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Deadlock Over Nukes Poses Serious Threat to Global Stability

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 7 2012 (IPS) - As delegates and experts from several countries gathered Thursday to commemorate the International Day against Nuclear Tests, readiness to abandon nuclear arsenals by some world powers seems to be far from reality.

“Nuclear tests are a threat to human health and global stability. Their effects are both harmful and long-lasting,” said U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in a statement Thursday.

The meeting, held on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests in the General Assembly, was aimed at drawing global attention to the issue of nuclear weapons as well as raising awareness on the importance of hindrance of further nuclear arms-related testing.

The commemoration ceremony was followed by a High-Level Panel on the Role of the United Nations in Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.

“The results of over half a century of extensive international efforts aimed at banning nuclear test-explosions are significant. Indeed, much has been achieved,” Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, the president of the General Assembly, said in his opening statement here.

“The remaining effort is not necessarily scientific or financial but rather political,” he added.

Despite great international interest in denuclearisation and disarmament, persistent negotiations on phasing out the nuclear facilities seem to be deadlocked, as the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, known by its acronym CTBT, still awaits ratification by several leading States such as China, Iran, Israel and the United States among others.

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty serves as a global instrument to eradicate all forms of nuclear testing. It was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly and opened for signature in 1996 and until now, it has not entered into force.

Also addressing Thursday’s meeting was Timur Zhantikin, chairman of the Atomic Energy Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“To date, 183 countries around the world have joined the Treaty and 153 have completed their internal procedures for its entry into force,” he said in his statement.

He called upon states, on which the CTBT’s entry into force depends, to strengthen their efforts to put an end to nuclear weapons testing by signing and ratifying of the Treaty at the earliest opportunity, as it is “the most important document on which the security of all humankind rests”.

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