International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on 29th August to raise awareness about the devastating effects of testing nuclear weapons. This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of the event. On this day, the United Nations organises an event that creates public awareness regarding the effects of nuclear weapons tests, and detonations and further highlights the requirement for cessation of such nuclear tests.
International Day against Nuclear Tests 2022: Significance
Nuclear tests cause extensive damage to not just human society, but also to the environment, plant and animal life. The International Day against Nuclear Tests keeps us alert about this so that we can urge our leaders to ensure a safer nuclear weapons-free future.
International Day against Nuclear Tests: History
On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35. 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.”
The first nuclear test called Trinity was conducted on July 16, 1945, by the United States military in a desert in New Mexico. Nuclear technology was developed under J. Robert Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project. After the first nuclear test, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 in 1945, respectively, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Successive generations in those Japanese cities suffered from radiation-induced cancer and birth defects.
Later, the erstwhile Soviet Union conducted nuclear tests in 1949, the United Kingdom in 1952, France in 1960, and China in 1964. The Cold War phase (1947-1991) saw a nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.