The UN passed a resolution on December 2, 2009 to create the international Day Against Nuclear Tests (August 29). The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that "every effort should be made to end nuclear tests in order to avert devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people," and that "the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world."
Thanks to the work that IPPNW and PSR have done towards this goal, Dr. Ira Helfand has been asked to serve as an expert panelist on behalf of international civil society. He spoke before the Untied Nations General Assembly on September 10.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated in his opening remarks, "Today let us also send a strong signal that the international community stands united to take action that will lead us to a safer and more secure world – a world free of nuclear weapons.”
The agenda for this event was as follows:
Opening statements by:
Mr. Sam Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly
Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations in New York
The official Opening Ceremony will be followed by a High-Level Interactive Panel on the theme, "TOWARDS ZERO: RESOLVING THE CONTRADICTIONS"
The distinguished experts will comment from their perspective on the pursuit of a nuclear-weapon-free world and provide some ideas on whether and how common ground may be achieved among the different approaches and new initiatives.
Mr. Kim Won-soo, Under-Secretary-General and Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
Ambassador Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, US Department of State
Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization
Ms. Tracy Brown, Acting Director of New York Office of the International Atomic Energy Agency on behalf of Director General Dr. Yukiya Amano
Ambassador Vladimir Drobnjak, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the United Nations in New York
Ambassador Makurita Baaro, Permanent Representative of Kiribati to the United Nations in New York
Dr. Ira Helfand, Chair, Security Committee of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Co-President, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
If you'd like to read more about the UN’s international day against nuclear tests, please click here.
Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.