October 27, 2017, New York – The First (Disarmament) Committee of the United Nations General Assembly today expressed unanimous support for the renewal of Assembly Resolution 64/35 establishing the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The Committee did so by approving, without a vote, the draft resolution contained in document A/C.1/72/L.36, which will now go before the full Assembly for adoption later in December this year.
The new draft resolution specifically requests the President of the General Assembly to organize an annual high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
The International Day, August 29, was established by the General Assembly on 2 December 2009, at the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan. As is known, it was on this day, in 1991, that President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, by decree, closed the Semipalatinsk test site, which was the second largest nuclear test site in the world.
Since 2010, the Day has been widely celebrated all over the world, including annual observances at UN Headquarters that have been organized as informal meetings under the auspices of the General Assembly President. Such annual observances were conducted despite the lack of a clear mandate for the Assembly President to organize them.
This year, Kazakhstan took the initiative to include in the text of the resolution the necessary mandate by adding language in which the General Assembly "requests the President to organize an annual high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day against Nuclear Tests".
Approval of the draft resolution demonstrates Member States unanimous support for including the necessary language, and reflects the unity of views on the relevance of the International Day in achieving a complete ban on nuclear testing. By its action, the world community also stressed the importance of the International Day as a tribute to the victims of nuclear tests and a reminder to all humankind of the continuing serious threat to international stability and security.
Speaking before the First Committee took action on the proposed draft resolution, Kazakhstan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Kairat Umarov, observed that 29 August is a day of historical significance not just for Kazakhstan, but for many other countries around the globe and many millions of people affected by the harmful consequences of nuclear weapons. He called on the world to speak with one powerful and united voice, as well as with firm conviction to continue the struggle to achieve a complete ban on nuclear testing.
"We are bound by a common shared destiny, and while, in the terminology of the Sustainable Development Goals, we say, 'leave no one behind', in disarmament we should say 'we take care of each other' to save people and this precious planet imperative of ending nuclear weapons tests for the safety and security of humankind," the Kazakh diplomat stated, while requesting support for the continuation of the observance of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
Ambassador Umarov expressed his gratitude to all countries that actively participated in the informal consultations on elaborating the updated draft resolution, as well as its 42 co-sponsors.