The nuclear age began in 1945, with the United States developing three atomic bombs that year, using one in a nuclear test, called Trinity, in New Mexico, and two more in attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since that time, many other countries acquired nuclear weapons and currently, nine countries posess them across three continents. The nuclear weapons development programs all involved testing of both atomic and hydrogen bombs. Over 2000 nuclear tests took place around the world, causing devastating humanitarian consequences. Many of the affected communities have been left to fend for themselves in face of physical and mental health impacts, and loss of land, culture, and sustainable practices.
Kiribati and Kazakhstan, two countries affected by Soviet and United Kingdom/United States nuclear testing programs, respectively, have been spearheading the fight for nuclear justice. As part of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), they have tabled a resolution entitled “Addressing the Legacy of Nuclear Weapons: Providing Victim Assistance and Environmental Remediation to Member States Affected by the Use or Testing of Nuclear Weapons.” The resolution seeks to utilize the framework of multilateral treaties to promote victim assistance and environmental assessment and remediation, requests support for affected states, and promotes public awareness and education around the International Day Against Nuclear Tests. It is currently under consideration by the First Committee of UNGA.
The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is proud to support the work of the Republics of Kazakhstan and Kiribati. Our Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Christian N. Ciobanu, serves as the TPNW Advisor for the Mission of Kiribati and has been deeply involved in every step of this effort. We see the issue of supporting victims of nuclear use and testing as intimately connected to nuclear abolition itself. It is about righting the historical wrongs, but also making sure that such harm and suffering never happen again.
Read the text of the resolution HERE.