Ban says there are no grounds for delay in ending nuclear testing

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there is no justifiable reason for a delay in putting an end to nuclear tests, according to a statement released for the fourth International Day against Nuclear Tests.

International Day against Nuclear Tests, which was commemorated on Thursday, urges countries to work together to move one step closer to a nuclear weapon-free world. Ban said the Partial Test Ban Treaty adopted 50 years ago was the first step toward ending nuclear weapon test explosions. Since then, the banning of all tests remained unfinished business on the disarmament agenda.

Ban said that while 20 years have passed since negotiations began on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the treaty has yet to enter into force. He said the unified response to the nuclear test earlier in 2013 by North Korea showed the commitment to uphold the global norm against nuclear tests, but some states refrained from taking action and kept the CTBT from entering into force.

"There are no justifiable grounds for further delay in achieving this great goal," Ban said. "It is time to avert any more of the horrific human and environmental effects caused by nuclear tests through a global ban, the most reliable means possible to meet this challenge."

Ban called on all Member States to sign and ratify the CTBT without further delay.

"As we mark this International Day against Nuclear Tests, let us work together to end nuclear weapons testing and achieve a world free of nuclear weapons," Ban said.

Eight more states must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force. As of Tuesday, 183 countries have signed the treaty and 159 have ratified it.