Nuclear Disarmament Current Affairs
Norwegian Nobel Committee has selected Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organisations from over 100 countries around globe for 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee honoured ICAN for its decade-long campaign to get rid the world of atomic bomb and for its work to draw attention to catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and its ground-breaking efforts to achieve treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
ICAN is a global civil society coalition of 468 partner organizations from 101 countries working to promote adherence to and full implementation of Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It is a leading civil society actor which has taken efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
ICAN’s mission is to shift disarmament debate to focus on humanitarian threat posed by nuclear weapons, draw attention to their unique destructive capacity, their catastrophic health and environmental consequences, debilitating impact of detonation on medical infrastructure and relief measures and long-lasting effects of radiation on surrounding area.
The International Day Against Nuclear Tests was observed across the world on 29 August with an aim to raise awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.
Observance of the day seeks to promote peace and security world-wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devastating effects on humankind, environment and the planet. It also highlights urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.
To mark this day, various events were organised across the world such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions.
International Day Against Nuclear Tests
The International Day against Nuclear Tests was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35 in December 2009. The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan with support of large number of sponsors and cosponsors with a view to commemorate closure of Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. The Day was first observed in 2010 and since then observed annually to galvanize the necessity of banning nuclear weapon tests.
Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site
The Semipalatinsk Test Site (also known as The Polygon) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons. It is located on the steppe in northeast Kazakhstan (then the Kazakh SSR part of USSR), south of the valley of the Irtysh River. The Soviet Union had conducted 456 nuclear tests on this site from 1949 until 1989 including 340 underground and 116 atmospheric explosions (roughly the equivalent of 2500 Hiroshima atomic bombs) with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.