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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Secretary General calls for nuclear test moratorium

RIA Novosti

12:07 26/08/2010

ASTANA, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a moratorium on all nuclear tests before the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) comes into force, his special representative Miroslav Jenca told an international conference on nuclear disarmament in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Thursday.

The CTBT, which was opened for signature in 1996, has been signed by 165 countries so far, but only 91 countries, including Russia, Britain and France, have ratified it.

The treaty will not come into force until the 44 most nuclear advanced countries have ratified it. Only 31 have done so so far. India, Pakistan and North Korea have not even signed the document yet.

Earlier this month, Ban set the target year for CTBT's entry into force for 2012. But before that date, Ban has called on all countries to impose a moratorium on all nuclear tests.

Russia joined the call. "It is important to provide a moratorium on nuclear tests before the treaty comes into force," Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mikhail Bocharnikov said.

Kazakh Foreign Minister and Acting Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Kanat Saudabayev called on the United States, to ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

He said the OSCE valued Indonesia's decision to ratify the treaty. The decision was announced during the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation conference in New York in May.

Kazakhstan also proposed opening an international aid fund for people whose health has suffered as a result of nuclear tests.

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