UN calls for nuke test ban amid 'alarming rise in global division'



The United Nations on Tuesday called for a legally binding ban of nuclear tests and warned of a global catastrophe brought by nuclear weapons.

In a message on the International Day Against Nuclear Tests on August 29, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that a nuclear test ban is a fundamental step toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

"The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), though not yet in force, remains a powerful testament to humanity's will to lift the shadow of nuclear annihilation from our world, once and for all," Guterres said.

"This year, we face an alarming rise in global mistrust and division. At a time in which nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons are stockpiled around the world and countries are working to improve their accuracy, reach and destructive power, this is a recipe for annihilation," he warned.

UN General Assembly President Csaba Korosi, who chaired a high-level plenary meeting to mark the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, echoed Guterres's message and warned of "a global catastrophe" brought by nuclear weapons.

"We see many signs that nuclear stockpiles and capabilities are growing, contravening the NPT (Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons)," he said. "We are closer than any other time in this century to global catastrophe. And yet we fail to see the terrifying trap that we have set for humanity by betting on nuclear weapons."

He warned that the use of any nuclear weapon for any purpose will immediately spiral out of control. The so-called "limited nuclear war" does not exist.

The CTBT was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 1996. But it has not entered into force.