization.

“The significance of being in Kazakhstan on 29 August where nuclear testing has left a poisonous legacy is immense,” Zerbo added, recalling that the date also commemorates the 1991 shutdown of the Semipalatinsk test site, where the Soviet Union undertook what he called “one of the most extensive nuclear test programmes in history.”

“For Kazakhstan, it was very important to share its own experience in having the nuclear tests conducted in its territory,” said Ambassador Kairat Umarov, the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, emphasizing that nuclear weapons are not only destructive when they are used, but also that their harmful effects continue to linger on, devastating people’s lives and the environment where they are used.

“If we talk in figures, the after effects of the nuclear tests in the air, on the ground and under the ground, it is like spraying 300 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium over 18,000 square kilometers […] a huge territory that is rendered useless,” he explained.


CTBTO


 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm