PEOPLE across the world marked the International Day against Nuclear Tests yesterday and demanded that all nuclear weapons be scrapped for good.
It took place a quarter of a century since the Soviet Union closed its site at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, where 456 atomic weapons were tested, the final one in 1989.
Delegates from around the world gathered in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for the Building a Nuclear Weapon-Free World conference — appropriate since Kazakhstan renounced nukes and handed Soviet weapons to Russia in 1995. UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon urged the countries that have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — adopted 20 years ago by the UN general assembly — to take action.
The United States, China, Israel, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Iran and Egypt are the holdouts.
Greenpeace executive director Bunny McDiarmid hailed mass campaigns against nuclear testing but warned that “we cannot let having weapons of mass destruction be what defines security for people on this little planet we all call home.”