International Day against Nuclear Tests
When is International Day against Nuclear Tests?
Nuclear weapons have changed the way conflicts are resolved in the world. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively ended the last stage of World War II in 1945 at a high cost. Since then, world powers have fought to develop and test their own weapons to prepare for potential attacks, and to scare off other countries.
The United Nations has always operated on a peaceful stance, so it’s no surprise that this is the agency behind the creation of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Held every August 29th, this day is designed to raise the awareness of the dangerous effects of nuclear testing. In addition, the holiday aims to promote peaceful resolutions without the use of such deadly weapons.
History of Nuclear Bombs
The first-ever nuclear test took place in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945. It was a test for the subsequent bombing of Hiroshima, which occurred less than a month later. Since then, this desert-area has been plagued with damage and human diseases thought to be related to the nuclear testing. On top of that, residents and relatives have long been concerned about the effects that continued government testing had on the area.
Japan was left in disarray after the atomic bombings, while the rest of the world stood in awe of the modern weaponry the United States used to effectively end World War II. While the U.S. continued to test weapons afterward, other countries soon followed suit by creating and testing their own bombs – this was especially the case during the Cold War. Such nations found that the best way to prepare for the detonation of nuclear bombs was to test them. The potential effectiveness is gauged by measurements in the ground, water and atmosphere following a detonation.
Standing Up Against Nuclear Tests
The United Nations has estimated that over 2,000 nuclear tests have occurred worldwide since that first detonation in Alamogordo. Due to the adverse human and environmental effects of testing, the agency is strongly opposed to it. In December 2009, the U.N. held a meeting to create the International Day against Nuclear Tests. The organization decided to recognize the holiday on August 29th to recognize the closing of Kazakhstan’s Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on that same date in 1991. In fact, the initial resolution to create the holiday was founded by the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The first International Day against Nuclear Tests took place on August 29, 2010. To date, it is the most prominent global effort to oppose nuclear bombs. Prior to this, the United Nations had tried to end nuclear testing with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996, but it was never enforced.
Observance and Considerations
This holiday is not a government holiday, but rather a day of observance. The end goal of the International Day against Nuclear Tests is for nations to stop testing bombs, and subsequently using them altogether. However, this is likely not to become a reality for at least several more years. While many nations understand the risks of nuclear bombs, they continue to hold on to them in fear of attacks from other governments. Until there is no desire to wage war, nuclear bombs are likely, yet unfortunately, here to stay.
In the meantime, the goal for every International Day against Nuclear Tests is to raise awareness of all the dangers surrounding the bombs. The United Nations hopes that people will eventually disarm once education about the problems is increased. During the holiday, seminars and peaceful demonstrations are held in all parts of the world.