International Day Against Nuclear Tests [29th August]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 22, 2022, 13:54

The United Nations General Assembly observes 29th August as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests to raise awareness about the danger of nuclear weapon test explosions and stresses the urgency to cease atomic weapon testing worldwide to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

History of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Nuclear weapons testing first began on 16th July 1945. Today, more than 2,000 testings have been done. At the 64th session on 2nd December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 29th August the International Day Against Nuclear Tests by adopting resolution 64/35.

The Republic of Kazakhstan is majorly responsible for initiating the resolution along with several other sponsors and cosponsors to mark the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site that occurred on 29th August 1991. The inaugural ceremony of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests took place in 2010.

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Timeline of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

  • The General Assembly proclaimed 26th September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons to promote the total ban of nuclear weapons through international efforts. The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was first observed in September 2014.
  • On 10 September 1996, the UNGA adopted the primary mechanism for eradicating nuclear weapons testing—the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
  • On 22nd January 2021, the United States of America and the Russian Federation entered into the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
  • In 1995, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was adopted by NGOs. The CTBT was later extended and reaffirmed in 2000 and 2010.

Significance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests

On the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, several activities are organized worldwide, such as conferences, exhibitions, symposia, lectures, competitions, media broadcasts, publications, and other initiatives. Since its establishment, several conferences and other developments have taken place to attain the goals and objectives of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.

These include -

  • to permanently cease the testing of nuclear weapons to stop the devastating and hazardous effects on the health and lives of people.
  • to work together with seismologists, physicists, other scientists, physicians, lawyers, women’s organizations, research institutes, etc., to raise awareness of the negative health effects of atmospheric testing, including the presence of radioisotopes in children’s teeth.
  • to prohibit nuclear testing underwater, in the atmosphere, and outer space.
  • to assist research and academic institutions and NGOs in bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force.

Over the decades, the UN, together with the support of civilians, has been working on bringing a comprehensive ban on nuclear testing into force, gradually achieving the more significant motive of attaining a complete elimination of nuclear weapons. NGOs, research institutions, women organizations, academicians, scientists, and other members of the public are persistently endorsing the Secretary-General’s Five Point Proposal for Nuclear Disarmament and the CTBT to create a nuclear-weapon-free-world.

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FAQs on International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Q.1. When is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests?

The United Nations General Assembly observes 29th August as the International Day Against Nuclear Tests.

Q.2. When was the International Day Against Nuclear Tests adopted?

On 2nd December 2009, at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day Against Nuclear Tests was unanimously adopted through resolution 64/35.

Q.3. Why was the International Day Against Nuclear Tests launched?

The International Day Against Nuclear Tests was launched to raise public awareness about the hazardous health effects of atomic weapons testing and the urgency to stop nuclear testing through international efforts.

Q.4. When was the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons first observed?

On September 26, 2014, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was first observed by the United Nations.

Q.5. How is the International Day Against Nuclear Tests observed?

On the occasion of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, various conferences, symposia, etc., are organized. Along with scientists, NGOs and research institutions, the UN works towards bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force.