New Delhi, Aug.8 ANI | 2 months ago

The ATOM Project has said that it will call for an international moment of silence on the occasion of the UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests in memory of all victims of nuclear weapons testing. The UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests has been observed every year on August 29.


"We are calling for people around the world to observe 11:05 a.m. their local time as a moment of silence. That time was chosen because the clock hands show a V, which stands for victory. This moment is meant to signify a victory of common sense over fear and a victory for global efforts towards a nuclear-weapons-free world", said " ATOM Project Honorary Ambassador Karipbek Kuyukov.

On August 29 two years ago, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed a major international parliamentary conference in Astana and launched The ATOM Project as a way to generate global popular support for a permanent end to nuclear weapons testing and, ultimately, the abolition of nuclear weapons.

More than 90,000 people from over 100 countries have signed the petition.

According to an Embassy of Kazakhstan release in New Delhi, the ATOM Projects hopes to reach 100,000 signatures by this year's August 29 remembrance.

To sign, please go to www.TheAtomProject.org/100k.

Ridding the world of nuclear weapons is an effort supported by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who recently noted that the world has "witnessed a substantial growth of interest in better understanding the catastrophic humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons."

In a special statement devoted to the 2014 International Day Against Nuclear Tests commemoration, UN Secretary General said: "Together, let us demand an end to all nuclear tests and get on with the unfinished business of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons."

Kazakhstan, which initiated the August 29 Day Against Nuclear Tests, knows well those catastrophic human consequences. From 1949 to 1991, the USSR conducted more than 450 nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in eastern Kazakhstan, causing the illness and premature death of more than 1.5 million people and contaminating a huge area of the region.

In the second part of the 20th century, nuclear tests were conducted by the United States, China, France and Britain as they developed their nuclear arsenals, as well as India and Pakistan.

And as recently as last year, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, defying United Nations Security Council resolutions, drew international condemnation when it conducted another nuclear weapons test.

In a statement dedicated to the upcoming fifth annual observance of the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted the importance of focusing the world's attention on ending nuclear testing.

"On this International Day Against Nuclear Tests, the international community reaffirms its commitment to secure the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which would prohibit all nuclear explosions. This would mark a welcome step toward a world without nuclear weapons," Ban said in a statement.

Ban also called on countries themselves to act unilaterally to end nuclear weapons testing.

"I also call on all countries to refrain from nuclear tests, the use of new nuclear weapons technologies or any action that would defeat the object and purpose of the CTBT," Ban added.

The ATOM Project is an international petition campaign designed to unify support for an end to nuclear weapons testing and world free from nuclear weapons.

The Project puts a human face on this global issue by telling the stories of the survivors of nuclear testing. To this day, children are born with severe deformities, illnesses and a lifetime of health challenges as a result of exposure generations ago to nuclear weapons tests.

"We have an opportunity to once more remind the world about the tragic consequences of nuclear testing and to push the global community towards more decisive actions to achieve a final and definitive ban of such testing," President Nazarbayev told the conference in Astana in August 2012. "Under the [ATOM] Project any human being on Earth who stands against nuclear weapons can sign an online petition urging governments of the world to abandon nuclear tests forever and ensure early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. I urge the participants of the conference and all people of goodwill to support The ATOM Project and make the creation of a non-nuclear weapons world our main goal."

"We hope the August 29 Global Moment of Silence will bring the world one step closer to that goal," Kuyukov, himself a second generation survivor of nuclear weapons tests and a famous armless artist, said.

(Posted on 08-08-2014)

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